Friday, July 29, 2016

Terrible Memes about Black Lives Matter

It's hard to narrow down all the terrible memes on social media, but these stood out.

Meme 1: Doesn't understand the justice system or police

The first was shared by a supposed supporter of Blue Lives, a young women without military or law enforcement background. I would like to think that the average police officer would be horrified by this meme's implications.

[image description: a greyed-out meme says, "hateful memes #1." There's a picture of a person in camouflage with their face cut out. They are holding an assault rifle. The text says- "Before you decide that amusing a cop might be a good idea, remember this, There is no shortage of armed American patriots that will gladly put firing pin to primer to put down some thug that tries to kill a cop."]
I would like to think that's an empty threat, but it goes a long way to explaining the mentality of anti-Black Lives Matter activists. First, there is a fixation with violence. It's a terrible cycle of violence begeting more violence. If the recent cop-killer based his actions on revenge for police brutality, then this meme is simply advocating for more of the same. It's wrong. It doesn't solve any problems. It does explain why this poster believes that all BLM supporters are violent- she is simply projecting the violence in her own heart. What this cop-killer did makes sense to her, and she's eager to continue the murder cycle. I wish I could say others didn't agree with her, but here's another example

The other aspect of this meme demonstrates a rejection of the American justice system. No arrest, no trial. Since police are a part of the justice system, they should be concerned about people who feel this way. It seems like a rejection of them and their hard work. However, in the way that police brutality has been exposed the last few years, it's hard to be surprised. Many police also have rejected the Justice system and prefer to be executioners.

Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else. -1 Thessalonians 5:15

Black Lives Matter isn't trying to "get revenge" on police for the bad things they have done. We are trying to change the system and make it better. In the long run, no one benefits from a broken, violent, vengeful system.

Meme 2: Doesn't understand freedom

[image description: a greyed-out meme says, "hateful memes #2." A photo of a large green combine harvester with large spikes pointing forward. Text: "Introducing John Deere's new multi-lane protester digester."]
How can this meme be seeking anything other than the death of American citizens exercising their rights? Protesting is part of freedom of speech- that first amendment to the constitution that conservatives claim to love.

I keep my mouth shut most of the time- I know that I can't change people's minds and there are times when arguments are profitless. But to not speak up at all- or to have my right to speak up and protest taken away- is terrifying and un-American.

But if I say, "I will not mention God's word or speak anymore in God's name," God's word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot. -Jeremiah 20:9

Meme 3: Doesn't understand Jesus

The next meme changes tone dramatically and focuses on that hopeless "All Lives Matter" argument, this time with a religious overtones.

[image description: a greyed-out meme says, "hateful memes #3." Image of Jesus carrying the cross. Text: "I did this because All Lives Matter." below picture text read, "fwd: fwd: Jesus died for ALL LIVES! NOT JUST BLACK LIVES!]
Aside from the usual basic arguments against All Lives Matter (no one is saying only Black Lives Matter), the religious aspect of this meme needs to be uncovered. This isn't the sort of thing Jesus said.

On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” -Mark 2:17

In that time, a ruling religious class called the Pharisees held power. They weren't willing to listen to Jesus, and they didn't care about the poor or anyone they considered "sinners."

Jesus says, "Okay, you guys aren't 'sinners.' You've got it all together and obviously don't need me. So I'm going to spend time with the people who need me- the people who admit they are imperfect and can't do it on their own."

This made the Pharisees mad. #PhariseeLivesMatter. They thought Jesus should spend his time telling them how great they are, and telling the 'sinners' how they were to blame for everything wrong in their lives.

But that's not a good way to build a kingdom community. Jesus flips our world upside down. He valued the powerless and criticized the people in power. The Kingdom of Heaven is a community where the lowest are raised up.

Share more stories of Jesus valuing the marginalized and the oppressed in the comments!