Clergy march in Wash­ing­ton against white supremacy

South Florida Times - - OBITUARIES - By ADELLE M. BANKS Re­li­gion News Ser­vice

WASH­ING­TON — From Protes­tant preach­ers to Jewish can­tors to Catholic nuns, re­li­gious lead­ers of a range of faiths demon­strated in the na­tion’s cap­i­tal for racial jus­tice, crit­i­ciz­ing the si­lence of some within their own ranks on the sub­ject of white supremacy and ques­tion­ing the moral­ity of Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion poli­cies.

Wear­ing stoles, robes and yarmulkes, the par­tic­i­pants pro­ceeded Mon­day (Aug. 28) on a 1.7-mile route from the Martin Luther King Jr. Me­mo­rial to the Jus­tice De­part­ment. Or­ga­niz­ers es­ti­mated close to 3,000 min­is­ters took part, a larger turnout than sug­gested by the ti­tle of the event: “One Thou­sand Min­is­ters March for Jus­tice.”

“We wanted to say this na­tion is in moral trou­ble,” the Rev. Al Sharp­ton told those as­sem­bled at the King me­mo­rial.

One pro­tester car­ried a sign say­ing “Re­peal and Re­place Trump Pence,” a ref­er­ence to the ef­forts to halt the Af­ford­able Care Act signed into law dur­ing the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion. Another’s sign said “Black Lives Mat­ter To This Rabbi.”

The march was orig­i­nally planned to protest in­creased hate crimes, mass in­car­cer­a­tion and dis­crim­i­na­tion and to call on the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion and At­tor­ney Gen­eral Jeff Ses­sions to ad­dress those is­sues.

But the re­cent vi­o­lence in Char­lottesville, Va., where neo-Nazi, white su­prem­a­cist and white na­tion­al­ist pro­test­ers clashed with anti-racism ac­tivists, prompted in­creased in­ter­est in the gath­er­ing.

Sis­ter Pa­tri­cia Chap­pell, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of Pax Christi USA, de­cried white supremacy but said, as a black Catholic nun, she be­lieves “even our in­sti­tu­tional church is racist” and needs to ad­dress some of its poli­cies and prac­tices.

Sharp­ton’s Na­tional Ac­tion Network spear­headed the march on the 54th an­niver­sary of the March on Wash­ing­ton. Many of the peo­ple — from Bud­dhists to Bap­tists — had planned to be at the march be­fore the Char­lottesville events spurred more to join them.

Some speak­ers ticked off a num­ber of other is­sues that con­cern them, such as crim­i­nal jus­tice, voter sup­pres­sion and health care re­form.

“You’re go­ing to see the vic­tims of Nazism, the vic­tims of white supremacy march to­day to the Jus­tice De­part­ment,” Sharp­ton said just be­fore lead­ing the march through down­town Wash­ing­ton. “And say we don’t care what party’s in.We are not go­ing to be out.” Clergy from var­i­ous faiths par­tic­i­pate in the Thou­sand Min­is­ters March for Jus­tice on Aug. 28, 2017, in Wash­ing­ton, D.C.

PHOTO COURTESY OF RE­LI­GION NEWS SER­VICE

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