Public Confession as Civic Protest (Sathi Clarke, May 28, 2020)
Dear African-American students, colleagues, and friends,
You are not alone in pain, anger, anguish, and dissent. I join your protest and your call for justice in the face of the murder of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery. I do so by an act of public confession:
O God, as member of the one human family, I have not done enough to protect a community that has for centuries been the target for capture, lynching, incarceration, and slaying. I have spent more time and energy taking care of my kinsfolk than investing in the kin-dom of God.
Help me to be my brother’s [and sister’s] keeper with a preferential option for the targeted and afflicted ones.
O God, as a citizen of the United States, I am drenched in blood of the structural sin of this self-proclaimed great nation. The sin of slavery continues in our addiction to control, confine, humiliate, strip, brutalize, and punish Black bodies. These crucified ones scream against injustice and groan for justice. Yet I have been worried about by own security during this time of COVID-19 and my desire to keep the country economically strong to protect my portfolio.
Help me to courageously unveil the collective sins of this so-called Great nation as it concertedly defaces and decapitates the image of God in my Black siblings.
O God, as a Christian, I have sheepishly looked toward pastoring goats when sheep have been slaughtered. I have allowed knees to concretely crush to death my brothers while proclaiming universally that “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow.” I have not done enough to untangle the unholy alliance between Christian exceptionalism and White nationalism.
Help me to extract the pastoral and prophetic gifts given me by the Spirit to shield “sheep without a shepherd” and “to bring good news to the poor…to proclaim release to the captives…[and] to let the oppressed go free.” AMEN.