Leaders of the American Black Church have accused Donald Trump of inciting white terrorism against people of color and of portraying worshipers as thugs in a presidential campaign ad.
They are calling for the removal of advertisements from display and federal protection against any bias or threat it may cause.
The video, named Meet Joe Bidens Supporters, is online and features violent scenes of burning buildings and police cars followed by footage of the Democratic presidential candidate kneeling in front of the altar at Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME ) alongside members of the black clergy and the community. leaders from his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware.
Vice President Mike Pence’s apparent voice is heard saying: You won’t be safe in Joe Bidens America. He then moves on to the text which reads: Stop Joe Biden and His Rioters.
The AME Church on Monday denounced the announcement, which they said links the church to violence and implies that those who gathered there are thugs. Meanwhile, Bethel pastor Silvester Beaman told Religion News Service (RNS): The ad is blatantly racist and offensive on many levels.
The statement, whose signatories include Bishop Michael L Mitchell, chair of the AME bishops’ council, and Bishop Frank Madison Reid III, chair of the churches commission on social action, said: This ad subtly incites terrorism white against people of color and attacks the black church and black people for refusing to bow down to the idol called white supremacy.
They demanded an immediate apology from Bethel AME Church and Beaman, to have the announcement removed from all networks and federal protection of the church, its staff and the community.
They also called on the federal departments of Justice and Homeland Security to launch an investigation into the legality of the misrepresentation and photoshopping images of Trump campaigns and rhetoric as language likely to incite violence, and to encourage racial tensions which lead to placing people of color in the night way.
Describing the ad, Reid told the Guardian: In one word, it was appalling, another word, divisor, and third, it was destructive.
He added: The insinuation that the church is a violent institution has sparked attacks for centuries here in America against any black person, man or woman, any black institution, who dares to stand up and speak out against the practices of supremacy. white in the fields of culture. , politics, spirituality and finance.
Citing the recent murders in Kenosha, Wisconsin, where an armed white agitator shot dead two men protesting police shooting a black man and the murder of two deputy sheriffs in Los Angeles in an ambush over the weekend, Reid added. : There is a culture of violence that is sparked by those with a political agenda.
The statement, he said, is a warning to alert the nation and alert people of color that this election and these shootings and this violence is all the hatred white supremacists hate.
While he said he was sure the church in Wilmington was ready in the wake of the announcement, in the current climate it needed federal protection until this thing cooled off.
The statement said the FBI was investigating vandalism against several AME churches and continued to face the 2015 mass shooting against Mother Emanuel Church in Charleston, South Carolina, by an avowed white supremacist.
We fear that the history of the fires and bombings of black churches will be stirred by a political party that has lost its moral bearings. We are deeply concerned that the lynchings, murders and white supremacist assassinations of black men and women, boys and girls in the past, are the blueprint for the present and the future, have- they stated.
The Trump and Biden campaigns, the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security did not respond to requests for comment from the Guardians.
The Trump campaign’s deputy national press secretary Samantha Zager previously denied that the announcement was intended to imply that black churches are making America dangerous, saying: It’s absurd and it’s shameful to even do it. ‘allegation.
An FBI spokesperson said: It is our usual policy that the FBI neither confirms nor denies the existence of investigations. We have no further comments.
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