Alexandra Pineros-Shields, Executive Director, ECCO
The Rev. Dr. Stephen Ray, President of Chicago Theological Seminary, describes our current situation as a pre-genocidal moment. He identifies 3 factors commonly present before genocide happens. First, a group of people is targeted and demonized. Second, some kind of registry is created to track the people who are targeted. Third, concrete plans are developed to remove those targeted people from the nation.
A pre-genocidal moment begs the question, will we be Poland or will we be Denmark? At the end of World War II, almost all the Jews in Poland had been killed. In Denmark, almost all the population put on yellow stars, even the King. The Danish people worked together to save almost all the Jews in Denmark. Will we be Poland or will we be Denmark? Who gets to decide? Does the federal government get to decide? Do we get to decide?
As we witness the horrific violence increasing towards those who are judged not to belong, Muslims, Jews, Black folks, immigrants, and others, we are called to act in the spirit of the Hebrew prophets - boldly, courageously, and creatively! Our collective power is prophetic resistance!
Over the past several months, ECCO leaders have been engaged in conversations about what prophetic resistance looks like and prophetic imagination what kind of world is possible. We have been asking ourselves - how can we create real transformation? How can we truly be led by those closest to the pain fueled by the systems of mass incarceration and economic inequality?