Confession & Call to Action: White Supremacy & the 2020 Election

Today, once again, all eyes are on Michigan as the State Board of Canvassers votes to certify the election results. This is a statement written by white radical disciples in Detroit. Click on and sign to be in solidarity.

We are speaking in this moment as White people.

We join our voice with others.

We come as religious leaders and clergy of Michigan congregations and denominations; we come as White people of all walks of life.

We come in the hope and integrity of our faith and our commitment to democracy.

Which means we must first come confessionally, acknowledging the complicity of our traditions in the structures and forces of white supremacy in this nation. They have been employed and abused to deny rights, to suppress votes, to steal privilege, and to disenfranchise citizens. We can only speak out of repentance. But admonished by Martin Luther King Jr. that “there comes a time when silence is betrayal,” we must speak.

The ungodly assault on democracy and the attempted de-certification or dismissal of the heavily African American vote in Detroit (indeed all 5.5 million votes in Michigan) is being leveraged and justified by anti-Black racism, settler colonialism, and marginalization in general. Not in our name.

We are here as white members of this community to denounce the blatantly racist attempts by Donald Trump and all his enablers to suppress the Black vote, and through that suppression, impugn the integrity of entire democratic process, by attempting to overturn the certification of the vote in Michigan, as well as other key states where African-American and other voters of color are critical to the result.

We call on Michigan state legislators to speak and act with integrity, resisting the pressures set upon them.

We call on the Wayne County Commission to rescind the appointments of Monica Palmer and William Hartmann who have shown themselves unable to resist such political manipulation.

We denounce the meeting of the speaker of the Michigan House, Lee Chatfield, and Senate majority leader Mike Shirkey with Mr. Trump and condemn the legislators that stand by silent. The voters have voted; the counties have certified; and the Speaker and Majority Leader have promised to honor the law and the democratic process it embodies: we demand that you keep your word.

We repeat, “there comes a time when silence is betrayal” and so we say to our white sisters and brothers in Michigan and across this nation this is such a time.

Authors:
Randy Block, Director of Michigan Unitarian Universalist Social Justice Network
Cathy DiSantis
Rev. Denise Griebler, Pastor St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Detroit
Mary Ellen Howard, RSM, Sisters of Mercy
Louise R. Ott, Pastor at Congregational Church of Birmingham, UCC
James W. Perkinson, Ecumenical Theological Seminary
Kimberly Redigan, Pax Christi Michigan State Council; U of D Jesuit Theology Department
Ed Rowe, United Methodist Pastor/Michigan Methodist Federation of Social Action
Norman P. Thomas, Pastor at Sacred Heart & St. Elizabeth Catholic Churches Detroit
Bill Wylie-Kellermann, United Methodist Pastor/Michigan Poor People’s Campaign

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