Post-Election Faith Response
To the People of Justice in Mercer County:
In the wake of the election of Donald J. Trump to the presidency of the United States, it appears that the ugly, hateful, and evil intentions of some of our citizenry has crawled out of the shadows. Within two weeks after Election Day, over 700 incidents of hate crimes had been committed throughout our country. Latinos, African-Americans, Muslims, women, and LGBTQ women and men have been the acute targets of acts of violence, racial slurs, and vandalism. https://www.splcenter.org/hatewatch/2016/11/18/upd...
These incidents are not divorced from the rhetoric and proposed policies of President-Elect Donald J. Trump and his staff. Mr. Trump included in his presidential campaign announcement that “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best… They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.” The intention of these words is to instill fear and anger toward Mexican migrants who have been falsely categorized almost exclusively as dangerous criminals.
Mr. Trump has expressed admiration for the degrading and discriminatory Stop and Frisk practices of New York City, he has encouraged violence at his rallies, he has demonized migrants as likely criminals and terrorists, and has consistently made sexist comments about women. He also notoriously bragged about sexually assaulting women.
This vitriolic, divisive, and hateful rhetoric and behavior has continued since his election. Mr. Trump has proposed the establishment of a national Muslim registry, he has announced his cabinet hopefuls including men with a history of racist, misogynistic, and anti-Semitic behaviors and associations, and he has had a lethargic response in denouncing the white supremacists praising President-Elect Trump as their ally.
As people of justice we are also people of hope. We hope for a reality in which all people, regardless of their nationality, legal status, race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation, are respected and affirmed for the gifts bestowed upon them by their creator.
As people of hope we are also people of action. We speak out against the proposed discriminatory policies of the Trump Administration and we speak out against the divisive and violent rhetoric directed especially against Muslims, racial minorities, and immigrants. We speak out against the violence and hatred that has been inspired and affirmed by the election of Donald Trump. We act against bigotry and violence by embodying the values of our solidarity with and through our care for the poor, embracing the vulnerable, and through peaceful demonstration.
We ask you to join us in this difficult, but good work. We ask you to join together as people of justice to oppose all things that seek to separate and destroy. We ask you to pray for peace and justice. We ask you to speak loving truth to unjust power. We ask you to love your neighbor as yourself. As people of justice we have a joyous duty to work together for the betterment of all our sisters and brothers.
Goodness is stronger than evil;
love is stronger than hate;
light is stronger than darkness;
life is stronger than death.
Victory is ours, victory is ours
through God who loved us.
-Archbishop Desmond Tutu
In the spirit of hope,The Faith Leaders of Mercer County