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TWJ Interviews 'Every Black Life Matters': A Christian Conservative Alternative to Black Lives Matter

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On Tuesday, The Western Journal spoke with Kevin McGary and Neil Mammen, the two co-founders of a new Christian organization called Every Black Life Matters (EBLM). The conversation lasted roughly one half-hour, covering topics ranging from EBLM’s goals and mission to the many threats posed by Black Lives Matter, critical race theory and black liberation theology. What follows is a transcript of the interview in its entirety:

Michael Austin: Welcome to The Western Journal. I’m Michael Austin, a reporter here at The Western Journal. Today, we’re joined by Kevin McGary and Neil Mammen, two men that have founded a new organization called Every Black Life Matters. Kevin, Neil, thank you so much for joining us today.

Kevin McGary: Thank you for having us, Michael. It’s a pleasure to be here.

Neil Mammen: Thank you.

Austin: Yeah, so just to get the ball rolling, what is Every Black Life Matters and what led you two to founding this organization?

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McGary: Well, Every Black Life Matters was actually started because we, both Neil and I, and really everybody, saw the violence, the outrage, the property destruction, the hatred, all that happened over this past summer with George Floyd. And while we agreed with the sentiment — I mean, we saw those nine minutes of life being taken from George Floyd — and while we agree with the sentiment that black lives matter, when we started to dig down into the organization, when people started to look at BLM as an organization, especially people of faith and people of moral conscience, they realize that, well, wait a minute, while we agree with the sentiment, we can’t necessarily agree with the organization.

So, Neil called me — and Neil has been a partner with me in discipleship and ministry for years, and IT, were both IT guys, so we’ve been working together in one capacity or another for probably close to a decade now — and he called me and says, “Hey Kev, I think that we need to pray about maybe doing something to help calm, bring peace, bring unity, bring real reconciliation around these issues and let’s just pray about what the Lord would have us do.” So, we went away, two days later we came back together and we decided to start Every Black Life Matters.

There’s really some critical distinctions with what we do and what BLM does. Fundamentally, Every Black Life Matters, actually as an organization that puts sort of leftist progressive political activists on the defense, and the reason why is this — Black Lives Matter is a overriding sentiment. But black lives really can’t matter until such time that every single black life matters. So we take it a level granularly and we say, look, for us, every single black life matters from conception to the grave. Every phase of black life matters to us, every plight, every barrier in black life matters to us. BLM as an organization, they’re strictly about police brutality and more importantly, they’re strictly about white on black, white police on black citizens, police brutality. And that’s a very, very, very narrow focus of black life. So we needed an organization that was God-honoring, faith-honoring, moral and nonviolent. So, people who agreed with the sentiment that indeed black life does matter. We need to begin to address the systemic issues, the systemic points as barriers in black life. We can’t agree with BLM in that regard. We agree with every black life matters. And that’s why we’re here.

Austin: So what resources, what services are you guys offering to help kind of achieve these goals?

McGary: Well, OK, so first of all, you have to understand our pillars. Our pillars are very simply real justice from the womb to the tomb, school choice, fatherhood initiatives, help me out Neil, I don’t have all of the pillars in front of me —

Mammen: Free markets, nonviolence.

McGary: — free markets and capitalism, nonviolence, yes. And so, the services that we offer are around those fundamentals. And the reason why those fundamentals are important to black life is because, if we’re sincere about black life, we would be sincere about the strategic, purposeful black genocide going on in the black community. We would be sincere about stopping that systemic racism that’s being perpetuated by Planned Parenthood and abortionists around the country in order to eliminate black life. It’s systemic. It’s purposeful. They agreed. They came out last July and said “yeah, fundamentally, we have been targeting black communities for extermination.” This is Margaret Sanger’s words, the founder of Planned Parenthood. So, this is a real issue that we need to address.

Number two, we do need, we found and all of the sort of cultural anthropologists have found that if we actually had fatherhood, fathers in the black home, an increased number of fathers in the black home, and a level playing field as it relates to education, that we can actually reduce crime and poverty rates by up to 70 percent in the black community. So, that’s why those two pillars are very, very important to us. The other thing that we’ve found is that free markets and capitalism are actually the number-one solution worldwide. So this is not done in a vacuum just here in the United States and then we make some sort of grandiose claims about capitalism. We’re talking worldwide over centuries — what we found is capitalism is the number-one way that we could bring people out of poverty and make them productive with the skills, talents and abilities that God put in them. And so this is why we stand on free markets.

