Response to Trump campaign ad featuring Bethel AME Church in Wilmington, Delaware

Black people in America have been under attack by the spiritual, political, financial, and cultural servants of American white supremacy since our first enslaved ancestors arrived on these shores over four hundred years ago.

Nations and people of color have been under attack by the global manifestation of white supremacy. First, the sin of colonialism and now in the 21st century, these white supremacist attacks continue through corporate neo-colonialism.

Sadly, the African Methodist Episcopal Church, one of the first Black institutions in this nation, is under attack again.

The servant leaders of the African Methodist Episcopal Church decry and denounce an advertisement from the campaign committee of Donald J. Trump linking an African Methodist Episcopal Church to violence and implying that those who gathered there are "thugs".

The ad "Meet Joe Biden's Supporters" ends with footage of former Vice President Joe Biden kneeling before the altar in Bethel AME Church in Wilmington, Delaware, in front of several Black clergy and community leaders. A moment later, "Stop Joe Biden and his rioters" appears across the screen as Mike Pence declares, "You won't be safe in Joe Biden's America." This ad subtly incites white terrorism against people of color and attacks the Black Church and Black people for refusing to bow down to the idol called white supremacy.

The people who comprise the global African Methodist Episcopal Church ask for the following:

1. An immediate apology to Bethel AME Church, Wilmington Delaware, and its Pastor, Dr. Silvester Beaman.
2. The removal of that ad from all networks.
3. Federal protection for Bethel AME Church, the people, staff, and community that uses the building daily.
4. An investigation by the Dept. of Justice and/or Homeland Security regarding the legality of the Trump campaign's misrepresentation and photoshopping images, as well as analysis of the tone of the rhetoric as the language that might incite violence, and encourage racial tensions that lead to placing people of color in harm's way.

The AME Church, Black Churches, and the church of Jesus and Justice have been under attack because we stand and fight for the freedom, justice, and equality for all of God's children. We are deeply concerned about this 21st Century atmosphere of white rage and terror. Even now, the FBI is investigating vandalism against multiple AME Churches, and we continue to cope with the tragedy at Mother Emanuel in Charleston, SC. We are apprehensive that the history of burning and bombing Black churches is being stirred up by a political party that has lost its moral bearings. We are deeply concerned that the white supremacist lynchings, murders, and assassinations of Black men and women, boys and girls in the past, is the plan for the present and future.

Bishop Michael L. Mitchell, President of the Council of Bishops
Bishop Adam J. Richardson, Senior Bishop
Bishop Wilfred Jacobus Messiah, President of the General Board
Bishop Frank Madison Reid, III Chair, Commission on Social Action
Mrs. Jacquelyn Dupont-Walker, Director/Consultant, Social Action



Jeff Cooper
[email protected]
(615) 254-0911

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