A United Methodist-related Hispanic-American group issued a statement Aug. 15 on the Trayvon Martin case, saying race is a factor that was ignored from the beginning.
“The Christian church cannot remain silent but it must be in the forefront of the dialogue that confronts the sin of racism,” the statement from Methodists Associated Representing the Cause of Hispanic Americans said.
MARCHA is the caucus organized to hold the concerns and issues of Hispanic American United Methodists before The United Methodist Church.
The MARCHA statement:
“Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly” – Leviticus 19:15
Methodists Associated Representing the Cause of Hispanic Americans (MARCHA) is deeply concerned with the judicial process and outcome of the trial in the death of Trayvon Martin.
From the very beginning of this tragedy, race was a factor that was ignored, yet it was at the crux of the events that transpired. The element of race was also ignored by the police, by the news media, by the defense, by the judge and eventually by the jury. However, it was this racial profiling conducted by a neighborhood watch volunteer that ignited the tragic series of events that followed, left an unarmed young man dead and people of color feeling angry, frustrated, and discouraged by the judicial system in the nation. It is also clear to us that, in spite of some advances in race relations, people of color continue to be discriminated upon, unfairly blamed, and submitted to a different standard of justice.
The failure to recognize the racial issues that were clearly evident in this case, as in other similar cases in nature, can only contribute to the growth of the sin of racism in our society. Such failure further perpetuates the false perception that things are getting better in race relations in this country.
We believe that the Trayvon Martin case must not be ignored and cannot be explained exclusively by legal jargon. It should be analyzed through the lenses of ethical and moral standards. The Christian church cannot remain silent but it must be in the forefront of the dialogue that confronts the sin of racism. Also, the church must work toward the elimination of this sin, moving us in the direction of the “Beloved Community” that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. so eloquently described.
We invite all religious communities to join us in mourning the perversion of justice in the case of Trayvon Martin and all the others that have suffered from biased misconceptions of justice.