And then lastly, we think it’s important to follow Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream, Frederick Douglass’ dream, Booker T. Washington’s dream that nonviolence is a way that we could begin to change hearts and minds. We can go down the violent road, but it always ends up violent and more divided. And so nonviolence is also a key pillar. So we basically train on those things.

We actually have something that we just designed specifically for churches, because so many of our churches and seminaries are being swayed by this demonic theories called critical race theory, black liberation theology, social justice “gospels.” These things are are antithetical to what we believe and so we design what we call Remnant Rising workshops and trainings that we’re actually getting into all faith organizations now to provide real clarity as we deconstruct what these things are, where they come from and why they’re here and provide people of faith, provide the church communities a way to go forward in a way that fully embraces the gospel while fully embracing and reconciling to our fellow man. Did I leave anything out, Neil? I want to make sure Neil has an opportunity to also chime in.

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Mammen: Yeah, yeah. Well, I think what’s really exciting about the whole concept of what we’re doing is that you don’t need to attack people, you just bring them along. And it’s the beauty of the idea is that we decided that we want to use something called aikido. And you need to understand that the Japanese martial art aikido is where you take the energy, the energy of your opponent, and you deflect it and you direct it to your purposes. So the idea here is, for instance, what do you say to somebody who’s yelling Black Lives Matter at you? You’re at a rally or something, there’s a bunch of BLM people and they’re yelling at you or maybe you’re in a restaurant and they’re yelling at you and they’re asking you to say black lives matter. And, you know you can’t because BLM is fundamentally a Marxist, anti-God organization. So, the way that we say that you can answer that is you use this aikido technique. And what we say is you go to them and you say, “Look, I agree black lives matter, but my question to you is, do you think that every black life matters?” Now, what are they going to say? They can’t say no, they have to say yes, every black life matters.

So, then you ask them, “Well, what about the fact that 70 percent of young black kids born in a house without a father? And we know that fatherhood is necessary, is critical, for avoiding drugs and violence, and for good educational choices and for growing up healthy. Do those black lives matter?” And of course, they’re going to have to say yes. And then you turn to them and say, “Well, OK, let me ask you one more question: What about school choice? I mean, did you know that inner-city kids are forced to go to schools that have drugs and violence and gangs and as a result, the literacy rate in the African-American community is down to something like 18 percent? And remember this, before segregation was lifted, before the Civil Rights Act, the African-American literacy rate was as high as 70 percent. It’s gone down. Well, do those black lives matter? Do those young black kids get, deserve the choice, of picking a good school out of their district, out of the drug-infested district? Do those black lives matter?” And, of course, they’re going to have to say yes. And then you ask the final thing, you say, “Well, let me ask you this. Did you know that 36 percent of all African-Americans have been killed before they were born? They were killed in the womb. It would be actually 36 percent more African-Americans. If you want to do a genocide and kill all African-Americans, that’s where you start. So those young, unborn African-Americans, do those lives matter?” And, of course, what are they going to say? Yes — they have to say yes if they believe black lives matter.

So what you’re saying is, you’re saying, well, in that case, you agree with us. You’ve just upped the ante. You said, “Come on over to our side.” And every time we’ve used this, they’ve been left speechless. In one case, I actually had our EBLM badges and I handed them out to them and they actually put them on. So, I think it’s a very powerful, very exciting way to approach in a nonviolent, nonaggressive, but just say, hey, we agree. Come on over. Be on our side. 

Austin: I think for a lot of conservatives like me, it’s really encouraging to see an organization like yours pop up, because there are issues within the black community and we should be finding new ways to help them. And then Black Lives Matter comes out and they start supporting all of these policies that are going to keep members of these communities from gaining more market skills. They’re going to keep the families from being more intact. So, I’d love —

Mammen: If you looked at that, sorry, if you look at their statements, their policies and their beliefs, they’ve removed some of them now because they get bad publicity, but they were against the nuclear family, they’re against the fatherhood in the home. It was supposed to be all of transgenderism or nongenderism. They’re for the government taking care of people. They’re against free markets. All these things are actually making things worse. In fact, here’s what I worry about. Here they are, they’re going to go rioting and protesting and they’re going to implement these policies because the government, right now, is going to do what they want. And in 10 years from now, things are going to be worse, not better. At that point who are you going to blame?

