Conservative Clergy of Color, a coalition of African-American pastors who say they were called to bring a new perspective to the nation’s conversation on race, slammed Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris on Friday for praising the “brilliance” of the founders of Black Lives Matter.
Speaking during an interview held as part of the NAACP’s national convention, which was held virtually because of the coronavirus pandemic, Harris praised Black Lives Matter co-founders founders Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi for “their brilliance in conceiving it.”
“History is going to show it was an inflection point in the ongoing fight for justice and to reform the criminal justice system,” the California senator told CNN commentator Angela Rye.
“I actually believe as a former prosecutor that Black Lives Matter has been the most significant agent for change within the criminal justice system because it has been a counterforce to the force within the system that is so grounded in status quo, in its own traditions, many of which have been harmful and have been discriminatory in the way that they have been enforced."
Bishop Aubrey Shines, co-founder of Conservative Clergy of Color argued that Black Lives Matter is not a group that Harris should be praising.
“It’s extremely disheartening to see a U.S. Senator and a candidate for vice president give such high praise to a group that is trying to destroy our country," Shines said in a statement to The Christian Post. "Does Sen. Harris not watch the news? Has she not seen the businesses burning, the livelihoods that have been wrecked by this organization? People are terrified, but we have to praise the organizers because it’s the cool thing to do.
“Until recently these people made no secret about their agenda. They were loud and proud about their anti-American goals until the violence they’ve instigated started affecting their favorability. The only ‘brilliant’ thing I can see is how quickly BLM’s website operators scrubbed their agenda to be more appealing. This is not a group that needs to be praised. More Americans are beginning to see that, and I hope Sen. Harris will too.”
In her comments on Friday, Harris explained that the Black Lives Matter protests should be seen as “an essential component of evolution in our country.”
“Nothing that we have achieved that has been about progress, in particular around civil rights, has come without a fight, and so I always am going to interpret these protests as an essential component of evolution in our country — as an essential component or mark of a real democracy,” she said. “The people’s voices must be heard.”
Bishop Shines, Rev. M.J. Reid, Pastor Francisco Vega, and Rev. Derek McCoy came together earlier this year to form Conservative Clergy of Color because they decided that “America needs to be reminded of the Providence that made it great, that Americans need to know that Judeo-Christian values and biblical truths form the foundation of our country.”