10,000+ Adventists Against White Nationalism
10,000+ Adventists Against White Nationalism
In light of the recent White Nationalist act of Terror in El Paso, TX, the leadership of Against the Wall think that it is imperative for people of faith to stand up and be counted in the face of such hate. While we will continue to refrain from stating a public opinion on whether or not a physical wall should built on our southern border (we do question the effectiveness of such a strategy), we absolutely cannot be silent about the way that this subject has negatively affected the broader conversation about immigration in this country and the hateful rhetoric aimed towards Latinos - many of which are seeking asylum & refuge from their country of origin. Since his candidacy for president began, Mr. Trump has targeted Mexican nationals and other Latino immigrants with racist rhetoric - most notably when, while announcing his candidacy he said (about Mexican people), “They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.” Just this past May at a rally in Florida, after asking the crowd how they could stop migrants from trying to cross the border, someone yelled out “shoot them,” and in response, the President just smirked and responded “only in the Panhandle can you get away with that kind of statement.” Mr. Trump has not only condoned this kind of hateful rhetoric, he has used it to his political advantage. As people of faith who are committed to tearing down walls of racial hatred, division and oppression, we categorically denounce Mr. Trump and call on him to fully account for his racism and be the leader that the position of President requires him to be.
Having said that, it would be too easy for us to simply lay these problems at the feet of Mr. Trump. While his rhetoric, behavior, and policy positions (all rooted in racism) certainly have not helped move us toward a “more perfect union,” the ills of racially motivated violence pre-date him by centuries. Contrary to contemporary attempts at revisionist history, America’s original sin of human chattel slavery was primarily motivated by the same belief in white supremacy that motivated the El Paso shooter to target and take away lives that he considered to be inferior to his. White supremacy’s de-humanizing affects extend not just to the image bearers of God that are falsely labeled as inferior, but it also extends to the white person who sadly falls into the lie that God made them superior and so they can do whatever they please to the “lesser” groups of people. This false belief in a hierarchy of human value must be eradicated wherever it rears its ugly head - in our politics, our schools, our communities, and of paramount importance to those who claim the banner of Christianity - our churches.
We call on the leadership of the Seventh-day Adventist Church to release an official statement denouncing white nationalism. We also believe that it is way past time for the church to write a theological statement on the topic of racism and take an honest, transparent look at the legacy of systemic racism which has plagued our global movement for centuries. We plan to send this petition to the leaders of the General Conference, the North American Division, and the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary. Our church can no longer remain silent in the face of the rise of white nationalism and the racist belief in white supremacy that fuels it. Racism's effects go beyond the interpersonal level and are deeply rooted into the fabric of America and will not be eradicated until the institutions in this country address those roots wherever they can be found. Please join us by signing this petition so that we can show the leadership of our church that we will not tolerate silence any longer.
When we begin to tackle those deeply rooted issues, we can move towards more tanglble frameworks that would enable us to create a better future. We invite the Adventist Church to commit to the work of anti-racism. Simply put, anti-racism means that you affirmatively stand in opposition to racism. Anti-racism isn’t reactionary, it requires individuals and institutions to take proactive steps to root out the ills of racism. "Anti-racism is the active process of identifying and eliminating racism by changing systems, organizational structures, policies and practices and attitudes, so that power is redistributed and shared equitably." Our message is clear, the time is now. We are Against the Wall...are you?
To read Against the Wall's full statement and learn more ways that you can get involved with our movement, go here.