The New York Times recently published an article debunking a claim that linked Black Lives Matter to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

The original post, published by the conservative Heritage Foundation, is based on financial backing that BLM co-founder Alicia Garza’s Black Futures Lab was receiving from the Chinese Progressive Association. The Heritage article refers to the latter as a “pro-Communist China group.”

The NYT, using the cutting-edge technique of conducting research before making wild claims, points out that there are two unrelated Chinese Progressive Associations in the U.S., and that the one backing the Black Futures Lab is not that which is connected to the Chinese Communist Party.

The attempt to tie the BLM movement to the Chinese Communist Party is just the latest in a long line of false or misleading claims made about BLM in order to discredit the movement through guilt by association. For the record, the Black Lives Matter movement and its leaders are not:

1. Communists

The Heritage Foundation used the accused link between Garza and the CCP to imply that China is promoting “riots” in the U.S. through BLM. In June, the New York Post tried to make a scandal of an old interview in which BLM co-founder, Patrisse Cullors, described herself and Garza as trained organizers. "We are trained Marxists. We are super-versed on, sort of, ideological theories,” she said. The movement’s third co-founder, Opal Tometi, was equally vilified in right-wing media because she once shared a stage with left-wing Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro at an event in Harlem.

The accusations of communism are an old tactic used to discredit Black leaders and movements. FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover accused Martin Luther King Jr. of being influenced by communist infiltrators within the Civil Rights Movement.

Some aspects of Marxism, particularly its anti-racism, have been useful for Black freedom advocates. Nelson Mandela, for example, cooperated with the South African Communist Party to fight against apartheid. Although Marxism can provide useful ideological lens for critiquing and fighting racism, it has not made Black activists communist subversives or infiltrators.

2. Terrorists

Mandela and the African National Congress were labeled as not only communists, but terrorists as well. BLM has faced this false accusation too. BLM has been slandered as a terrorist organization for years, inspiring Cullors to title her memoir When They Call You a Terrorist. Many tried to attach the label to the movement in 2016 after a Black Army veteran shot and killed five police officers at a Black Lives Matter protest in Dallas.

While links between Black Lives Matter and violence have been repeatedly debunked, hostile whites continue to try to associate the movement with terrorism. Within the last week alone, the founder of the Palmetto Cheese company, actress Samaire Armstrong, and a Catholic priest in Michigan have all regurgitated this propaganda.

3. Violent

Related to the terrorist charge, anti-BLM rhetoric from President Donald Trump on down have attempted to link Black Lives Matter to Antifa, the mostly white anti-fascist movement which has been violently clashing with right-wing groups for years. In reality, the protestors that have emerged since the killing of George Floyd have been overwhelmingly peaceful. Much of the destruction that has occurred in recent months has been committed by white people.

4. Anti-Religious

Throughout the years, various critics have claimed that Black Lives Matter was anti-Christian or anti-religious in nature. Most recently, Evangelical TV personality Pat Robertson recently accused Black Lives Matter of attempting to destroy Christianity through 'a lesbian, anti-family, anti-capitalist Marxist revolution.'

Cullors responded with a post denouncing the divisive accusation and reminding Robertson that Christianity 'was built on empathy; not hate.' Cullors herself has deep religious roots; she has a B.A. in Religion and Philosophy from UCLA and practices the Nigerian religion Ifà. Religious leaders of many faiths have come out in solidarity with the fight for Black equality. Even white Evangelicals, who were often skeptical of the BLM movement in the past, have increasingly thrown their support behind the movement.

5. Racists

One of the most insidious tactics used by right-wing media to dismiss Black Lives Matter is to claim that its activists are the real racists. This type of gaslighting is a tactic to avoid confronting the racism, but continues to target Black people. The lack of justice for Breonna Taylor is just the latest example of that racism in full effect.

From lynching to anti-gang laws, Black people have often been labeled guilty by association. The BLM movement has had to face that obstacle as well. As long as people don’t want to really face the racism that BLM confronts, they’ll try to lie their way out of having to face the truth.