Los Angeles faith leaders stood up for U.S. Congresswoman Maxine Waters after a few conservatives, including elected officials and media, attacked her last week for advising to protesters to “get confrontational” if needed.
Pastor Shane B. Scott of Macedonia Baptist Church and Bishop Craig A. Worsham of Agape Church of L.A. joined colleagues in a press conference on April 27, to announce their unequivocal support for Waters as well as call for policy changes when it comes to issues impacting Black and Brown community members.
The criticisms against Waters came after she joined protestors in Minneapolis on the weekend before the Derek Chauvin guilty verdict. While marching peacefully in a show of support for justice for people of color, Waters was asked by protesters how to respond if Chauvin was found not guilty.
In her typical, frank manner, she replied, “We got to stay on the street. And we’ve got to get more active, we’ve got to get more confrontational.” To those who have followed Waters’ throughout her political career, her response was not surprising. After all, as she wrote in an April 22 op-ed in the L.A. Times, “Confronting injustice has been my life’s work.”
Agreeing with her statement, Scott said, “Congresswoman Waters has always been on the side of the marginalized; she has been for the people because she is of the people. Her legislative agenda has not been partisan, although as a proud progressive, and regardless of race, sexual orientation, criminal background, educational attainments, or socio-economics, Congresswoman Waters has sought to create a just and equitable society for everyone.”
Other clergy were on hand at the conference to declare their backing of Waters. In addition to Worsham, notable supporters included Pastor John E. Cager III of Ward AME Church and president of the L.A. Council of Religious Leaders, Pastor Najuma Smith-Pollard of Word of Encouragement Community Church and program manager of the USC Cecil Murray Center for Community Engagement, Pastor Welton Pleasant of Christ Second Baptist Church of Long Beach and vice president of the Baptist Ministers Conference of Los Angeles and Southern California, Pastor Terry Brown of Liberty Baptist and Judson Baptist Churches, former corporate law enforcement officer Carl A. Brown, and former LAPD officer Stinson Brown.
Also, a statement was issued on behalf of the leaders, which stressed the strong relationship that the congresswoman has with not only the faith community, but also and people of all ethnicities. The ministers asserted, “As Congresswoman Maxine Waters’ friend, we commend her fierce defense of liberty and justice for all – we, and other religious leaders, stand for her, as she continues to push for justice and accountability.
“The pendulum in American history is swinging. This pendulum of the new majority of like-minded people who have come together, have set into motion meaningful change that will last for centuries to come in America if we continue to fight.
“African Americans, Latinos, Asians, Pacific Islanders, Native Americans, Caucasians, immigrants and refuges have a right to come together in order to form a more perfect union. We cannot continue to suffer at the hands of those who are sworn to serve and protect us.”