AME Church leaders issued the following statement in response to President Donald Trump’s recent Twitter attacks against four Congresswomen of color, Congressman Elijah Cummings and the city of Baltimore. The statement was signed by Bishop Harry L. Seawright, president of the Council of Bishops; Bishop Gregory G.M. Ingram, president of the General Board; Bishop Adam J. Richardson, Jr., senior bishop; Bishop Frank Madison Reid III, chair of the Commission on Social Action; and Mrs. Jacquelyn Dupont-Walker, director/consultant of Social Action.
“The Bishops, Social Action Commission, members and servant leaders of the African Methodist Episcopal Church are appalled by the continued use of racist language and attacks on the poor and people of color by the President of the United States. The months of June and July have seen the President’s intolerance of people of color, women and the poor reach new levels of white supremacist insanity.
“The President’s racist and sexist attacks on Representatives Ilana Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib are vile, vicious and unprecedented verbal violence against American citizens and Congressional leaders by a sitting occupant of the Oval Office. The President’s remarks about these extraordinary women were not only disrespectful and destructive; they demean his office that he holds.
“The President’s latest diatribe against Congressman Elijah Cummings and the city of Baltimore is another racist declaration showing his intent to divide America along racial and economic lines. Has the President of the United States declared war on the poor and people of color?
“In 1964, President Lyndon Baines Johnson declared a “War On Poverty.” In 2019, the current President’s attack on Representative Cummings and Baltimore showed an intensification of the Republican “War on the Poor.” In 2019, the President continues to blame the victims of ever-increasing economic inequality for the political and economic policies laced with White Supremacy that create living conditions which his stereotypical remarks about Baltimore describe.
“In 1965, President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act. In 2019, the leadership of the United Senate and the current President are continuing their attacks and attempts to destroy the voting rights of people of color. Has the President of the United States of America declared war on the poor and people of color?
“The Council of Bishops and the Social Action Commission of the African Methodist Episcopal Church are asking our members and ecumenical partners to keep their eyes on the November 2020 prize. We will not be distracted by the President’s torrent of political lies, false equivalencies, and racist attacks. We must be pro-active, not reactive. As the Apostle Paul reminds us, “We are anointed to fight the good fight of faith ” (1 Timothy 6:12). We must keep showing up for this fight together.
“We call upon the President and his administration to do the following:
1. Publicly apologize to Representatives Cummings, Omar, Ocasio-Cortez, Pressley, Tlaib and the citizens of Baltimore.
2. Change his inhumane concentration camp immigrant policies.
3. Renounce and repent his racist language.
4. Articulate policies that will bring peace, power, and prosperity to all Americans.
5. Support reparations.
“Finally, we call on the members of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and our partners in the struggle for spiritual and social justice to come together and organize our communities across racial, economic and generational lines to become encouraged, equipped and empowered voting blocs for the 2020 General Elections.”