‘We want it now’: Boston religious activists demand ‘White churches’ pay $15B reparations to Blacks

“White churches” in Boston need to cough up $15 billion and hand it over to the black community because “Christian love” demands it.

It’s “not enough” for churches to research their history and talk about reparations, Rev. John E. Gibbons of Arlington Street Church told reporters at a Saturday press conference in Roxbury.

“Somehow we need to move with some urgency toward action,” Gibbons said, “and so part of what we’re doing is to prod and encourage white churches to go beyond what they have done thus far.”

(Video: YouTube)

According to the Boston Globe, the news conference, which featured both white and black clergy members, was organized by the Boston People’s Reparations Commission, described by the outlet as “an independent group of activists who have called on the City of Boston to spend $15 billion on reparations.”

“We call sincerely and with a heart filled with faith and Christian love for our white churches to join us and not be silent around this issue of racism and slavery and commit to reparations,” said the Rev. Kevin Peterson.

Peterson has been busy trying to get Faneuil Hall renamed because Faneuil’s name was tied to the 18th-century slave trade.

“We point to them in Christian love to publicly atone for the sins of slavery and we ask them to publicly commit to a process of reparations where they will extend their great wealth — tens of millions of dollars among some of those churches — into the Black community,” he stated.

A letter, signed by 16 clergy and faith leaders and obtained by the Globe, was sent on Good Friday to a number of churches that the Boston People’s Reparations Commission thinks need to get behind the reparations movement.

It “lists ways the churches could provide reparations, including cash payments, creating affordable housing, and helping to back new ‘financial and economic institutions in Black Boston,'” according to the outlet.

According to its website, the Boston People’s Reparations Commission is “derivative of The New Democracy Coalition,” of which Kevin Peterson is “the founder and executive director.”

Another of the New Democracy Coalition’s projects is titled, “Just Vote/Black Voters Matter.”

It focuses “around voter registration, redistricting, voter education and election day mobilization, and election protection.”

The website states:

We are pleased to have worked in the area of voter engagement in Boston by registering thousands of voters. We have led in the area of local redistricting in creating the first Massachusetts congressional district that allowed for the first Black to be elected to the United States House of Representatives.

We are pleased to share our JUST VOTE campaign with the efforts of the nationally recognized Black Voters Matters efforts for the 2022 electoral cycle.

 

And, according to Influence Watch, most of Black Voters Matters’ money “came from Democracy PAC, one of a constellation of groups funded by billionaire George Soros.”

Peterson, according to the Globe, “is also calling on the Catholic Church for support.”

“They unfortunately assisted in sustaining institutionalized racism across the city,” Peterson said. “Not only are we looking at the period of slavery, we’re looking at three centuries of institutionalized anti-Black racism and the Catholic Church is inclusive of the churches we want to engage.”

“Danielle Williams, director of Prophetic Resistance Boston, a social justice organization, said her great-great-grandmother was enslaved in Africa and brought to North Carolina,” the Globe reports. “At the news conference, she discussed the Holy Thursday tradition of re-creating the act of Jesus washing the feet of his disciples.”

“Black people, the descendants of slavery have been washing the feet of our oppressors for well over 400 years,” Williams said. “Now it’s time for you to wash our feet. The descendants of slavery, we want our reparations. We want it now.”

Melissa Fine

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