By Staff –
The National Black Church Initiative (NBCI), a faith-based coalition of 34,000 churches comprised of 15 denominations and 15.7 million African Americans, has said it will not be supporting the current #MeToo movement because it is divisive, and it is promoting the destruction of black families.
“We are astonished that white society has decided to push a single-sex, all-women agenda on everyone, and that African Americans’ fight for equality should take a back seat to the #MeToo movement,” Rev. Anthony Evans, president of the group, stated. “The Black church understands that the #MeToo movement is trying to manipulate the societal family agenda. We say no to that. We will not push a single-sex, all-women agenda. We will not push a white women #MeToo movement. We will use our enormous energy, and moral influence, toward healing, and correcting the Black family.”
According to Evans, NBCI’s support of the #MeToo movement would ultimately “break up the concept of family,” and “undermine the African-American agenda for racial equality across the board.”
“NBCI has already stated categorically that it will never be an apologist to any men who abuse women and children in any way. But, this does not mean that we are going to support a women’s only agenda,” the group said.
However, contrary to NBCI’s statements, one local religious leader said she disagrees with the group’s sentiments.
“I do not agree with NBCI’s position, as they are not responding to the ‘Me Too Movement’ as envisioned, founded and implemented by a black woman activist, Ms. Tarana Burke,” Rev. Judith Davis, one of the supporting clergy at Community of the Savior church, said. “The ‘Me Too Movement,’ started by Ms. Burke, helps sexual-abuse survivors of all ages heal through shared empathy, using after-school and youth-training programs, …with a special focus on young women of color in low-wealth communities. … I understand the fear of NBCI that the white-female, celebrity-led movement will not lead to an agenda that supports a strong black family. However, NBCI does not mention Ms. Burke’s work at all in their press statement. Do they not support her work as well, or are they unaware of it? By not mentioning Ms. Burke, or her work in the press release, and making a sweeping statement of no support of the ‘Me Too Movement;’ has NBCI itself failed to listen to a black woman, and erased her from the conversation?”
Evans said “the Christian notion of forgiveness” is the reason for the group’s decision, as well as the organization’s desire for black men to be supportive of their wives and families.
And, although the group’s statement has been controversial, one local pastor said he agrees with the initiative.
“I am a black pastor,” Rev. John Walker, pastor at Faith Christian Center in Rochester, stated. “And, my life experiences coalesce very well with the national black church’s refusal to support the ‘#MeToo movement,’ to the apparent detriment of the black liberation struggle, and the ungodly neutralizing of the inherent power of the black church and family.”
According to Evans, NBCI vows to increase its effort to support the nation’s black families, with the exception of “using abuse as a narrative.”
Visit http://www.naltblackchurch.com/ for additional information regarding the organization.