To: Cathedral Leadership
From: Bishop Donald Hilliard, Jr., Senior Pastor
Date: January 8, 2021
Re: Capitol Riot Response
Greetings Beloved of God,
I waited a day before I blogged about this catastrophic idiocy and destruction that we saw unfolding in Washington, D.C. January 6, 2021. We have watched the venomous language coming forth from the White House for 4 years. I have refrained (as much as possible) for 4 years from publicly speaking against this President. From the pulpit, I have made every attempt to keep my calm and remain respectful as well as on my social media platforms. I always refer to him as the President, and not 45, as I felt it was disrespectful, dishonorable. He deserved prayer, and I did pray for a President that I have always felt needed our prayers, needed God’s touch, and needed deliverance. However, after the events in our nation’s Capitol, I need to add my voice to the multitudes crying out against this challenged leadership. Sadly, what we saw in Washington, D.C. began with a call to a rally on January 6th, saying it was going to be “wild”. Once in Washington, thousands listened to an impassioned speech by the President, encouraging this angry mob to go down the street to the Capitol and express themselves and “fight” for their country. It was an inciting speech, dangerous rhetoric indeed; inciting what ultimately ended up being a riot. People were climbing the building, breaking glass; there was confusion and chaos, and a catastrophic display of unbridled, violent, destructive protest. Intimidating the police, destroying property, and leaving 5 people dead; this was a tragic event. It was very interesting, however, to see as we watched the news, in one case to see a barricade removed by the police, and to see policeman carefully escorting people down the steps, and another policeman taking selfies with these protestors. How different it was this summer when the Black Lives Matter, of all races, creeds and color, marched peacefully in Washington, D.C., only to be met with tear gas, rubber bullets, and a violent police force; as well as the National Guard. It leaves one wondering.
Let me say right here and now that White Supremacy, Nazi flags, KKK flags, Confederate flags and Trump flags, was a national embarrassment. I also want to say that we are not going back. We have been through this before, but the days of Jim Crow are over, and every attempt to hold back justice will come to an end. Regrettably, for 4 years, there has been a great attempt to divide us racially, ethnically, economically and socially. Representative Cooper Lamb, a Democrat of Pennsylvania, said in Congress the night of this vicious mob attack, and I quote loosely, “That these white folk were allowed to simply walk out. If they were black, it would have been very different.” Yes, they walked out like they were leaving a PTA meeting, calmly. They walked out and they were told to go home.
Sadly, we see the absolute racial disparity, and how justice is needed, and how police have one rule of law for black and brown people, and one rule of law for white people. This nation has a deep history of structural racism and policing. All the way back, right after Reconstruction, the law enforcement were there to police freed slaves, to intimidate them and to keep them in their place. This deep, deep rooted stench of racism, is still very much in the air and alive today. Too often, law enforcement sides with mobs, and white nationalism runs amuck. There are, however, a growing group of people; white, black, and brown, that are walking together in unity, justice and with hope for a nation where there is liberty and justice for all humankind. May All Mighty God help us in this hour and give us grace, as well as faith over our fears. Let us remember that He remains “the God of our weary years, and the God of our silent tears. God Who is by Thy might, led us into the light, keep us forever in the path we pray.”
I encourage us to stay with this God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of Shadrach, Meschach and Abednego, the God of Daniel, the God of Rachel, the God of Hannah, the God of Hagar, the God of Mary, the God of Harriett, the God of Fannie Lou Hamer, and the God of Martin Luther King Jr.; this God will carry us through. “Walk together children, don’t get weary. Pray together children, don’t get weary, stay together children, don’t get weary. There’s a great camp meeting in the Promised Land!”
+ Donald Hilliard, Jr.
Senior Pastor, Cathedral International (One Church in Four Locations)
Founder, and Presiding Bishop Emeritus, Covenant Fellowship Alliance
President, Donald Hilliard Ministries