“Absolutely, I was,” replied Rev. Traci Blackmon when asked if she was more scared in Charlottesville, VA this past weekend than when she was as a little kid watching a KKK march.
I was home alone during Christmas break my first year of college when someone tried to break into our house in broad daylight. He knew I was inside. He saw me through the window and I saw him. He went from door to door, window to window trying to get in. It was absolutely terrifying. I called 911 and stayed on the phone until I saw the police car pull into my driveway and I literally lept into the officer’s arms at my front door. The guy got away.
On 9-11-2001 I was serving a church just down the road from the Pentagon. HH was in a car on the way to Capitol Hill when the plane hit and we didn’t have cell phones to touch base. To this day, when I watch historical news coverage from 9-11, my heart starts pounding and I feel paralyzed.
When I heard the Rev. Traci Blackmon speak about the gathering in St. Paul’s Memorial Church in Charlottesville last Friday night, I got that same feeling of paralysis.
The plan was for religious leaders to gather at 7:45 pm for worship the night before a Unite the Right rally scheduled for Saturday. Traci Blackmon was the preacher. But as the crowd was worshiping, another crowd of mostly white men wielding torches gathered outside the church building chanting Nazi slogans.
“We were not allowed to leave the church because of this mass mob that was out on the streets with torches,” she said.
There are protests. And there is terrorism. This was terrorism.
When was the last time you were terrified to the point of fearing for your life? This is what we are dealing with here. Supporting white supremacists is not just about threatening our way of life. It’s about threatening life.
Please speak up against this kind of hate – especially if you are a white person and you voted for President Trump. More than anything else God has ever called you to do, God is calling you to do this today.
This blog was written by Jan Edmiston. The original can be found here.
Jan Edmiston, GA Co-Moderator with T. Denise Anderson, is the associate executive presbyter for ministry in the Presbytery of Chicago, where she has served since 2011. Prior to that she served congregations in northern Virginia and New York. She completed her MDiv at Andover Newton Theological School and her DMin in Christian Spirituality at CTS in 2001. She has graciously agreed to let us repost some of her blog entries (including guest bloggers) from A Church for Starving Artists.
Image from The Times of Israel of white supremacists outside St. Paul’s Episcopal Church across from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville on Friday, August 11, 2017.