Austin: Yeah, and I love that aikido comparison because, reading through your website, there’s a lot of that, like how you guys kind of turn the phrase “systemic racism.” And typically Black Lives Matter defines it as sort of this system of institutions and invisible forces that props up whites and puts down blacks. But really, what you guys talk about is Planned Parenthood was designed to target black communities, to keep black communities from reproducing. And there are just all these other forces that you’ve talked about, you know, supporting policies that keep these communities from gaining market skills, keep them from having intact families.

So, yeah, that’s so encouraging, I just do have to say just to find an organization like this is really encouraging. And one of the reasons for that, I think, is that conservatives to me have been failing at reaching out to these communities. You know, I think lots of churches, lots of Christians have done a good job. But in terms of, conservatives, when we’re talking free-market values, I think a lot of times Republicans and conservatives look at black communities and they say, well, they’re not voting for us, so we’re just going to throw them to the side. Let’s get the votes we can get and let’s not even tell them about our values. Do you guys think that, in some conservative circles, people have sort of been neglecting these underserved communities?

Has the Black Lives Matter organization had a negative effect on the black community?

McGary: Absolutely. So I could talk from experience, so I’m the chairman of the Frederick Douglass Foundation of California. I also serve on the, as an executive on the Douglass Leadership Institute. These organizations or conservative or, well, the Frederick Douglass Foundation is a conservative, chapter-based Republican organization. We cover probably over 20 states now with our chapters. It’s led by Minister Dean Nelson, who’s our chairman, national chairman, for the Frederick Douglass Foundation. And then Douglass Leadership Institute is a [501](c)(3) and educational institute where we go and we talk about policies specifically within these communities and try to bring these communities along. So ultimately, when they connect with the policy, then they could vote differently.

But both of those organizations, we’ve made many, many countless attempts to actually engage very resourceful conservative and Republicans to come alongside and help us get our message out so we can do the hard work. We’re committed to going into these communities and actually doing the work. And, we’ve met with “Well, you know, that’s really not our sweet spot.” And we tell them, look, we understand it’s not your sweet spot — that’s why we’re here. We’re here to do the hard work. And still there’s this reluctance. There’s this resistance there. They would much rather continue to give to the pockets of the political advisers that they’ve had since Reagan and continue to throw money down the drain, while right now we have a complete demographic shift with, by 2030, in 2040, and it’s going to even accelerate, if our current installed president actually has his way with providing amnesty to 20 million, up to 20 million more undocumented. It’s going to accelerate even 40, where the majority are going to be black and brown communities that are going to be doing the voting.

Now, we’re completely unprepared as conservatives to deal with that. We’ve declined to actually talk about key messaging and tenets for those specific communities, those specific demographics, and we’re going to be left in the lurch in just a few years. So, we’ve got to be better at that, but for us at Every Black Life Matters, we’ve had some great donor organizations, great support so far. We’d like to extend that.

We’d love for good conservative, God-fearing people to come alongside of us and help us, because here’s the other thing that is really insidious and diabolical, and it’s catching up to everybody. Everybody is being touched by this at the moment. And that is critical race theory and its fundamental principles, although there are no real principles to CRT. But the fundamental premise is touching everybody. If you work, if you’re a docent at a museum, for instance, you could be taking anti-racist training that completely erases notable figures like George Washington. And I’m speaking from experience, I know a particular docent, that particular museum is actually going through anti-racist training right now, today. And when they come to the George Washington and Martha portrait, they say “this was a plantation owner and a slave owner.” They don’t mention it’s the first president of the United States, the man who stood up in the American Revolution. None of that.

