There has “always” been “some component of spirituality” to the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, says Melina Abdullah, one of the group’s co-founders who admitted during a recent KCRW-FM interview that BLM is basically its own religion.
A professor of Pan-African Studies at California State University – Los Angeles (CSULA), Abdullah is an outspoken critic of white liberals, whom she says have co-opted the BLM movement. She also contends that BLM is centered around certain “spiritual values” that most people miss.
On the first night that BLM gathered in Los Angeles, Abdullah recalls how followers were “summoning … ancestors to space.” She also recalls a “very palpable spiritual energy that circulated through the group.”
The core values of BLM, which center around “the inherent nature of human dignity, and the duty to fight against injustice, and oppression that threatens that inherent dignity,” overlap with those of many other religions, Abdullah says.
BLM’s spiritual values, in essence, “lie at the heart of almost all faith traditions, and are often formed based on religious, spiritual belief systems,” she contends.
Every BLM protest begins with “the pouring of libation,” Abdullah further notes, painting a picture of a religious ceremony where the “holy sacraments” are presented before the “service” begins.
“The way that we choose to pour libation” involves calling on “those whose bodies have been stolen through state-sanctioned violence.” BLM also calls on “the names of those who we call our warrior ancestors,” including Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr.
At the conclusion of this ritual, BLM adherents ask “people to call on a bloodline or spirit line ancestor in their own lives.” In other words, the whole thing is reminiscent of some kind of séance, where mediums and spiritual guides lead people through a ceremonial conjuring up of spirits.
Other faiths outside of BLM are “racist” because they are based on “white supremacy,” Abdullah says
In comparing the BLM religion to more “traditional” religions such as Christianity, Abdullah claims that many of them have a “violent history of white supremacy,” and that many BLM adherents overlook this in their quest for spiritual social justice.
While BLM has successfully reclaimed its “expression of Native and African spiritual beliefs and practices,” according to Abdullah, there is still so much work to be done in terms of “radical spiritual acts.”
For now, BLM will continue to hold rituals before and after its “protests” that include “saying the names” of various people, including George Floyd, who has been enshrined as a type of spiritual icon and modern-day representation of the black fight for “justice” and “equality.”
Another word that Abdullah says is also repeated over and over again at BLM religious services is “ashay,” a Yoruba word that means “Amen.” This word, she says, represents “the conscious reclamation of Black Lives Matter as a spiritual movement.”
“So once we call the libations, start calling the names and pour the libation, it kind of brings everything into alignment and you can feel the shift in energy among the folks who are gathered,” she further contends.
Hebah Ferrag, the assistant director of research at the University of Southern California‘s (USC) Center for Religion and Civic Culture, also spoke during the radio interview, backing the claims made by Abdullah about the spiritual nature of BLM that the media is largely ignoring.
“The Nazis had very similar ‘symbolic’ ceremonies, particularly within the higher ranks of the SS,” noted one Campus Reform commenter about the similarities between BLM and the Nazis. “They, too, were ‘all about’ race.”
“Once upon a time a relatively high level of intelligence was required to be a ‘professor,’” wrote another. “Today, the only requirement is the ability to talk trash and fog a mirror.”
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