While many people posted comments supporting the church’s message, several others posted profane rants, accusing the church of being racist and anti-police.
“Your sign out front shows support for an organization that supports and promotes the killing of others. This is in the Bible where? I’ve never read to hate one another, but, to love one another instead,” Elizabeth Onesto wrote in the review section of the church’s Facebook page.
Several reviewers accused the “Black Lives Matter” movement of being a terrorist group that promotes violence against whites and police officers.
“A terrorist organization matters? The chanting for cops deaths and so forth is godly like?” Facebook user Yvonne Chavez wrote in a review of the church that has since been removed.
After receiving several complaints both online and in person, the church said it decided to change the message.
“A message left on our answering machine, asking us to think about how these words make a police officer feel, gave us the most pause,” the church wrote. “We had no intention of aligning ourselves to a specific organization that is maligning people who offer us security – AND we still believe the premise of this statement.”
One would imagine that they would make a police officer feel that he or she should think twice before shooting an unarmed black person in the back from a distance of 20 feet and then writing it up as a suicide, maybe. One would imagine that they would make a police officer feel that if he or she was black, and off duty, and walking down the street, a white cop should not roll up on them like something out of a bad movie and start yelling in their face, tase them half a dozen times, strangle them and put out to the press that they were thugs anyway.
One would imagine that hearing the words “black lives matter,” a police officer might be expected to be of the average intelligence of a bucket of chicken and say “huh, yeah” and go on about his day.
One would be blindingly wrong, of course, because wingnuts dominating the airwaves saw a movement actually gaining some traction and started screaming about terrorism and a “war on cops” and other staggeringly dishonest horseshit, and knew from extensive experience that their horseshit would be reported as just another side of the story.
As an equal opposite to “police should not kill unarmed black people as much as they do, which is a lot.” Which, lest we forget, is what Black Lives Matter is about.
Beverly has had problem with white supremacists in the past. One Beverly man put up a “white power” yard sign in 2010. In 2011, three white teens put a noose around the neck of a black teen, yelled racist epithets at him and threatened to kill him. And swastikas appeared on the trash cans of Beverly neighbors earlier this year.
Beverly doesn’t just have a problem with “white supremacists.” Beverly has a problem with racists of the type who are just as nice as pie to your face and then turn around and tell their neighbors to make sure the house sells to “the right family.” The kind of people who would say All Lives Matter, or talk about a certain kind of “black culture” or post signs about sagging pants not being allowed, and deny to their last dying breath that they are racist.
Beverly has the same problem a lot of the city has, a lot of America has, which is that people who were suckered by real estate agents and abandoned by the city blamed black people for ruining “their” neighborhoods. The people who live in Beverly, whose families came from those “ruined” neighborhoods, were raised on tales of the slavering hordes who drove Grandma out of her beautiful house and trashed it the way kids today were raised on Sesame Street.
I don’t know where we get off acting like this was all a thousand years ago. It was a moment ago. Some of us are still living in that moment. Those people are still alive, the ones who held the signs.
Allegations such as these and disturbances that broke out after a black man was shot in the head by an arresting police officer earlier this month led the City Council to hold hearings on the brutality issue Thursday and Friday.
Daley and Police Supt. LeRoy Martin asserted before the council meeting Thursday that they will not stand for Chicago police officers abusing their authority. Then Daley made a plea that his political opponents not use the brutality issue for political purposes.
“I ask every leader in this city to work toward building public trust in the police department rather than undermining that trust for narrow political purposes,” Daley said.