No, no, and a thousand times no.

Padre Mickey pointed to this article at the Episcopal Cafe.

The Rev. LeeAnne Watkins has a son who is dark-skinned. She also has a neighbor who put up a Halloween display with a decapitated dark-skinned male.

What is my reaction?

No, no, and a thousand times no.

Even before I read the part where it’s supposed to be Barack Obama. No, no, and a thousand times no.

She has spoken with the neighbors, they refused to pull down the display. She’s prayerfully considering her next actions.

In the blockquotes is my comment on the article.

No, no, and a thousand times no.

Rev. Watkins, with all due respect, be prayerful all you want but what kind of message does that display give to your son as he walks by it every day? And what does your inaction, as prayerful as it may be, show him?

It says he is not safe from violence in his own neighborhood in these United States of America. And it says that you, his mother, cannot and are not doing anything to change that. Your words did not sway your neighbors, and therefore you are prayerfully giving up.

I’m a woman proud of my ethnic heritage, very proud to be biracial, but my darker skin has brought me face to face with racism and violence in this country too many times in my 29 years on this Earth. I am also a historian, and I can trace that racism’s tendrils in the prevailing culture.

Do I need to get on my historian lecturing hat and remind you what happens when people stand silent and allow such things to go on in their neighborhood, even if it’s a prayerful silence?

Stand up, Reverend. Be the voice for justice, be the voice for peace. Be the prophetic voice and declare “No, no, and a thousand times no!”

The Episcopal Church has an office of Anti-Racism and Gender Equality. If you need help, I suggest calling them up.


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