March 20, 2021 | by Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño
I am deeply grieved by the violence against our Asian-American brothers and sisters. The killings in Atlanta, GA this week that took the life of 8 including 6 Asian- American women and brought the flippant response of a sheriff’s department captain that the killer was having a “really bad day,” is yet another blatant sign of how low we have fallen.
I don’t need to name for you that racism and xenophobia against Asian-Americans has increased over the long grip of the COVID-19 pandemic. With me you have been hearing and reading the reports. If you have missed these reports, I have attached a few of the media reports related to how this violence has shown up in our area that have deeply concerned me.
I hold former President Donald Trump responsible for giving wings to the sinful sickness of this country’s racism and xenophobia. No, this isn’t partisan politics. I would say this about any President or political leader who acts in such deplorable and dehumanizing ways. While I pray for Trump’s redemption, I also pray that as United Methodists we will not allow this moment to stand without our strong commitment to protect and defend our Asian-American brothers and sisters who are living in fear and suffering great bodily harm and even death because of the vile hatred of others. Asian-American elderly and women are particularly being affected by this moment of sheer hatred.
Let’s take action:
· Declaring publicly that we stand with the Asian-American community – put it on your church’s signboard, in your bulletins, newsletters, in a letter to the editor of your local newspaper.
· Reaching out to our Asian-American neighbors and extending support to them – put on your mask and go knock on the door of your neighbor and say you wanted to make sure they were safe.
· Offering to accompany Asian-American elderly and women on the streets of our communities – say to them “I am concerned about your safety may I walk with you”.
· Engaging with Asian-American community organizations to learn what we can do to express our solidarity – call the organizations and say you want to know how to be supportive of the Asian-American community and invite them to speak to a zoom gathering of your church.
· Praying without ceasing for Asian-American families – at every worship service, every meeting, as we arise in the morning and as we end our day, with special care to teach our children to pray with us.
I am so very grateful for the present faithful witness of our Asian-American United Methodist congregations in our California-Nevada Conference, but this work is not for them to bear alone. I will follow their leadership and extend the full authority of my office in support of their efforts. I call upon all our congregations and clergy to step up with us.
Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño is Resident Bishop of the San Francisco area and the California-Nevada Conference of The United Methodist Church.