‘We unreservedly condemn the killings of African Americans’

 

The PC(USA)’s African Presbyterian Leaders Alliance releases a video in response to the killing of George Floyd

by Gail Strange | Presbyterian News Service

LOUISVILLE — The deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd have caused an uproar across the nation and in countries around the world against the oppression and injustice suffered by black Americans as a result of centuries of systemic racism. Floyd, an unarmed black man, was killed May 25 by a Minneapolis police officer who held his knee on Floyd’s neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds.

On Tuesday, as Floyd is laid to rest and in an act of solidarity, the African Presbyterian Leaders Alliance (APLA) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has released a video stating, “We the APLA wish to unreservedly condemn the latest in the long line of killings of African American persons in the United States of America. Africans on the continent have long stood in solidarity with their African American family that was first held in slavery in North America.”

“Our black siblings are subjected to inhumane acts of oppression such as wrongful incarceration, lynching, violence and every imaginable disenfranchisement.”

APLA states, “We are appalled at the lack of accountable leadership that would hold such inhumane practices in contempt. Hence, we now call upon the leaders of the United States to firmly condemn the actions of the four officers responsible for the arrest, abuse and subsequent murder of George Floyd.”

In the statement, APLA calls for legal actions against the four officers and future officers who exercise similar excessive force toward black people in the United States.

“As members of the church of Christ, we cannot stand idly or silently by, year after year, while systemic racism continues the modern-day lynchings of our African American family #Saytheirnames. We say it is enough.”

The statement went on to “call for the recognition of the full humanity and dignity of every black person and that whoever violates these rights be held accountable by asking that you participate in the following:

  1. Contact your representative in support of our request.
  2. Click on the link to sigh this petition (in order for your signature to complete, you will have to confirm the message sent to your email a few minutes after you sign) to hold law enforcement officers accountable in the deaths of black persons.
  3. Share the petition with friends, members of your churches, community, etc. and together, let us keep black lives safe, because #BlackLivesMatter.

The full statement is below:

We, the African Presbyterian Leaders Alliance of the Presbyterian Church (USA) (APLA), wish
to unreservedly condemn the latest in the long line of killings of African Americans persons in
the United States of America.

Africans on the continent have long stood in solidarity with their African American family that
was first held in slavery in North America. For instance, in 1960 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
met with Kenneth Kaunda to strategize in the fight against racism and colonialism. Four years
after the meeting, Kenneth Kaunda became the first president of Zambia after peaceful
negotiations with the British. Our Black siblings are subjected to inhumane acts of oppression
such as wrongful incarceration, lynchings, violence and every imaginable disenfranchisement.
Once again, we stand in solidarity with the Black community.

We are appalled at the lack of accountable leadership that would hold such inhumane practices in
contempt. Hence, we now call upon the leaders of the United States to firmly condemn the
actions of the four officers responsible for the arrest, abuse and subsequent murder of George
Floyd.

APLA calls for unmitigated legal actions against these four officers and any future officers who
exercise similar excessive force towards Black people in America. As members of the church of
Christ, we cannot stand idly or silently by year after year while systemic racism continues the
modern day lynchings of our African American Family #SayTheirNames. We say it is enough!
Let every police officer who participates in the murder of or unlawful use of force towards any
unarmed, lawfully armed or non-violent, non-combative black person in America be immediately
jailed without bail and subsequently prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Let anyone who makes a false 911 call regarding any black person be charged with a
misdemeanor for abuse of 911 or Emergency call, and face up to a year in jail and a fine of
$1,000.

We call for the recognition of the full humanity and dignity of every black person, and that
whoever violates these rights be held accountable by asking that you participate in the following:

1. Contact your Representative in support of our request.

2. Click on link to sign this petition (in order for your signature to be complete, you will have
to confirm the message sent to your email a few minutes after you sign) to hold law
enforcement officers accountable in the deaths of black persons: “Prosecute, Convict and
Impose Fines on Persons (Including Law Enforcement Officers) Who Murder Black
Persons.”

3. Share this petition with friends, members of your churches, community, etc., and together, let
us keep Black Lives safe. #BlackLivesMatter

Do not do anything that endangers your neighbor’s life. I am the Lord. Leviticus 19:16b
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.
Proverbs 31:8
Signed by,

Rev. Oghene’tega Swann, Moderator of APLA Leadership Council
For the APLA Advisory Board & Leadership Council: Revs. Bobby Musengwa, Martin Osae, Gad
Mpoyo, Jane Kagia, Oghene’tega Swann, Moses Biney, Julius Edah, Ekram Kachu; Elders Grace
Atanga-Fuh and Ida Jennifer Sika, Princeton Abaraoha (PCUSA Staff Liaison), Cheni Khonje
(Member-at-Large)

 


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