Historic Black church in DC sees opportunity in the burning of Black Lives Matter signs

Conversations about historic Black churches being targeted by the Proud Boys group last weekend in D.C. remain in the spotlight.

Police called the burning of Black Lives Matter signs potential hate crimes, but that’s not the priority for some parishioners. Reverend William H. Lamar IV, Pastor of the Metropolitan AME Church of D.C., said his parishioners’ primary concern is not the sign burning.

“Were there any people harmed? And the answer is no. Was there damage to our historical building? No,” Lamar said.

Appearing on D.C. Attorney General Karl A. Racine’s virtual #Take30 program, Lamar said his church members’ priorities were clear.

“We do not want this to be about a sign coming down,” Lamar said while describing people within the church’s community as resilient and faithful. “We want a clear message sent to the city, the nation and the world about the work that we do.”

He detailed the social justice goals of his parish and some of the work they do to help people held captive by poverty.

“We want this to be ultimately about the work of universal health care being waged, we want this to be the work of human beings retiring with dignity, and we want this to be about the dismantling of the prison industrial complex,” Lamar said.

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