Our original "Black Lives Matter" sign is back in view again - after the theft of "White Silence = Compliance" banner!
Nelson Mandela, convict and President.
Church members woke up yesterday to find their banner – which calls out white silence – has been stolen.
We hope this is not connected to the timing of nearby Withington’s anti-racist attack on the Marcus Rashford mural but are concerned it might be.
The banner was unveiled on 2 June. Since then the local FaceBook page (‘M21’) has had nearly 1000 visits and 600 comments, mostly positive, some critical, and some threatening to have it removed by the Council. The Council however have seen the banner and said it can stay.
The banner read (before its theft) - “White Silence = Compliance” – a message which was agreed following much discussion with young black people and members of the Church’s congregation. The Church set up a Black Lives Matter (BLM) discussion group last year after George Floyd’s death and has continued to debate and reflect on the issues it raised.
We feel there is so much to be done to combat the institutional racism in our society, and that white people need to speak out against racism. Silence from the majority is allowing the oppressive status quo to continue. We know that racism in any form runs contrary to the gospel commandment to love our neighbours as ourselves.
And the onus is on the white majority to listen, change and fight for justice.
The banner’s message “White Silence = Compliance” reflects the change we need to be in this world. We feel as Christians it is important to educate ourselves, speak the truth and acknowledge structural racism in our communities and the Church itself.
“Trying to be an anti-racist church, we welcome new ideas and pathways to this end,’ said a church member. “We are continuing to learn from prominent writers such as Prof Anthony Reddie, Reni Eddo-Lodge, David Olusoga and Layla Saad. Documentaries such as Thirteenth and Hip Hop and Grime artists such as Dave and Common have also helped us on our journey.”
The Church is encouraging others to develop their understanding of the black struggle, and says it will be one of the main priorities of its congregation.
revised 14 June 2021