The Black Community, Clergy and Labor Alliance (BCCLA) stands in firm solidarity with Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA43) in her call for resistance to evil and injustice everywhere. We take the position also with Martin Luther King, Jr., that “to ignore evil is to be an accomplice to it.” And therefore, we support Rep. Waters refusal to ignore evil and injustice anywhere and her call to confront it at every site.
Rep. Waters has both the right and responsibility to speak truth to power and speak truth to the people. And we as a people and a community also have the right and responsibility to confront evil and injustice everywhere. Indeed, we must not and will not let our silence suggest consent, our inaction suggest agreement or our reluctance to confront and resist give encouragement for greater evils, injustice and oppression.
Those who call for civility should direct it toward those, such as the President and others, who violate civil and human rights, teach hate and practice violence as public policy and socially-sanctioned practice. It Is not the victims of hatred, harassment and systemic violence that are uncivil, but the victimizers in high and low places.
The climate that has been created in this country is one in which people’s rights are being restricted and denied every day, and their freedom curtailed and called into question. But as Fannie Lou Hamer asked, “if I am truly free, who can tell me how much of my freedom I can have today?” We have freedom of speech and no one should tell us or Rep. Waters what to say, when to say it or how to say it.
There is great suffering, anxiety and uncertainty throughout the country. This is unacceptable and we are morally compelled to confront those who are creating these conditions and to intensify the struggle to change these conditions. The time has come, as Paul Robeson has said, when “the battlefront is everywhere, there is no sheltered rear” – neither for the oppressed nor the oppressor. And we must confront evil and injustice everywhere, and again, we support Rep. Maxine Waters in her call to the people to struggle to secure our rights and obtain justice for everyone.