Society

Colorado Senator Pens Letter To Local Black Church In Wake Of Charleston Shooting

| by Dominic Kelly

A Colorado senator took to Facebook to share a letter he placed in the door of a Denver church following the June 17 shooting massacre at Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina.

In his letter, Sen. Mike Johnston was clear he believes white people need to show love to black churches during this challenging time in the U.S.

“By Sunday morning America could blanket these churches with such overwhelming expressions of love that no one could walk through the doors of an AME church without feeling a flood of love and support from white men whose names they don’t know, whose faces they can’t place, but whose love they can’t ignore,” the Democratic senator wrote in his Facebook post.

The pastor at Shorter Community AME Church, the Denver congregation that received the note from Johnston, told The Denver Post he drove down to his church at 4 a.m. to get the note after seeing Johnston’s post on Facebook.

“It touched my heart so greatly,” Dr. Timothy Tyler, Shorter Church’s pastor, said.

Johnston’s note quickly went viral after his initial posting, and many people commented vowing they would do as he requested.

The letter from Johnston reads:

My heart breaks for those children of God that we lost in your sister church in South Carolina tonight. On a night when old, devastating patterns of racial injustice return like childhood nightmares, it seemed the best thing to do was to get out of my bed and drive over here to make sure this note was the first thing you saw when you walked in the church tomorrow. This white man is driving over to this AME church to tell you how deeply grateful I am that the leaders of your church have helped build this city, and how honored I am that the ancestors of this church have helped build this great country.

For centuries your church has stood for the unconditional love, unfettered hope, and relentless forgiveness that define the American spirit. I want you to know I stand arm in arm with you today in your grief. I refuse to let one deranged man speak for me, and I also refuse to stay silent after his abomination.

I drove over just to remind you and remind myself of the words from one of America’s greatest preachers and one of the Lord’s greatest prophets who said that “Hate can not drive out hate, only love can do that.” With that truth in mind, in the wake of tonight’s heartless stabs of hatred, I drove here to reaffirm the overwhelming supremacy of love. And to stand with millions of other white men who are proud to call you brothers and sisters, and who feel compelled now to right the wrongs of generations past by ensuring that these lost loved ones you will not grieve alone, this hollow hatred you will not face alone, and this righteous justice you will not seek alone.

Sincerely,
Mike Johnston

Sources: The Denver Post, KWGN

Photo Source: Mike Johnston via The Denver Post