Midweek Message

Update, Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Jim Hopkins

October 12, 2021

The Evergreen Baptist Association Annual Meetings, held virtually again in 2021, were reflective of the vital ministry of the region’s congregations and the region itself. One of the important elements of this year’s meetings was the publication of this moving letter from the EBA Black Caucus to our Haitian brothers and sisters.

A Letter to our Haitian Brothers and Sisters

This letter is to apologize to our Haitian Brothers and Sisters for the abhorrent treatment inflicted on approximately 12,000 of you at the Southern Border of the United States of America. We watched in horror at the mistreatment carried out by the US Border Patrol Agents. We can only imagine the feelings and emotions that must have gone through your minds as many of you felt the pain of the whip. Some of our white brothers and sisters have even had the audacity to claim that these were not whips but bridles that inflicted this pain on some of you. Some people have a tendency to try and mince words and create nuances whereas they feel less guilty about supporting and condoning such inhumane treatment. It is as if the object used makes a difference when anything used in a whipping motion in order to inflict pain on another person must be considered a whip.

The images of the DHS Border Patrol Agents on horseback whipping helpless black men were inhumane and the Haitians have been denied due process. It reminds us that this mistreatment is based on an immigration policy that carries a double standard which springs forth and is based on America’s racist past. It is also a reminder of the African American atrocities during the Slave Trade. The thousands of Haitians seeking asylum should have been treated with dignity and respect. They should not be deported because their country is in turmoil right now. The U.S. has the responsibility to make sure each person/family can exercise their legal rights to seek asylum. Just as the Afghans have been welcomed into the U.S. and treated with dignity and respect, so should the Haitians.

There should be racial equity and racial justice built into our immigration policy. This immigration policy based of anti-anything blackness, is not surprising and is a reflection of the white supremacy roots of this nation. It is also a reflection of the anti-black sentiment that still exists all over this nation. We must remember that one of the things President Biden ran on is a kinder gentler immigration policy from the previous President that is based on a vision of a new 21st century system that is grounded in racial and economic equity, moral values and is humane. We must hold President Biden and our government leaders accountable. When will this madness end? How much more do we have to be subjected to?

Many of us are old enough to vividly remember watching dogs and high pressure water hoses being turned on non-violent marchers doing nothing more than marching for freedom and the right to vote. We are old enough to remember Rep. John Lewis being beaten almost to death as he crossed the Pettis Bridge.

Lastly, we want you to know that we are sorry that we can do nothing but sit and watch this travesty as we appear powerless to help. We know that part of the reason you suffer so much pain is because of your successful slave revolt that kicked the French out of your country. The French have hence abandoned you and other western nations have done the same we assume as a lesson that black struggle and independence will never be tolerated. We wish we were more powerful but we are not at present powerful enough to protect you and others of the African diaspora. But know this that if we all stick together and with God’s help one day soon we will be strong enough to protect you and others of us. And when that time comes we promise that things like this will never ever happen again.

With love,
Your Brothers and Sisters of the Evergreen Black Caucus

Tonight on LABC Zoom – No Soup, But Study, 6:00 pm.