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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

BLACK LIVES MATTER signs in the House of Deputies by Deputy Mike Clark

At the beginning of the afternoon legislative session on Monday, June 29th, I was granted a Point of Personal Privilege. I wanted to explain to the nearly 800 members of the House of Deputies, why they saw so many signs attached to deputation markers around the floor of the House, bearing the message, “BLACK LIVES MATTER” . These signs were secured by and shipped to convention by the Dean of Christ Church Cathedral, Mike Kinman, to be offered for display by the deputation of the Diocese of Missouri.

The following is the text of my 2-minute message to the House:
“Madame President, I want to thank the House of Deputies for passing, earlier today, a resolution to affirm  Anti-Racism training for our Church. I’m from the Diocese of Missouri – home of Ferguson, Missouri, as well as the home of the late Michael Brown.

You can see many signs decorating the Floor of the House which read, “BLACK LIVES MATTER’. We brought 75 of these signs with us, in response to a request from the Dean of the Cathedral in St. Louis to, “proclaim with loud voices on the Floor of convention that ‘BLACK LIVES MATTER’ in a nation that leaves no doubt  that this is not the case.”

Our deputation brings no resolution to this convention – we have much work to do still back in St. Louis. But I do have a message for the 77% of the members of this House who are Caucasian: when you begin to deal with racism back home, you may feel things begin to get complicated very fast. Here is the simple place to start: BELIEVE. I suggest simply that you BELIEVE the voices of young, black men and women who tell their stories of racial profiling, distrust of law enforcement and corrupt city government. Listen and BELIEVE the truth they are telling.

Thank you, Madame President.”

….had I more time, I would’ve concluded with:

‘Ferguson, Missouri. New York City. Cleveland, Ohio. Baltimore, Maryland. Charleston, South Carolina…and now they are burning African-American churches. It is clear to me that God is calling us into action. Politicians are not going to solve this. The police are not going to lead the way in addressing racism… instead, the People are leading the police in addressing racism in their ranks.   I believe the Church is uniquely equipped to lead. It is the mission of the Church, in fact, to stand boldly with those who have been beaten, harassed, profiled, unjustly accused and oppressed for their entire lives. We start by seeking out those whose voices have been unheard for so long. Then, as Dean Kinman tells us, “we LISTEN, so that the Jesus on their lips might be heard and followed.”

1 comment:

  1. God bless you, Mike, and thank you for speaking for so many of us. I wish I'd been online to see you speak these words of truth.

    ReplyDelete

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