Welcome to Chicago. The city that attracts tourists from around the world with its reputation for bright lights, good eats, a mile of magnificence, and diverse culture. However, Chicago is the same city that prompted Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to say the following:
“This is a terrible thing. I’ve been in many demonstrations all across the South, but I can say I have never seen — even in Mississippi and Alabama– mobs as hostile and hate-filled as I’ve seen here in Chicago.”
By court demand, authorities recently released the video of Laquan McDonald, which shows a White Chicago police officer (Jason Van Dyke) fatally shooting McDonald, who is African American 16 times. As a diverse group of pastors held a prayer vigil for justice at the Chicago Police Headquarters earlier this week, Pastor Daniel Hill of River City Community Church, stood out after repenting on behalf of white Christians who have failed to value the lives of Black people.
Read an excerpt from JETMag.com to discover why Pastor Daniel Hill made such a bold statement and what he believes can help Chicago overcome its racism.
JET: What were your thoughts after witnessing the Laquan McDonald video?
Pastor Daniel: Anger. Disgust. Outrage–deep sadness over the loss of another precious life. I was also particularly struck by the level of cover up that had gone into the concealment of the video. The 400 days included the Mayor’s office, the State Attorney’s office, the Aldermen, the Police, etc. We all fear stuff like this happens regularly, but this without question, revealed the gap between the powerful and the (so-called) powerless. Laquan was a ward of the state. And when he was killed, his life was treated as unimportant – covered up by multiple agendas of the powerful.
JET: What role do white Christians play in justice for African Americans?
Pastor Daniel: That’s a question that I regularly ask my African American friends, co-workers and mentors. And it’s a question that we as white Christians should pay close attention to when answers are proposed.One thing I do feel clearly convicted of is the need for white Christians to actively and collectively repent for our complicity in the creation of our racist landscape. While I’m grateful for the exceptions that have stood in solidarity with the oppressed, the overwhelming history of our country reveals a picture of white Christians standing on the wrong side of justice, and often serving as the ones to perpetuate injustice. So there is much to repent for.
Read the full interview at JET.