We, the clergy and faith leaders of the Interfaith Clergy Council of Yorktown and Somers, stand in solidarity with those of you here today. Like all of you, we are heartbroken and outraged by the brutal murder of George Floyd. We further condemn the murders of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and the other 1249 Black victims of police violence since 2015. The streets of America are stained with the blood of innocent black men, women and children. The individuals we mourn today are the most recent martyrs in this country’s four hundred year history of racist violence and oppression.
We mourn also, the more than a hundred thousand individuals who have died in the Covid-19 pandemic, knowing that the same systems of inequality and injustice mean that communities of color have suffered profoundly and unequally.
As people of faith, we believe that every life is sacred. Though we connect to the Divine through different traditions, we are united in this belief and in our call for justice. We believe that it is our responsibility, as faith leaders, to speak truth and call upon our communities to put into action the ethics and teachings of our traditions. With that virtue in mind, the injustices carried out against our fellow brothers and sisters can only be labeled with one simple, yet clear, word - wrong.
Further, we strongly support not only all of you gathering here today, but protesters across this country. We condemn the violence that has been unleashed on peaceful protesters. Taking to the streets to cry out for justice is an especially brave act in the face of a Pandemic, and we acknowledge that standing against oppression is sacred work. Regardless of town, religious community or heritage, we support your peaceful gathering of solidarity against racial injustice, while condemning those who take advantage of this moment to use violence against law enforcement agents, to loot, burn, and destroy. As exemplified by so many past moments in our faiths, when good people stand together and demand that we, as a nation be better, we have the power to transform the status quo.
Whatever your vision of sacred presence--and by whatever Name you know God--we call upon you, Eternal One, to be with us as we work to rebuild this society into a land of justice, equality and peace. We pray for all victims of bias and hatred, all first responders and essential workers, and all whose lives and livelihoods have been impacted by pandemic as well as economic and health care injustice. We pray that change will come to this country not someday, but this day and that we will dwell together in a land that holds every breath as sacred-- and where we can all breathe the air of freedom.