by Daniel Reese, Staff Writer

Recently, Fox News personality Bill O’Reilly went on record, calling the Black Lives Matter movement a hate group. Later in the segment, he proceeds to call out and threaten any group that supports the movement, vowing to “put them out of business.” O’Reilly’s comments come in the wake of a St. Paul Minnesota protest where protesters chanted, “Pigs in a blanket, fry them like bacon.” Now, let’s be clear, the chant was out of line. Under no circumstances should we ever call for the deaths of those who have sworn to protect and serve life. I, personally, do not think the individuals involved in the protest were calling for blood but accountability. In fact, there have been no violent acts committed amid Black Lives Matter protests. It’s worth noting that from January 1, 2015 to January 24, 2015, there were 59 fatal police shootings. In contrast, there have been 55 fatal police shootings – total – in England and Wales from 1990 to 2004.* Given the statistics, accountability isn’t too much to ask for.

The Black Lives Matter movement should be in our focus, but for very different reasons. If we listen closely to the call for accountability through the demilitarization of the police force, community representation and the limited use of force, this grass roots movement is actually a significant source of theology and a witness of the Spirit of truth in our midst. The Black Lives Matter movement reminds us all that there is a transcendent authoritative presence in creation that sees, hears, knows and responds to injustice; validating the prophetic voice of the marginalized in our society. The plight of the disadvantaged in our society is real. The political systems of manipulation and control are in fact real. The criminalization of black bodies in America is unfortunately real.

Truthfully speaking, the Black Lives Matter movement isn’t a hate group but a witness to the truth that all lives matter when black lives matter.”