The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.
John 1: 5
The recent acts of vandalism and violence against our institutions of democracy in Capitol Hill, as well as the acts perpetrated against Asbury United Methodist Church and Metropolitan Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Church have been yet another reminder that in this country we love and call home, racism and white supremacy are still the elephant in the room.
The clergy and laity of MARCHA, the Methodist Caucus that Advocates for Hispanic/Latinos in and out of the Church, unequivocally denounces the domestic terrorist acts of insurrection of this past week and stands with the communities of Asbury United Methodist and Metropolitan Memorial AME along with many other faith communities to raise our voice and shine a light against any racist act of violence, vandalism and intimidation. We believe that white supremacy and colonialism are sins that continue to have profound effects in our society and in communities of color particularly. Those effects include internalized oppression that can manifest itself in and through our own communities fostering self harm, denial of our own worth as persons of sacredness and dignity, and submission to an ideology of white superiority. This ideology was foundational to the inception of this country and the European colonization of many of our own countries of origin throughout Latin America. Calling out anti-Blackness in the Latinx community means acknowledging that our communities are not monolithic, and therefore there is a moral and Theo-ethical imperative to call out and speak out against anti-Blackness in every way it appears, especially in our own communities.
We are appalled at the obvious policing double standards applied to communities of color as opposed to what we all witnessed on Wednesday, Jan 6th, the day we celebrated the Epiphany of our Lord. What was revealed for all the world to see was the great disparity between police treatment of white supremacist, hate-filled racist marching to the capitol verses Black Lives Matter, or Immigrant Rights rallies of people of color and allies demanding to be treated with dignity yet met with brute police force.
Therefore, MARCHA particularly condemns the actions of the Proud Boys, a far right, neo-facist, male-only, racist and white supremacist group, and its leader Enrique Tarrio, who identifies as Afro-Cuban.
We condemn the language and actions that incited such violence against the People’s house and the false rhetoric of President Donald J. Trump as well as all of those representatives, both in the house and senate, who fanned the flames of insurrection and mob violence.
We call for the process of equal justice to be applied to all persons involved in the violence and vandalism against our capitol building and our hall of congress, and in particular these two communities of faith, because we believe they are all products of the same white supremacy ideology and vile hatred.
We call on the Council of Bishops to remember the witness of the Magi, as they followed the star to the Christ Child and defied the will of Herod and the Empire.
We call on the Council of Bishops to follow the light of justice and the dream of freedom and guide our whole Church to engage in serious, intentional work of dismantling racism, confronting white supremacy and building the beloved community, not just through another act of repentance or book study, but rather through a deep analysis of how our own institution and it’s complicity in not confronting white supremacy in our own pews.
We call on all disciples of Jesus Christ within the United Methodist Church to engage in deep conversation, study, and reflection as well as intentional action by working with our Council of Bishops, our conference leadership, district superintendents and every local pastor to hold each other accountable in doing this work together for the transformation of the world.
¡Todos Somos Familia!
Editor's note: This statement has been endorsed by MARCHA, the Hispanic/Latino Caucus of The United Methodist Church.
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