Bridge Conference Ministers Speak Out On Murder of Ahmaud Arbery

Bridge Conference Ministers Speak Out On Murder of Ahmaud Arbery

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A Message From the Bridge Conference Ministers of the Southern New England Conference of the United Church of Christ 
 
As followers of Jesus, who has called us to love one another, we must raise our voices in alarm and dismay at the murder of yet another young, unarmed black man for the crime of jogging in a neighborhood not his own.  This would be an outrageous crime on its own and yet the fact that it is just the latest in a long list of black people who have died at the hands of police or civilians who take it upon themselves to act as police makes this  even more egregious. In his oft quoted “I Have a Dream” speech, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. also said, “We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality.” As the Bridge Conference Ministers of the Southern New England Conference of the United Church of Christ, we are not satisfied.  As a Conference that holds as a core value that we seek to make God’s justice real as it relates to economic, environmental, LGBTQ and yes, racial justice, we cannot be satisfied. So long as innocent black men and women are killed for jogging, killed for wearing a hoodie while carrying Skittles, killed for playing in a park, killed for driving, killed for walking, killed for running, killed for being, we cannot be satisfied.    
 
While in this case, the men responsible for Ahmaud’s murder were not police, it was certainly the legal system who initially decided that no crime had taken place.  The mere fact that this killing only came to light as the result of a recording of the murder is infuriating and alarming. It appears that the only time that extrajudicial killings of unarmed black people are thought to require any attention is when someone has filmed the crime.  
 
It is time that we who follow Jesus lift our voices in outrage each and every time that actions like these make it obvious that in America, black lives don’t matter.  We cannot remain silent.  We must speak out and we invite anyone who is concerned about the murders of our siblings in Christ to join in lifting their voices.   
 
Rev. Marilyn Kendrix
Rev. Don Remick
Rev. Kent Siladi
Bridge Conference Ministers

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