Right-wing media are now attempting to cast a new boogeyman against the Black Lives Matter movement and the country’s ongoing protests over police brutality by claiming they’re not just about racial justice — but about a radical plot to destroy the institution of the family in America.
This attack hinges on some of the inclusive language of the “What We Believe” page on the national Black Lives Matter website, describing the intersection of LGBTQ rights and racial justice. The actual text in question both affirms the health and vibrancy of families while also calling for a greater overall diversity of what that should mean in practice:
We make our spaces family-friendly and enable parents to fully participate with their children. We dismantle the patriarchal practice that requires mothers to work “double shifts” so that they can mother in private even as they participate in public justice work.
We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and “villages” that collectively care for one another, especially our children, to the degree that mothers, parents, and children are comfortable.
We foster a queer‐affirming network. When we gather, we do so with the intention of freeing ourselves from the tight grip of heteronormative thinking, or rather, the belief that all in the world are heterosexual (unless s/he or they disclose otherwise).
It’s unclear how this sort of inclusive language should be objectionable, let alone represent any kind of threat to others. In fact, the fight for racial justice must include people living at the intersections of Black and other identities, including LGBTQ people. (And indeed, both Black and LGBTQ people have a history of protest and struggles against police brutality.)
But right-wing media claim it’s a menace to civilization.
The Daily Wire’s Paul Bois claimed in a piece Friday that these issues are “seemingly outside the original framework of Black Lives Matter.”
On Monday morning, Kathryn Jean Lopez of National Review posted an essay titled “Can We Agree That All Lives Matter, Already?” in which she labeled the page’s comments on the family as “subversive” and divisive:
But when you take a look at the Black Lives Matter website, you read an agenda that isn’t quite as unifying. There’s a hostility to the nuclear family — exactly the fundamental unit that I’ve been praying has been undergoing some healing during our coronavirus time together. … And in the case of Black Lives Matters, the “about” page on the website promotes a subversive agenda hiding behind euphemisms that somewhat brilliantly, if dishonestly, speak to the best of us.
On the Monday afternoon edition of The Daily Wire’s online The Andrew Klavan Show, the eponymous host also cited the same page, claiming that the positions explained there are “outside the sympathy of most Black people — or many Black people.”
As for affirming the extended family over a pure focus on the nuclear family, and the social concept of the “village,” Klavan declared: “You know, they have villages in Africa, where violence against women is endemic. It is endemic in Africa; women are beaten like drums in Africa. This is a truth. Whereas here, it’s better — it is better to live a civilized life.”
And on Monday night’s edition of Fox News’ The Ingraham Angle, guest Niger Innis accused Black Lives Matter of having a “hard Marxist and LGBT agenda — a gay agenda.”