Racism: A Statement on the Killing of Ahmaud Arbery
A statement on the killing of Ahmaud Arbery, systemic prejudice, and our call to dismantle the racism that’s afflicting our land and our lives
By Dr. Chris Neufeld-Erdman and Dr. Eunbee Ham, Pastors, David Community Church
Earlier this year, a young black man, Ahmaud Arbery, was out for a jog in Georgia. He was killed in an act of open gun violence by two white men. Until May 7th, these vigilantes were still free and roaming the streets. We condemn this act of racial violence, reminiscent of abhorrent lynchings of the past, and the slowness of our criminal justice system to respond. We are also appalled by the brazen show of lethal force by white militia on the steps of the Wisconsin capitol protesting shelter at home policies. Such a display by armed black men would never have been tolerated, and the myth of white innocence continues to perpetuate white supremacist violence. We declare the incompatibility of Christianity with the ongoing expressions of racism that privileges whiteness and marginalizes people of color. We deplore the fact that black and brown communities in the United States represent a disproportionate share of casualties from COVID19, and that they have been disproportionately affected by the economic impact of the crisis.
Davis Community Church (affiliated with the Presbyterian Church USA) is committed to the following:
We will increase our diversity—race, ethnicity, age, gender-identity, socio-economic status, and more—in order to more fully represent our state, nation, and world. We must intentionally shift away from white cultural dominance toward a flourishing pluralism (an inclusive, equitable, and diverse community where all can flourish). Conscious pluralism is a parable of Christ’s gospel; it is one of the key gifts Christian spirituality can offer the 21st century world.
—From DCC’s Vision2028 document
Racism is a lie about our fellow human beings, for it says that some are less than others. It is also a lie about God, for it falsely claims that God favors parts of creation over the entirety of creation. Given our biblical understanding of who God is and what God intends for humanity, the PC(USA) must stand against, speak against and work against racism. Anti-racist effort is not optional for Christians. It is an essential aspect of Christian discipleship, without which we fail to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ. —From the 2016 General Assembly church-wide anti-racism policy statement
Therefore, we call on our members and friends to:
1. Pray for the healing of our nation.
2. Learn from the history of whiteness and racism at individual, cultural, institutional, and systemic levels.
3. Actively engage in the struggle for racial justice with humility, welcoming feedback and critique.
4. Teach children and young people about racism.
5. Work together and build support with others who are already engaged in racial justice work.