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Being Black And At Risk In the United States: Covid-19, Racism and the 21st Century

Updated: Jul 23, 2020

Bishop Frank Madison Reid, III, Commission Chair

Mrs. Jacquelyn Dupont-Walker, Director/Consultant

Being Black And At Risk In the United States: Covid-19, Racism and the 21st Century Resurgence of White Supremacy The servant leaders of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and the Social Action Commission, mourn the fact that the people we globally serve are reeling from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the deaths in its wake. Many of our members, family members, and clergy are among the growing numbers.

We believe that COVID-19 has exposed 21st Century institutional racism and the global resurgence of spiritual, political, and economic White Supremacy. We are determined to fight the good fight of faith, justice, and liberation. We are committed to rise from being at risk victims and to rebuild a better world courageously for the least, lost and the left out.

The African Methodist Episcopal Church is appalled at the fact that people of color in the United States are disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic due to the social policies of White Supremacy "coming home to roost." Broken nations, broken health care and educational systems, political and economic systems ruled by racism, economic inequality, and the widespread practice of white privilege put people of color all over the world "at risk." White Supremacist business, as usual, is no longer acceptable.

From the cruel and unusual punishment of African people and nations by the Chinese government to the death of jogger Ahmaud Arbery for running while Black in Georgia to Christian Cooper who was threatened with a call to the police for asking a white woman to obey the law by leashing her dog to the 40 percent of Black small businesses on the verge of going out of business due to the pandemic— yes to be Black in the United States, to be a person of color in our world, to be poor, is to be at risk in the 21st Century.

Today, the family of George Floyd is filled with grief after a policeman illegally put his knee on his neck. Today the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul are caught up in anger, protests, and flames because another Black man was killed--"murdered" as the Mayor of Minneapolis said--by police. Before there was COVID-19, the institution of White Supremacy put people of color at risk. We are tired of being profiled and singled out by White Supremacist policies and practices of defeat, division, death, and destruction.

The Servant Leaders and Social Action Commission of the African Methodism call upon our churches and constituencies to: 1. Follow the recommendations of the AME Health Commission regarding how our churches and ministries will continue to encourage, equip, and empower our people to deal with the ongoing health consequences of COVID-19. 2. Join the global movement for reparations for African nations, nations of color, developing nations, and African Americans. The wealth of European nations and America was derived from the rape of countries and the physical, emotional, and psychological enslavement of people of color. 3. Renew the AME Church's pan-African Commitment for the equipping and empowerment of African and Caribbean nations as well as African people throughout the Diaspora. 4. Support the 4th Episcopal District, Bishop John White, Presiding Elder Stacey Smith, and our AME Churches that are on the frontline of the protests for justice and healing for the Floyd family and the city of Minneapolis. 5. Continue to strategically organize in Districts 1-13 to fight against the attempt to use COVID-19 as an excuse to suppress the votes of people of color. We must show up 100% for the November 2020 General Election. 6. Pray that the African Methodist Episcopal Church will manifest with our ecumenical partners this portion of God's response to King Solomon's prayer: "If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land." II Chronicles 7:14

Bishop Harry L. Seawright, President of the Council of Bishops Bishop Adam J. Richardson, Sr., Senior Bishop Bishop Gregory G. M. Ingram, President of the General Board Bishop Frank Madison Reid III, Chair, Commission on Social Action Mrs. Jacquelyn Dupont-Walker, Director, Commission on Social Action

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