In an odd attempt at solidarity, First Congregational Church located in Oakland, Calif., and also known “First Congo Church” *side eye* has vowed to stop calling the cops on Black people.
The church’s leader, Nichola Torbett, stated: “One of the things that gets lost in Christianity in this country often is how Jesus was positioned in the society that he lived in. He was part of an occupied nation, a colonized people. A brown-skinned man, who was surveilled, targeted, harassed, finally arrested, beaten, and killed by state forces.”
They call it “divesting” from police. This church and a few other churches on the West Coast are encouraging a movement among liberal, progressive houses of worship. Primarily made up of white ministers and majority white congregants, they have vowed to lead efforts to keep Black people safe from the police. Conservative media outlets have called them “anti-police” and have, basically, misconstrued the message that they were trying to send.
This is the perfect example of doing the most on both sides. First of all, Black people have never said to not call the police. That is absurd. Someone robbing you, absolutely, warrants a phone call to the police regardless of race. A Black person minding their own damn business- DOES NOT. Self-defense classes are the suggested remedy for the lack of police presence. So you won’t call the police but you plan to fight a so-called “threat” That is a disaster waiting to happen. This church wants to put a Band-Aid on their fears but they haven’t addressed the issue. Why are discussions about our safety and mortality had with usWe already know not to put our hands in our pockets. It’s a given to not move too fast and those precautions still don’t keep us safe or alive.
With the money wasted on self-defense classes, they could invest in therapy to figure out what makes them so damn uncomfortable with Black folks just being Black. Try to understand the root cause of calling the police on an 8-year-old Black girl for trying to help out her mom. Have open-ended dialogues with your shitty counterparts who never stop to think of the potential damage they could cause when calling the police on us. This isn’t about going to jail. We may not make it home.