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BMC Response to Mob Violence in Washington, D.C.

BMC is holding in love and praying for the physical and spiritual well-being of our beloved community following the attempted coup in Washington, D.C., on January 6, 2021. The storming of the Capitol building was an unholy act not because the building itself is sacred, but because this assault on Congress was a blatant and offensive expression of white supremacy. The abundance of Confederate battle flags, as well as flags conflating Jesus and Trump, that were paraded throughout the national building reflect a dangerous ideology about power and the state that our Anabaptist tradition has historically and rightly rejected.

The contrast between the police response to this attempted coup and their response to Black Lives Matter protesters just last year was yet another disturbing reminder of how American institutions continue to serve and preserve white power. We call on local and national lawmakers to take decisive and courageous action at this critical time to challenge the status quo and ensure the safety and wellbeing of our communities.

It is insufficient to call for prayers for peace and unity. Such gestures are meaningless without a focused commitment to dismantling the ideologies and structures that fueled the racism, conspiracy theories, and indignation that were on full display during the attack on the Capitol building. We reject the fear and hatred that were carefully and intentionally stoked to incite violence in the service and preservation of white power.

As people who have been shaped by the history and experience of Anabaptists, we are aware of the limitations of state institutions and the need to carefully examine our complicity with structures of violence and harm. Our call in this time is to build a future that truly respects marginalized people. Thus, our plea for peace includes a serious examination of the many ways that we and our churches have been complicit with the practices of white supremacy, as well as a recommitment to the work of racial justice and healing.

We affirm our solidarity with all of those who have been threatened through these acts of violence, especially our Black brothers, sisters, and siblings. We invite our beloved community to counter acts of hate with the diligence, humility and persistence that justice demands.

BMC Board of Directors

January 8, 2021

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