To white Christians: Stop being racists
By Chinta Strausberg
Thanking President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris for running and winning, Father Michael L. Pfleger shortly after the election said what we won’t do is to “think Biden is our new savior,” and he challenged Biden to sanitize this nation from racism, bigotry and inequality.
Father Pfleger, who said we have to stop putting our faith and trust in man, challenged his congregation and supporters to never give up their dreams, hopes, ideals and standards and that quitting is not an option.
But, Father Pfleger had a stronger message to his white Christian brothers and sisters.
To the white Christian community, Father Pfleger said, “They can no longer sit in comfortable pews and hide behind stained-glass windows and opt out of the struggle for justice because it doesn’t touch them.
“I want them to understand that the scriptures are true. You can’t say you love God whom you do not see and love your brothers and sisters whom you do. We are one body and the hand needs the arm, and the white arm needs the Black shoulder, and the Black shoulder needs the Latino neck and the Latino neck needs the Native American head,” Pfleger emphasized.
To his white brothers and sisters, Father Pfleger added, “You can no longer close your eyes and ears to the cries of masses of people who are hurting and dying. You can no longer say that senseless, ridiculous stuff, ‘I didn’t do this. It was my ancestors. It was my grandparents,’ but you reaped the benefits of what your ancestors did,” Pfleger stated.
“Unless you are willing to deny the benefits, give up your bank account, your nice home with a two-car garage and a picket fence…unless you are ready to give all of that up, then I will hold you responsible.
“It is time to tell America, educate yourself so that the Black and brown people no longer have to carry the burden of your ignorance and your silence. It’s time to tell white America ‘saying you’re not a racist is not enough.’ You got to be anti-racist,” Pfleger said.
Explaining, he said from this day forward whites should “stand up to your friends, to your family, to your co-worker, to your neighbors, to your pastors, to people in leadership wherever they are and tell them their falsehoods of bigotry and their stereotypes and their hatred are no longer acceptable.
“It’s time to stand up to all of the people in your circle and not allow another racist joke, another stereotype, another bigoted statement said in your presence,” Father Pfleger stated.
“You cannot just not be a racist. You got to be anti-racist. It is time to declare publicly white America that Mr. Trump was wrong. Those folks with those Tiki torches are not good people,” he said referring to the white supremacists and neo-Nazis who carried lit Tiki torches during a “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, where they opposed the removal of Confederate statues.
“There are not good people on both sides,” Pfleger said referring to Trump’s controversial description of the peaceful protesters and the white racists.
“It is time to tell all those who say what can I do that if you are silent to evil, you are a co-conspirator. It is time to tell them to act with their voice…act with your influence, your position and time to act with your wallets to equalize the playing field, to bring about equity and equality, to bring about investment and opportunity to every neighborhood, every boardroom, every corporate circle, every business in the United States, and it is time to support Black businesses,” he bellowed.
“When the West Side and the South Side do better, downtown will do better, too.”
While recently speaking at the Economic Club, Father Pfleger said someone asked him, “How do we stop all of this violence that is coming downtown?”
He responded, “When you stop doing the West and the South sides like violence of poverty and injustice. People going downtown because ain’t nothing left to rob on 79th Street,” he said. “You don’t rob homeless people.”
It’s time to tell those in power, and I say this to white, Black and brown people who are in power, when it is classism, use your privilege to be a voice for the masses of poor people who have never had a voice in this country. Use your voice to change the wickedness of this country,” Pfleger said.
“The task before us is great, but it is now we who must challenge, push, pull and drag Joe Biden to make justice happen. We must force him to pull out the Lysol of justice and truth and sanitize this country of the hatred, bigotry, sexism and inequality, injustice and violence. Sanitize this country that has been built on wickedness and thrives on wickedness.
“Grab hold of that arc that holds the moral universe together and use the weight of our faith to continue to bend it towards justice. Let’s make America a place where God can inhabit and dwell and loosen the untold lessons that eyes have not seen and ears have not heard and the mind can’t even imagine.”
“This fig tree we call America has been given another chance. The question now is will God find us who call him our Lord and Savior…will he find a wind and a people who will be faithful to him and rise up and be his hand, be his feet, be his voice to make this fruitful?”
Pfleger thanked those voters who came out on November 3, including the Black community “who turned out in great numbers. When Trump called out Detroit and called out Philadelphia…yeah that’s right, baby. Philly came out. Detroit came out and the South Side and West Side came out…”
Father Pfleger prayed that the people of all faiths “will not miss this moment in history that is before us. You and I are living in a divine intersection. We’re living in a moment that is sacred. We’re living in a moment that understands what this fig tree means or cut it down. It’s in our hands.”
He said this new world “is not going to come from the top down. It’s got to come from the mosques and synagogues and churches up.”
Congratulating Biden and Harris, Father Pfleger said, “We celebrate with you Joe and Kamala. Thank you for running. Thank you for winning, but on January 20th, we’re going to fight.”