4 messages demonstrators shared at the 2020 March on Washington

March on Washington
Twenty-six-year-old Lauren Freeman of Fairfax, Virginia holds up her sign while participating in the Get You Knee Off Our Necks Commitment March in Washington, D.C. on Aug. 28, 2020. |

Evangelical churchgoer: ‘White community needs to stand up for the black community’

Friday’s march was also attended by locals from the Washington metropolitan area. 

This includes 26-year-old Lauren Freeman of Fairfax, Virginia, who serves with a nonprofit group working with the homeless community and attends Fairfax Bible Church. 

Freeman carried with her a sign that reads: “I am sorry for how white Christians have handled the BLM movement. You matter and are loved by God! I would love to listen to your story and pray with you.”

“I believe the Church and the white community needs to stand up for the black community, our black friends, stand up for justice and cry out for peace and justice,” she told CP.

“I feel like there have been two main camps of the white evangelical church. One camp is too afraid to speak about it because of conflict in their own church or what people might say. Then, there is another camp that is actually speaking out against [the movement] and calling it just a far-left movement, or terrorist group even.”

She believes the Church “hasn’t done enough to defend their defenseless brothers and sisters in Christ.”

Considering that the Black Lives Movement as a political organization has been associated with left-leaning political causes and calls for the dismantling of the nuclear family, pushes Marxism, and advocates for many other agendas that many conservative Christians and other faith communities oppose, Freeman understands why many don't want to support the organization. 

“I understand people who say that they can’t support Black Lives Matter organization but they can support the movement. I believe that they mean well and everybody is entitled to their own opinion for sure,” she said. “I would say that a lot of people are going to say that people who support the Black Lives Matter movement are only out to stay that ‘only black lives matter.’”

“But obviously, we are just out here to say that black lives matter just as much as the other lives,” she contended. 

Freeman said her ultimate desire is for her “black brothers and sisters to be able to walk the neighborhood without fearing getting shot, without having to think to themselves, ‘Am I a threat to society?’” 

As for police reform, she admits that she hasn’t paid close attention to the legislative proposals put forward. However, she does want to “raise accountability for when a police shooting happens.”

“Police need more mental health training to be practicing with their guns regularly, not just when they go through the academy,” she argued. “They need better training. We need to be protecting our officers so they are not put in unsafe situations. That means better training. The black community is getting the spotlight right now but police brutality as a whole needs to be dealt with.”

In Congress, the Democrat-controlled U.S. House, without input from Republicans, passed a wide-ranging police reform bill in June that has stalled in the Senate. 

A less extensive police reform bill put forward by Republicans in the Senate has been stalled by Senate Democrats. At the state level, hundreds of police reform bills have introduced. 

President Donald Trump issued an executive order in June encouraging police departments nationwide to enact policies that prohibit the use of chokeholds that restrict airflow except in situations where the use of deadly force is permitted and incentives police departments to go through the credentialing process. 

Follow Samuel Smith on Twitter: @IamSamSmith

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