“They dress the wound of my people
as though it were not serious.
‘Peace, peace,’ they say,
when there is no peace.” [Jer. 6:14]
Those are the words of the Biblical prophet Jeremiah, written more than 2500 years ago. We heard these words again, put differently, in the cries of protesters here in Trenton and around the nation: “No justice, no peace.” For too long, the Black community has been treated to the superficial dressings of peace, offered by a dominant culture that seeks little more than a return to the status quo.
This is a time to speak and to act. It is a time to speak up for Black lives and Black bodies, and to act against the status quo of systemic oppression and our nation’s original sin of racism—evils that continue to wound and to kill. As the Maker’s Place staff team and Board of Directors, we add our voices to the call for justice for George Floyd, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and so many other people of color who are victims of police brutality. We say their names. We say that Black Lives Matter.
As Christians committed to nonprofit work, we also denounce the use of the Christian Gospel, the Christian Scriptures, and Christian houses of worship as political props or instruments for state-sanctioned violence, pressed into service in order to dominate protesters calling for necessary change. This runs counter to the message of Christ, the witness of the Biblical prophets, and the heart and character of God.
We acknowledge and share feelings of anguish, anger, confusion, and grief. The events of recent weeks have laid bare deep wounds and added fresh pain—either to ourselves and our communities, or to the people we love. These wounds will not be easily healed; these wounds must be taken seriously. As a leadership team, we commit ourselves, by our prayers and by our action, to the God of Peace and Justice, who promises to bind up the brokenhearted, and set the captives free.
— The Maker’s Place Board of Directors and Staff Team