The two most recent mass shootings that shook the nation shed light on how racial rhetoric can have real-life consequences. Words that were used to fire up a political base have now turned deadly.
During the 58th annual session of the Progressive National Baptist Convention (PNBC) in Atlanta on Aug. 7, 2019, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, the Rev. Dr. Raphael G. Warnock of Ebenezer Baptist Church, the Rev. Dr. Timothy Stewart, president of PNBC, and others, held a news conference to condemn racism and bigotry in the wake of both mass shootings.
Jackson called for a complete ban on assault weapons:
“We must ban assault weapons,” Jackson told a group of reporters at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Atlanta. “Since Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was killed, over 1 million Americans have died due to guns. We’re the most violent nation on Earth. We must stand tall against these guns. They have shot up churches and schools…No civilized society can co-exist with these weapons of mass destruction.”
Jackson also called White nationalism a “threat to a multi-cultural society.”
In the midst of the ongoing violence and hate in America, Stewart called for Christians to raise their voices to help destroy the cycle of hate.
“If ever there was a time you need to organize, strategize and take action, it is now,” said Stewart, who is also pastor of the historic Bethel Baptist Church in Nassau, Bahamas. “With the rise of White nationalism, there is an urgent need for moral Christian voices to lead the way and speak truth to power, condemning the divisive language that has helped create the current climate of hate.”