Business as usual is no longer acceptable
It’s report card time in the United States. We have flunked systemic change. We cannot legislate personal commitment to change. We have not been able to coax enough decision-makers to sustain change that values every human life.
One clear evidence of our systemic failure was the recent Lafayette Square (Washington, DC) incident where the leader of our government ordered federal resources to be used in response to a peaceful protest in an abuse of power and excessive use of force. The apparent goal of making a weak leader look strong was blatant. This incident and other acts of discrimination, injustice, and virtual lynchings require that we declare our spiritual and moral position. The business of white supremacy is no longer acceptable.
After the racist and threatening Trump twitter tirades about when the “looting starts, the shooting starts,” after the not so veiled white supremacist threats of using vicious dogs on protestors and being a law and order President, we thought the nation could go no lower. Then the White Supremacist in Chief uses a Christian church, St. John’s Episcopal Church, to try and hide the empire’s racist agenda behind. We join with our Episcopal friends in their outrage with the blasphemy. The theological idolatry of white supremacy is no longer acceptable.
While peaceful and diverse crowds of protestors all over the world were trying to take the high road that leads to justice, healing and reconciliation, the President of the United States was again attempting to take us back into the swamp of racial violence, intimidation, and bullying. His tweets and pronouncements inspired those who arrived at peaceful protests and hijacked the agenda and diverted focus to looting and destruction. Our position is that the international agenda of colonial white supremacy: to dominate, divide, and destroy people of color is no longer acceptable. We declare this day, silence in the face of evil and wrongdoing is violence.
We urge all of our ecumenical partners, brothers and sisters in the struggle to join us and our members and sisters in:
- Supporting the strong statements of Christ-like correction given by Bishops Michael Curry and Mariann Budde of the Episcopal Church.
- Staying focused on the arrest, trial, and, hopefully, conviction of all four of the officers involved in George Floyd’s murder in Minneapolis.
- Calling for the demilitarization of and cuts in all police budgets. Redirecting funds to empower communities that have been historically abused by racist policing practices.
- Making sure that businesses that were harmed during the uprisings are rebuilt, restored, and renewed.
- Partnering in your local community to be counted in the 2020 Census.
- Organizing all local communities, churches, and faith-based organizations for a “Freedom Summer”. Get started with AME V-Alert for real!! #RealPower4RealPeople!
- Support the protestors and those who want to make their cities and communities stronger, fairer, and better.
- Pray that God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven!
Business as usual is no longer acceptable,
Romans 12: 1-2
Bishop Harry L. Seawright, President of the Council of Bishops
Bishop Adam J. Richardson, Jr., Senior Bishop
Bishop Gregory G. M. Ingram, President of the General Board
Bishop Frank M. Reid III, Chair of the Commission on Social Action
Mrs. Jacquelyn Dupont-Walker, Director of Social Action