Over two years after the Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church filed a lawsuit against the Proud Boys, the historic Black church finally got its day in court.
Notably, it’s seeking $22M from the Proud Boys—one of the alt-right groups that stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021—to send a clear message.
Metropolitan AME Church Takes A Stand Against The Proud Boys
According to HuffPost, the church’s grievance with the Proud Boys comes ahead of the Jan. 6 attack, as members of the group ripped down a Black Lives Matter sign on display during a rally on Dec. 12, 2020.
Proud Boys, white supremacists, and Trump supporters rip a #BlackLivesMatter sign down from Metropolitan AME church in D.C. During the Jim Crow era, they burned crosses. Today they seek to terrorize by targeting Black churches. pic.twitter.com/8FznBGUz6e
— Kristen Clarke (@KristenClarkeJD) December 13, 2020
On Wednesday, members of the Washington, D.C., church argued that they’re seeking $22M in an attempt to hit the organization where it hurts: their wallet.
Rev. William Lamar also told Judge Neal Kravitz that Metropolitan AME Church wants “to be clear this is unacceptable, it is illegal, and it cannot continue.”
“We wanted to make a statement: that we will not shrink in the face of this. We know that this [Proud Boys] activity continues — and we have an opportunity to be clear that this is unacceptable, it is illegal, and it cannot continue.”
Regarding the situation, he added that—while the root of the lawsuit is over the destruction of a BLM sign—it goes much, much deeper.
“It’s more than doing violence to a sign—they seek to continue the violence their ancestors visited upon our ancestors. They don’t want to just ruin signs. They want to destroy lives. They want to destroy hope. They want to erase history. We won’t let them do that.”
The ‘Ultimate Goal’ Is To Stop The Group In Its Tracks
Metropolitan AME Church is being represented by a legal team affiliated with the. Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and director Arthur Ago further spoke on the incentive behind the lawsuit.
Specifically, he tells HuffPost that the “ultimate goal” is to “stop the Proud Boys from being able to do what they do.”
“The ultimate goal of this is not a monetary windfall. It’s to stop the Proud Boys from being able to do what they do. They continue to raise money… and that money’s being used to do the things we saw on Dec. 12, Jan. 6, and now at drag queen story hours in Ohio and New York and Maryland. That’s what we want to stop.”
While the matter’s still ongoing, things seem to be moving in the church’s favor. The alt-right group reportedly failed to appear in court on Wednesday, and Metropolitan AME Church has already won some default judgements in the case.
Court will resume on April 7.
What do you think about the Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church in D.C. filing a $22M lawsuit against the Proud Boys?