And so CRT is big in education. All of our education, K through 12 as well as college, they’re teaching that whites, if you’re white, if you have lack of melanin in your skin, there’s nothing you can do about it, you are an avowed racist. You are irredeemable. You are a cursed generation, all of these things that are completely antithetical. And we’re hearing it from our kids and our grandkids when they come and say, “Look, are you a white supremacist?” It seems like that statement was a supremacist statement or your white privilege — “Are we white privilege, mommy?” This is happening and we must do something about it right now. So Neil and I, African-American led organization, are on the front lines and we’re taking this message to anywhere and everywhere in the country, deconstructing CRT, putting it in its right context as the demonic theory that it is. And we’re connecting all the dots, all the underpinnings, so everybody sees what it is. So, we’re allowing, by God’s grace we’re lifting the veil, and we’re allowing people to come alongside of us and really begin to address these issues that are going to be, that are currently affecting us and will be affecting us more and more unless we begin to combat it.

Mammen: And let me add one more thing here. Yeah, let me add one more thing here. I mean, I think it’s, as I said, it’s really dangerous. CRT is probably an insidious, and I claim that it was actually planned by the Marxists back in the ’50s and originates from the ’30s in the Frankfurt school, but basically, if you think about it, prior, in the last five or 10 years, the number of KKK members have died out, the white supremacist party, I mean, there were probably I think I was reading the FBI thing and there was something like 1,500 of them in the entire country.

And now with antifa and BLM coming in, they have recruited more people. If you want to create more racists in the country, then you start preaching CRT and you start making a big deal about it because at some point, the European-descent people are going to look around and say, “We’re not racist, we didn’t do this, but because you’re fighting us, we better band together.” And that’s the point when we get a racial war. That’s the point we have to be very careful because that is what this is leading to. And believe me, if you go back and you read what G. Edward Griffin said back in the ’50s, he said “that is the plan for the Marxists for America” because that’s the only way they decided they could destroy America, and that is through a racial battle, a racial war.

Austin: And CRT is something we cover a lot here at The Western Journal, but one philosophy you guys have mentioned that doesn’t get as much talked about is black liberation theory. And we’re definitely seeing that permeate the culture a lot more. Sen. Raphael Warnock is a huge supporter of black liberation theory. Can one of you just give a brief explanation for our listeners that maybe don’t know what that is? What exactly is black liberation theory and how it is a distortion of biblical truth?

Mammen: Yeah, so let me take that, because I actually do a whole talk on liberation theology, so liberation theology comes from the concept in the Bible where Jesus kind of talks about taking care of the poor and helping them out. And throughout history, Christians have been very active, I mean we were the ones who freed the slaves, were the ones who stopped child prostitution, temple prostitution, throughout history were the ones who stopped all those things.

So, what liberation theology is, it goes one step further and says that the job of the church is to redeem and stop oppression. Now, I don’t disagree that the job of Christians is to stop oppression. And I don’t disagree that the church should be involved in stopping oppression, but they stop at that. The reason we stop oppression is so that we can preach the gospel. And the reason we preach the gospel is because the real core truth is that Jesus Christ died for your sins. And if you believe in him, you shall be safe forever. That’s the core truth.

But liberation theology stops before that. And I know liberation theology really well because my uncle, yes, my father’s brother, was chairman of the World Council of Churches, which is all about liberation theology. So, I grew up in a family of Marxists. I grew up — my dad used to be an atheist and a communist. Right, so I was steeped in all of this. So I understand this stuff.

So liberation theology basically says our job as a church is to go and redeem the oppressed, is to save the oppressed. And this is where we run into trouble. So what black liberation theology, it says that, well, liberation theology says that Christ basically came to redeem the oppressed. Black liberation theology goes one step further and they say Christ was not only not white, which he wasn’t, but he also came to free the black people. And it focuses on liberation of the black people. But it goes one step further and it casts, in many cases, not in every case, but in many cases it casts anyone who is not black as the antithesis or the enemy of freedom and liberty. And what happens is basically a twisting of the gospel.

McGary: It’s a complete perversion of the gospel in the sense that it twists and perverts salvation to be that, that people that lack melanin are actually gaining salvation through their embrace and support of blacks. So, it’s a communal salvation, a collective salvation, not an individual pronouncement that you make between you and God through the redeeming blood of Jesus Christ. So it’s completely antithetical to what we believe.

