It appears that a pattern is emerging in the way that Christians are addressing the black lives matter movement in their public discussions of the subject. The purpose of this document is to show that certain of these apologies are unnecessary and even incorrect from a biblical and logical standpoint. I will address four of these unnecessary apologies.
Unnecessary Apology # 1: I Am Sorry for Not Praising the Police
Police departments and their superiors in government should be held responsible for decades of beatings, killings and misdeeds against blacks without simultaneous songs of praise from their victims. The fact that many police do their jobs properly does not diminish at all the excesses and abuses towards blacks that are occurring nationwide. Public officials are supposed to do their jobs conscientiously and by the rules. “I am grateful for all of the police who are not shooting us in the streets” qualifies as an unnecessary apology.
Unnecessary Apology #2: I Apologize for the Fact that Black People Kill Each Other
Black crime against blacks has nothing to do with the abuse of power by civil servants (the police) in the black community. The Mapping Police Violence Project has shown that police killings in the black community are not related to crime rates. Besides, in the most prominent cases, the black people killed are not murderers, rapists, or drug lords, but children, stranded motorists, school teachers, choir musicians and petty criminals. We do not lecture pro-life Christians that since babies die by starvation and child abuse, we should lighten up on the abortion issue.
Unnecessary Apology #3: I Apologize for Not Choosing Between Justice and the Gospel
The same God who provides the gospel of Jesus Christ as the final solution to evil has also authorized human government for the control of evil (Romans 13.1–4). When the appointed officials become the perpetrators of evil, black people should not have to choose, as in slavery days, between the gospel or good government.
Legal actions by believers for their rights as black citizens is not carnality. Performing ones civil duty to fight in wars, vote, run for office or to make government function properly does not diminish his ability or responsibility to evangelize and make disciples. Legal actions taken by citizens and spiritual action are not mutually exclusive. Speaking of carnality, where are the high profile white evangelical pastors publishing their outrage with police violence against blacks and with the tepid response of their own congregations to it?
Unnecessary Apology #4: I Apologize for Thinking Black Lives Matter All by Themselves
There are a lot of people that do not believe that black lives matter, but rather than deny our value outright, they do so by the disingenuous assertion that black lives only have value as a part of the rest of humanity- “all lives matter.” It is disingenuous because if we were of value as a part of humanity, then these humanity lovers should come to our aid, which they generally do not. Black lives matter all by themselves, without the need to be counterbalanced by any other category of lives in order to be valuable. This “all lives matter” argument would never be suggested as a response to the historical persecution of Jews (“Never Forget”), for example. “Black Lives Matter” is a statement that has arisen to prominence because of a specific set of historical circumstances involving obvious and deadly discrimination against black people. “Young black men were nine times more likely than other Americans to be killed by police officers in 2015.”
In conclusion, I recommend that Christians, particularly black believers, cease apologizing for being the victims of state sponsored violence. Both the perpetrators and the judicial bodies which fail to punish them, organs of the state, need to do the apologizing.