After a Black Lives Matter group was told it could no longer hold meetings at a public library because the group violated the library’s anti-discrimination policy, the group is now crying “white supremacy” — whatever that means.
A library patron complained of a Black Lives Matter rule that excludes whites, said library spokeswoman Andrea Fanta according to Fox 8 Live.
BLM Nashville’s policy stipulates that meetings be “open to black and non-black people of color only,” according to its website, which doesn’t conform to the library’s policy that meetings be open to everyone — just like all public facilities.
Rather than change its own exclusionary policy, the group decided to pack up their bags and move their meeting to another location — and it blamed it all on “white supremacy.”
“We’ve been meeting regularly and then one person, I assume white person, felt excluded and complained and we were kicked out,” said Black Lives Matter member Joshua Crutchfield. “I definitely think it is a result of white supremacy.”
The group posted this notice on its Facebook page:
Black Lives Matter Nashville followed up by issuing this statement:
After several months of meeting at the North Branch library, on Wednesday (2/19), the Nashville Chapter of Black Lives Matter was contacted through email and by phone that library administrators received complaints regarding BLM’s policy of general meetings being open to black and non-black people of color only. Although meeting rooms are available to local organizations for use of a “cultural” nature, we were informed that “due to the library policy of open meetings for meeting room use,” all future meetings held at the library would be cancelled.” Ironically, all cancelled dates were in February during Black History Month. The Nashville Chapter of BLM has this policy in place to center the voices and experiences of people of color that have historically been excluded or segregated within supposedly public spaces. Black and/or people of color only spaces are often questioned and viewed with suspicion, though there is seldom any interrogation of white-only board rooms and staffs. However, we view these spaces as integral to healing and community building, particularly to those who have experienced racialized violence and ardently maintain this policy as imperative to the work and mission of BLM. We understand and even honor the importance of the library as an invaluable site of accessible information, community events, and safe space, often especially for disenfranchised people without homes and people of color, but if it cannot or will not support our values we will continue to meet elsewhere.
Crutchfield followed up by making it clear that individuals of all races are welcome to join the group — they just can’t come to the meetings.
“In our space, we really don’t have that time to deconstruct the ways in which white people can help our movement. It really is a time dedicated to healing and community building among black people and people of color,” Crutchfield said.
Local coverage of the story can be watched below via WISH-TV.
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