It is, and it was popularized, James Cone went to South America and he was perceived as a modern-day theologian, black theologian. He went to South America, got fully indoctrinated in South American Marxism, came back, labeled this “black liberation theology” and in the black church, I’m making a generalization here, but it is pervasive. It’s huge. And so we’re forced, we’re faced with a lot of black churches fully embracing a doctrine of demons, a gospel that is completely irredeemable and should be rejected and actually preaching the accrucements of this theology over the pulpit. So, and if we understand the gospel, if we understand Galatians 1:8 and 1:9, Paul, speaking to the Church of Galatia, and he says, “Look, even if angels from heaven come to you and give you another gospel, one iota of a different gospel than what we have preached, they are cursed to hell.” So, here’s the problem — when we begins preaching these melded doctrines, CRT, black liberation theology, social justice, and we start to meld it into the truth of the gospel message, we’re literally not only cursing ourselves, but we’re cursing our parishioners. And that’s not me saying that. That’s the Word of God that tells us that.

So, we need to really be serious about this. The reason why, in my opinion, we’re not seeing all these great things that I used to see in the Pentecostal Church when I was growing up — you know, demons being cast out, people being set free, people being healed supernaturally and miraculously — I think a lot of that has, we haven’t seen that recently, could be COVID, but a lot of it as well is we’re not really fundamentally standing on the primacy of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We’re mixing these other theologies in and we don’t have the capacity then to work and the gifts, the fullness of the gifts of the spirit in that regard. I don’t know if that makes sense to you, Michael.

Austin: Oh, yeah, absolutely. And that’s fantastic that you guys are combating that directly in the church. That’s about all the questions we have today for you guys. Are there any final thoughts you’d like to leave with people interested in your organization?

McGary: Here’s what I would ask: We are doing the work. We are here to combat culture. We’re here to, as much as God will allow us, to combat reprobate theologies as being preached in our churches. And right now, as far as I understand, we’re the only African-American-led, the reason why I say African-American-led is because literally Neil is African-American as well. And that’s a whole ‘nother story. He was born in Ghana, immigrated to the United States. So, he’s a modern-day African-American, if you can believe that. And ethnically, he’s Indian, but he’s African-American.

So, we’re the only African-American-led organization that I’m aware of that’s literally going out and pushing back with these very controversial subjects within our church communities and doing the hard work. There’s a lot of great organizations that are black-led and conservative and all of that, but they don’t necessarily have the capacity to go out and do the workshops and trainings that we do. So I’m going to ask all of your listeners and all your supporters to come alongside of us. Please visit us at everyblm.com. There’s opportunities to download additional, all kinds of stuff, newsletters, interviews. You know, we have a store which you can buy all kinds of great things as well. And then you can also donate to us to help us to make sure that we stand in the gap where you can’t necessarily do that. That’s why we’re here. We’ll gladly do it. And we’re going, we’re confronting all of these areas on your behalf as a partner of ours. So, please come alongside us and help us in that.

Austin: Is there anything you’d like to add, Neil, to that?

Mammen: No, I think Kevin really covers it well. The only thing I would add is that, take our stuff, post it on Facebook, post it on Gab, post it on Parler, spread the word because, and use our stuff. I mean, use our, if you run into people who disagree with us, tag us on Facebook — we’ll be happy to join the conversation.

Austin: Yes, definitely. Thanks for joining us again, guys. It’s really been a pleasure. And for those of you out there interested, definitely check out their website. They have some really nice-looking merch on there. It’s some good stuff. Thanks again for joining us again today, guys. And thank you to all our listeners for joining us. And be sure to check back again with The Western Journal for more exclusive content just like this.

McGary: Thank you for having us, Michael. God bless you.

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Michael Austin joined The Western Journal as a staff reporter in 2020. Since then, he has authored hundreds of stories, including numerous original reports. He also co-hosts the outlet's video podcast, "WJ Live."
Michael Austin graduated from Iowa State University in 2019. During his time in college, Michael volunteered as a social media influencer for both PragerU and Live Action. After graduation, he went on to work as a freelance journalist for various entertainment news sites before joining The Western Journal in 2020 as a staff reporter.

Since then, Michael has been promoted to the role of supervising staff reporter. His responsibilities now include directing the reporting team.
Birthplace
Ames, Iowa
Nationality
American
Education
Iowa State University
Topics of Expertise
Culture, Faith, Politics, Education, Entertainment




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