A STATEMENT IN RESPONSE TO THE SHOOTING OF TRAYVON MARTIN
“What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”
The death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin is tragic and heartbreaking. We have said many prayers for Trayvon’s parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin. We cannot imagine the hurt and pain they are enduring as they grieve the loss of their son and work to seek justice in a complicated legal system. The death of Trayvon has sent shockwaves throughout this country and the world. It is unfortunate that it has taken the loss of a teenager’s precious life to call our attention, once again, to the complex and tragic plight of African-American males in America.
As communities of faith, it is imperative that we take steps to actively confront all forms of discrimination and acts of violence that plague our communities. We can not be silent about laws that promote racial profiling, increased high school dropout rates, and The Cradle to Prison Pipeline, which are all issues that have been proven to disproportionately impact the life of African-American and Hispanic males. It is important that we understand that these issues do not singularly belong to African- American and Hispanic communities. Addressing them is the responsibility of all Americans, and especially all Christians. We must all come together to fight injustice. A failure to do so would be a betrayal of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The issues raised by Trayvon Martin's death are, on one hand, complex and systemic issues that have roots deep in racism, socio-economics, power and privilege. On the other hand, the issue is simple. Will we continue to allow so many African-American and Hispanic males to be subjected to physical, emotional and spiritual violence in our cities and nation? We are called and required to renew our commitment to work for a racially just society.
Dean Snyder, Senior Pastor
Dawn Hand, Associate Pastor
Al Hammer, Associate Pastor
Theresa S. Thames, Associate Pastor
Foundry United Methodist Church March 23, 2012