A statement from the African American Pastors of the Building Beloved Community between Rabbis & Reverends

The African American Pastors of the Building Beloved Community between Rabbis & Reverends Initiative in the Greater Seattle Area, do hereby detest and denounce the anti-Semitic July 7, 2020 Instagram post of DeSean Jackson.

To Our Jewish Partners

The African American Pastors of the Building Beloved Community between Rabbis & Reverends Initiative in the Greater Seattle Area, do hereby detest and denounce the anti-Semitic July 7, 2020 Instagram post of DeSean Jackson.

While we appreciate that he has since thoroughly apologized, we feel that the nature of the statement as well as its public prominence demand that we stand up publicly, in no uncertain terms, against it. Statements like that of DeSean’s undermine Jewish identity and advance false conspiracy theories. These can be the seedbed for new forms of anti-Semitism, something we vehemently oppose just as we do racism.

As much as we celebrate the civil rights work of former NBA player Stephen Jackson in the wake of George Floyd’s death, we denounce the support Stephen Jackson gave to DeSean Jackson’s July 7, 2020 post. Instead, we support Sports Commentator Stephen A. Smith’s long and apt denunciation of both DeSean’s original post and of Stephen Jackson’s words defending it.

Putting history in its true light, African Americans and Jewish Americans have a long tradition of working side-by-side to stop lynching as well as fighting for civil rights. Together leaders from our two communities established the NAACP in 1908. Young people from our two communities led the Mississippi Freedom Rides in 1961 and were beaten as a result. James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner died together in 1964 as they worked in tandem for the voting rights of African American in Mississippi. Jewish feminists such as Betty Freidan and Gloria Steinem labored with African American womanists Ella Baker and Angela Davis. Finally, Rabbi Abraham Heschel marched with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Our two communities have a great shared history. In tandem, we have striven in God for “justice to roll down like water, and righteousness like a mighty stream” (Amos 5:24).

Out of friendship, African Americans Pastors inquired about the DeSean Jackson post with our Jewish brothers and sisters of the cloth. We personally learned of the pain and concerns this last round of anti-Semitism has caused. Our hearts go out to the Jewish community and we affirm that we are stand unequivocally against anti-Semitism.


SIGNATORIES

Bishop Garry Tyson, Goodwill Missionary Baptist                
Dr. Mark R. Jones
, Beloved Community Developer
Rev. George Noble
, Restoration Bible Church                        
Rev. Linda L. Smith
, SKY Urban Empowerment and Transformation Center
Rev. Carey Anderson
, First African M. Episcopal                  
Rev. James Reese
, Carey House C.O.G.I.C.
Rev. James Broughton
, Damascus Int’l. Fellowship              
Rev. Carl L. Livingston
, Jr., Kingdom Christian C.
Rev. Johnny J Youngblood
, MLK Mem. Baptist Church      
Rev. Michael D Thomas
, Radiant Church
Reverend Ezra Maize
, Ebenezer AME Zion Church              
Bishop Reggie C. Witherspoon
of Mt. Calvary