MLK vs. BLM
Guest: Dr. Aaron Preston; Is BLM the logical extension of MLK’s Civil Rights Movement?
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Segment #1: Interview with Dr. Aaron Preston
Dr. Preston is a Professor of Philosophy and walked us through the history and philosophical frameworks of Martin Luther King, Jr and the Black Lives Matter movement. This involved a survey of various movements within 20th century philosophy. But Aaron is up for it.
The overarching question we discussed was this: Is the BLM Movement the logical extension of the Civil Rights Movement? The short answer--no!
Here are some summaries of Dr. Preston's key points:
MLK earned a PhD in philosophy from Boston College. He was deeply influenced by a philosophical framework called Personalism. Personalism is the view that all humans have dignity and value (born out of the Personhood of God and humans being made in God's image).
The Black Lives Matter (BLM) organization seems to have been shaped by Marxism, Neo-Marxism, and Critical Theory. The founders of BLM focus primarily on social identities, such as oppressed vs oppressor.
MLK was aware of Marxism and there were aspects of the ideology that he was sympathetic with, such as a focus on the poor. However, he ultimately rejected the framework as a Christian heresy.
In summary, MLK and BLM are quite different:
They have differing views of human persons. MLK's perspective of Personalism caused him to see all people with dignity and he viewed people as having a shared human experience regardless of skin color, sex, age, etc. In contrast, BLM views people through a epistemological and metaphysical lens based on social identity.
MLK had a vision of racial equality as a product of the Beloved Community, which is living out a true sense of mutual care and goodwill toward others; the embodiment of Agape Love and Moral Law (which comes from God). In contrast, BLM has a vision of society where distribution is the same in every sector of society; this view is not born out of a robust moral framework, but instead influenced by the Critical Social Justice Theories.
For a deeper dive into MLK's philosophy, Aaron recommends the book God and Human Dignity: The Personalism, Theology, and Ethics of Martin Luther King, Jr. by Rufus Burrow Jr.
Segment #2: Announcements
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We have some great livestreams coming up.
Krista (aka Theology Mom!) will be doing a teaching about human dignity and how it relates to children with disabilities.
Monique will be talking with Elizabeth Urbanowicz from Foundation Worldview about how to talk to kids and teens about CRT.
Segment #3: Tweet of the Week
Finally, the Tweet of the Week is from our cousin, Neil Shenvi.