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CINCINNATI (ChurchMilitant.com) - A Catholic church is hosting a gathering of the Black Lives Matter group.
A Facebook event for the Black Lives Matter Cincinnati (BLMC) General Body Meeting, scheduled to be held Monday, claims the assembly is to be held at St. Francis Seraph Church in Cincinnati. A description for the event encourages members to "[c]ome to the meeting ready to share your ideas" and demands that participants follow agreements made between BLMC and the local community, including "respect all people in all the ways we come" and "refrain from violence, in all its forms against others."
The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement sprung up following the 2013 acquittal of George Zimmerman in the death of African-American teen Trayvon Martin, soon garnering national recognition for its street demonstrations across the country. The group has come under criticism for allegedly inciting violence against white people and police officers, particularly following the release of a 2015 video showing BLM protesters chanting, "Pigs in a blanket, fry 'em like bacon" at the Minnesota State Fair, which local law enforcement viewed as a direct threat to the police force.
Additionally, multiple chapters of BLM, which has no formal hierarchy, have voiced their support for both abortion and LGBT "rights." The principles of membership for BLMC declare their support for "the struggle of LGBTQ community," as well as demanding that "the state make abortion clinic access available and accessible to All [sic] women."
Additional platforms held by the BLMC include a $15 minimum wage and "defending immigrant rights, supporting the fight of indigenous people to exist and be sovereign, and standing with others against islamophobia [sic]."
The mantra "Black Lives Matter," which originated as a Twitter hashtag, was quickly countered by the slogan "All Lives Matter," which an August 2015 Rasmussen poll indicates 78 percent of Americans believe is "closest to their own views." In response, the founders of the BLM movement maintained the phrase "Black Lives Matter" does not mean "[other lives aren't] important — it means that Black lives, which are seen as without value within White supremacy, are important to [everyone else's] liberation."
A second counter-slogan, Blue Lives Matter, was created by those expressing their support for the lives of police officers.
Critics of the BLM movement have also argued the claims that police officers target and kill a disproportionate number of black people don't hold up against statistics. A study released by Harvard economist Prof. Roland Fryer Jr., himself an African-American, examined 1,332 shootings, both fatal and non-fatal, in large cities across the country. His findings reveal
In shootings in these 10 cities involving officers, officers were more likely to fire their weapons without having first been attacked when the suspects were white. Black and white civilians involved in police shootings were equally likely to have been carrying a weapon. Both results undercut the idea of racial bias in police use of lethal force.
In particular, Houston police officers, Fryer noted, "were about 20 percent less likely to shoot if the suspects were black."
As of print, about 400 individuals are planning to or have expressed interest in attending Monday's meeting at St. Francis Seraph.