Black Lives Matter Philly — an affiliate of the national Black Lives Matter organization – made headlines when they chose to advertise an upcoming April 15 open meeting as “a black only space.”
The upcoming meeting plans to discuss projects and initiatives for the upcoming year, as well as a means to “meet, strategize and organize.” Children are invited but white people are specifically banned from the meeting.
When questioned about the “white-out” via social media, BLM-Philly doubled down on their racist rhetoric claiming that their meetings are “black centered.” This attempt to return to racist segregation had even other black people outraged as they saw the overt racist overtones in the exclusion of races.
— Sharika Soal (@LadyThriller69) April 3, 2017
The backlash continued with articles being written about this group and its overt racist agenda with articles appearing in the Daily Caller, Breitbart, The Daily Wire, and many others. As a result of the backlash the group is receiving, they have chosen to issue a statement in response, again doubling down on the racist rhetoric.
Stating in part –
“During the last 36 hours, Black Lives Matter Philly (BLM Philly) has been attacked online and the subject of several right-wing media articles about our April open meeting invitation that states it is a Black only space. This is not the first time we have received backlash and threats in relation to how we organize. Let us be clear now. We are unapologetically Black and believe having Black only spaces—where Black people can come together to strategize, organize, heal and fellowship without the threat of violence and co-optation—is an important part of Black liberation.
BLM Philly is a Black-centered organization that collaborates with partners to build a politically and economically empowered, healthy, and whole Black community with the ultimate goal of building power and liberation for all Black people. As a chapter, BLM Philly believes in self determination and organizes in that manner. Most associated with the teachings of Marcus Garvey, Kwame Ture, aka Stokely Carmichael, andMalcolm X, self determination says that we, Black people, are in the best position to define and create our own plan and path towards freedom and liberation based upon our own unique experiences as Black people in the United States. Simply put, we don’t need or want others to define what it means for a Black person to be free and liberated in the U.S. We know that. We’ve determined that.”