This is not a time to be silent. For those of us who have come to be known as white, we must move out of our privileged and removed bystander status and speak out about the reality of racialized violence and terror in our communities.
We decry the unwarranted use of violence by Minneapolis police, in crushing the breath and life out of George Floyd.
We rage at the use and manipulation of white supremacy in order to inflict harm and issue a false claim against a completely innocent and law-abiding citizen in a park, Christian Cooper.
These events, occurring not more than a day apart, follow the murder of Ahmaud Arbery, a black man, who was simply out for a run and was killed by two white men who saw him as a threat.
Not many days before that, Breonna Taylor, a black woman living in Louisville, Kentucky, was shot to death by police, while sleeping in her bed.
These events are connected, rooted in and perpetuated by a culture that makes racism all too comfortable.
When our siblings of color cannot drive down a street, look at the birds in a park, sleep in their own beds, or go out for a run without escaping the present and oppressive reality of white supremacy, we cannot stand by and watch. We must scream out for justice for Breonna Taylor, for Ahmaud Arbery, for George Floyd, and for Christian Cooper! But we must do more than bear witness to these horrors. As followers of Jesus, our faith compels us to actively participate in dismantling racism and confronting white supremacy in whatever form it takes.
We, at St. Paul & St. Andrew, renew our pledge and work towards becoming an anti-racist community. This is lifelong work. This is the most urgent work there is. And we commit to it, today and every day.
Lea and K
Below are articles and statements to assist us in our ongoing learning:
“How to be anti-racist” with Dr. Ibram X. Kendi on MoveOn: https://www.facebook.com/
“75 Things White People Can Do” by Corinne Shutack
“America’s Racial Contract is Killing Us: The Coronavirus Was an Emergency Until Trump Found Out Who Was Dying” by Adam Serwer in The Atlantic:
General Board of Church and Society and General Commission on Religion and Race
Minnesota Bishop on killing of George Floyd
“It looks like Amy Cooper, the white woman in the viral Central Park video, is a liberal. That’s important: When you jump to assume she’s a MAGA campaigner or a Trump supporter due to her actions, you erase the very real problem of white liberal racism” by Nylah Burton
What We Know About the Death of George Floyd in Minneapolis from NY Times