The following statement by Presbyterian clergy responding to the Zimmerman verdict is a call to peace and an end to gun violence that would have made the prophet Isaiah vomit.
Some have said a statement by UCC clergy went too far and assumed that George Zimmerman was guilty. Let’s place the Zimmerman decision aside and stop fighting over whether it was the right verdict in terms of Florida law. I don’t care about doing historical autopsies. Could we please address the question our black brothers and sisters are asking? Could we please at least address the question of whether a black teen who does not dress up as white is fair game for vigilante stalking?
I don’t know or frankly care about the Zimmerman trial. I am concerned about the situation many black kids face every day of their life. I’m concerned about a nation that holds white up as paradigm for beauty, wisdom and historical significance and refuses to see those practices as white supremacy. I’m concerned that my denomination is so imbedded in white privilege that we dare not mention the elephant in the room, which is racism. We do not have to condemn George Zimmerman to see there is something terribly wrong in our nation. Could we as a denomination not say so?
Isaiah condemned clergy making such statements as false prophets calling “peace” what is not peace. We all know what these comfortable clergy are saying. Their statement nowhere mentions, much less condemns, the epidemic of violence against black teens by the state and by other black teens who have internalized that oppression as self-hatred. By “peace” these clergy do not mean for whites to end our violent oppression of black people. They mean for black people not to shoot back.