Racism Lives! Racism Kills!
By Dr. James Dixon, II | May 19, 2022
Our hearts are broken for the families of the 13 people shot, of which 10 people were killed, in the mass shooting in Buffalo, New York. According to his now public manifesto, entitled “The Great Replacement,” the killer, Payton Grendon was inspired by recent hate crime incidents, such as the mass murder at Emmanuel A.M.E. Church in South Carolina, a synagogue attacked in Pittsburgh, the Walmart massacre in El Paso, Texas, and a white man who targeted Mosques in New Zealand, killing 51 people. Our prayers are with you!
The alarm sounds again. This time it is Buffalo, New York. The evil system of American racism continues to produce soldiers of mass death, like the 18-year-old killer, Payton Gendron. Hopefully, this is a resounding alarm to us, that in our cities, towns, states and nation, there is an unidentified rabid army of covert cowards who threaten our national security. These are homegrown terrorists. Many of these demented disciples feel justified by perverted interpretations of the Bible that is preached in many churches. For them, hating and killing Black people, and others whom they deem less than human, is a demonstration of what I call, “Perverted Patriotism.”
The Bible is the sacred Book of Christians. Similarly, the U.S. flag is the sacred banner of the Republic- United State of America. Both of these sacred items have been desecrated by white supremacists who raise them high in the spirit of hateful and extremist violent ideology. How long will a deaf ear be turned to the rhetoric of hate and fear mongering that fuels the movement of human degradation and oppression? According to their own admission, they are committed to preserving a “white only” power structure, by the elimination of Blacks, by any means necessary.
Parents, Faith leaders, Elected leaders and Media influencers have a definite responsibility. Not only should you condemn racist shootings, but racist sayings, racist policies, and racist propaganda must be confronted and condemned. Every American faith leader, whether a preacher, minister or teacher, especially our white clergy colleagues, should vigorously condemn every expression of bigotry, discrimination and racist ideology. Perpetuating and protecting racist systems indoctrinate misguided psychopaths who eventually carry out these missions of deadly force. Those who are silent are complicit, and complicity is consent. Consent gives confirmation to this wickedness. Shouldn’t your voice be God’s voice?
It is urgent that people of faith lead a movement of love and mutual respect. Can’t we see that our narrow political power agendas are incapable of producing a civil and safe society? Our collective aim and commitment should be creating what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. called the “Beloved Community.” The question is, do we have the courage to love ALL our neighbors as ourselves. Whether it is in a pulpit, behind a desk, wearing a badge, holding a gavel, or waving a flag, racist rhetoric creates a culture of hate and undermines democracy.
“Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world. Red and yellow, black, and white, they are precious in His sight. Jesus loves the little children of the world.” If Payton Grendon had learned this song, 10 people would still be alive.
Dr. James Dixon, II is Presiding Bishop
Kingdom Builders Global Fellowship