New Jersey Clergy Coalition for Justice Response to Buffalo Anti-Black Killing

It is with a heavy heart we share our condolences with the Black people of Buffalo, NY, killed by the avowed white supremacist. We mourn the lives of God’s precious people and express our anger toward terrorists who continue the long legacy of anti-Black violence against the Black community. More importantly, we express our discontent for the United States government neglecting its promise to protect the constitutional rights and liberty of Black people. Public officials refuse to use political capital to ensure the basic human rights protection of Black people against white supremacists. The Black community must realize the attacks will only get worse. They must develop new ways of protecting themselves in public and defending their loved ones against coordinated anti-Black terrorist attacks.

White domestic terrorists have targeted the Black community from the beginning of this nation, from the breaking up of Black families by slave owners to the bombing of Black churches by the Ku Klux Klan. State-sponsored terrorism helped dismantle Black civil rights organizations, while white elected officials have perpetuated negative Black narratives to drive local, state, and national policy.

These are a few acts that contribute to the anti-Black Buffalo shooting: Many local, State, and Federal governments are directly complicit in the environment that created the Buffalo shooting. They refuse to address, acknowledge, and reverse the historic racist cultures in their departments that continue to advance segregated housing, environmental racism, mediocre education, lack of jobs with living wages, and unfair taxes in poor Black communities, meanwhile supporting the school to prison pipelines in schools, and racist police and firefighters in public safety. The US Congress has blood on its hands. It refuses to advance reparations for the Black community, to restore voting rights for Black people, to pass criminal justice reform, or address the racial wealth divide for Black people at the bottom of the economic ladder of America.

New Jersey elected official have turned their backs on the Black community. Republicans continue to use racist dog whistles to dehumanize Black people as leaches, criminals, and not worthy of state programs to assist as they struggle through racial and economic isolation oppression. Many Republicans continue running for office in the image of Trump’s racist tradition of demonizing Black people to gain support with their racist base. The Democrats have also turned their backs on the Black community because although they control the NJ Senate and NJ Assembly, they refuse to end qualified immunity or support civilian review boards in policing. Many have settled for painting “Black Lives Matter” on the streets and changing Freeholder names, instead of doing substantive public policy work with the Black community.

Today, Black people across the nation and in New Jersey must stop supporting candidates who cannot show real public solidarity. Black faith leaders must not allow public officials to speak to their congregations if they do not have a Black agenda. They must stand alongside community organizers and activists demanding transformational change and working to better organize the Black community. They must call out Black elected officials who are too timid to advance policies that support the Black community, especially those that help poor Black people. They must also send strong messages to Senate President Nicholas Scutari, Minority Senate Leader Steven Oroho, Speaker Craig Coughlin, and Assembly Minority Leader John DiMaio that their in-action is supporting anti-Blackness violence against Black people. And Governor Murphy can no longer use the Black community to get to a higher political seat unless Black people see him address their concerns. We want more policy and action. No more empty talk!

 

Pastor David Ford, Sr. of St. Matthews Baptist Church

Rev. Ramon Collazo – Santa Isabel Lutheran Church

Rev. Jack Martin  – Retired Priest, St. Mary Assumption

Rev. Carmine Pernini –  Evangelical Lutheran Church

Rev. Archie Cummings, Jr – Former Pastor, Heard AME Church

Rev. Howard A. Bryant – Former Pastor, Townley Presbyterian Church

Bishop Wayne L. Johnson – Bibleway Deliverance Center

Dr. Ronald L. Owens  – New Hope Baptist Church

Rev. James Moore  – Second Baptist Church

Rev. William Ingram  – Shiloh Baptist Church

Rev. Dr. Michael Granzen – Second Presbyterian Church

Rev. Jerquinton Sutton – Lebanon Baptist Church

Rev. Milton Lester – Somerset Baptist Church

Minister Archange Antoine, Princeton Theological Seminary

Rev. Barry Wise – Greater Mount Moriah Baptist Church

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