The following message was presented on April 27, 2021 in Elizabeth City by Executive Director, the Rev. Dr. Jennifer Copeland, after the life of Andrew Brown Jr. was abruptly taken by law enforcement. Pastors from across NC join together to declare a “moral emergency.”
Last week on the morning after the jury rendered a verdict on the murder of George Floyd, the North Carolina Council of Churches issued a statement. We were cautiously hopeful that the verdict was a turning point, that now we could have real accountability. And then Andrew Brown, Jr., was shot in the back. Enough, enough.
Our statement had five important points. They’re on our website, you can find them. But I will share the summary with you. We say to the congregations we represent—18 by the way, Black and white, progressive and moderate—we say to all of them, but particularly to white people of faith and the historically white denominations: MAKE DISMANTLING RACISM A PRIORITY. We cannot stand on the sidelines cheering as our Black neighbors march. We must be with them in the marches, at the protests, but especially we must be with them in the work of dismantling a system that continues to kill black and brown people. We must eradicate this sin of racism.
I call on my white brothers and sisters to confess, or confess again, that we have been a part of this racist system. We must repent from passive acceptance of this system and move to active resistance to this system. We must accept God’s forgiveness and begin the hard work of restoration. May God have mercy on us all.