20 June 2018
Dear MCC Leaders, Members, and Friends,
The devastation that so many people are feeling as we watch and listen to children detained by ICE wailing for their mommies and daddies cannot be overstated. The shame and outrage of hearing Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, our Attorney General, quote the book of Romans to rationalize this human rights atrocity goes deep.
We are not Trump and we are not Jeff Sessions, but those of us who are citizens of the United States have a responsibility to require our officials to lead us in a way that reflects our own humanity, as well as the humanity of immigrants coming to the United States and all of us living here from virtually every racial, ethnic, or religious group in the world
People of African descent took note when Sessions quoted Romans. Black people in the USA were enslaved and segregated—and now policed, murdered and incarcerated—under the pretext of biblical sources like Romans 13, Ephesians 6, Philemon and the sons of Ham story. Sessions’ use of Romans to say that the state is ordained by God was like the screeching sound of nails on a chalkboard. It is the sound of white power against all Latinx and African descent people.
Trump’s drive to roil his base reminds us that the USA has a history of taking Native children from their families and expunging their language and culture from them while punishing and often raping them. It is the history of ripping black children from their mothers' arms to sell them for profit. It Is the history of internment of Japanese Americans during World War II…it is American history. We must know the history of the United States to really understand what our next steps could be. None of us is without guilt. None of us is without power. We each must decide what power we have and how are we going to use it.
This week, leaders from a range of nations, businesses, religions, and political parties condemned the policy of separating families and are forming a consensus that only idealogues could ignore. One day after the United Nations Human Rights Council condemned this “zero tolerance” policy, the USA withdrew from the Council.
In the end, we are accountable. The day will come when we look back on this moment and ask ourselves, what did we do to make a difference? MCC is already working on immigration through Rainbow Railroad in Canada, St. John’s in Raleigh, Global Justice Institute, and others. What else can we do?
Many of you already know what is needed in your community. ICE detention centers are all across the country. Immigrants need accompaniment to ICE appointments. Churches are needed to provide sanctuary for families at risk of deportment. Connect with local teams that are already mobilized. MCC is constantly working on--engaged on-- issues of immigration, asylum seekers. This is a constant global crisis. Work ecumenically. Work in whatever way makes sense.
Take the first step and may the Holy Spirit guide you and the passion of Christ inspire you. The children need us right now.
May the love of God give you the strength,
Rev. Elder Rachelle Brown
Interim Moderator, Metropolitan Community Churches