27 May 2020
Recently, the Interfaith Leaders of Greater Lafayette (ILGL) created a “Virtual Rally” in response to the distribution of KKK flyers in Battle Ground. The “Virtual Rally” raised up the voices of those who know that diversity is one of our community’s greatest strengths.
While we were heartened by the response, the faith leaders of ILGL also recognize that many of our sisters and brothers are grieving. The disproportionate effect of COVID-19 on communities of color -and the recent murders of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia, Breonna Taylor in Louisville, and George Floyd in Minneapolis- highlight and reinforce the on-going legacy of racism and white supremacy in our nation. When incidents of hate show up in our state or local community (such as the KKK flyers and a cross burning in Battle Ground or recent police shootings in Indianapolis), this grief can become overwhelming and justifiably turn to anger. Such events are an on-going sign that, as the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King remarked in 1963, America’s promissory note of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” has come back marked “insufficient funds,” at least for many Americans.
As faith leaders, we recognize the divine spark in each and every human being regardless of the categories that are too often used to divide us. More than that, we are committed to justice for all people. When we see our sisters and brothers grieve because of racial injustice, we recognize this as a sign of the world’s brokenness. As people of faith, we acknowledge in our own unique ways that the divine grieves with them, that creation longs for peace and justice, and that we are called to respond.
In response, ILGL remains committed to the work of anti-racism within our community; to raise up the voices of peace, love, and justice; and to work together to make the world where all people can live in harmony. To this end, we call on people of every faith and all those of goodwill to speak out against bigotry and to educate themselves for anti-racist work (that is, the work of dismantling racist structures and institutions that pervade our society). We call on our political leaders and our local police departments to guarantee the safety of all members of our community by investigating, arresting, and convicting those who threaten or intimidate others and by developing rules of engagement that protect people of color. ILGL recommits ourselves to working with faith leaders, other community leaders, and people of goodwill to make Greater Lafayette greater still.
The Interfaith Leaders of Greater Lafayette