On her radio program this morning, the American Family Association’s Sandy Rios got to talking about comments that liberals leave on her Facebook page, which she says she doesn’t mind because she knows that “this is a spiritual battle” and her critics don’t “understand who it is that they serve,” which is Satan and the “spiritual forces of darkness.”
“This is a spiritual battle and I don’t think people understand who they’ve signed up to serve, and it’s not God,” she said.
Rios then read an email from a listener who said, “Liberals don’t seem to be outraged about radical Islam but they hate Christianity. The only thing that I can figure is evil likes evil.”
“Yep,” Rios responded, “well, they have the same root, the same father, and that’s Satan himself.
After saying on her radio program today that President Obama has “pushed things so far back” in terms of race relations, the American Family Association’s Sandy Rios told a man who called in to challenge her statement that the media had made him an “angry black man” in its efforts to “whip the black community into a frenzy” over police shootings.
Rios wholeheartedly agreed with Lewis, saying that President Obama and former Attorney General Eric Holder “have pushed things so far back” in terms of race relations. “I hate that," she said. “I hate what it’s done to race relations. I hate that. It’s divisive. And that’s what the president’s all about, is dividing people by race, color, sex, it’s just amazing to me.”
Later in the program, a listener who identified himself as Charles from Columbus, Ohio, called in to challenge Rios on the point, citing the recent acquittal of a police officer in the shooting deaths of an unarmed black couple in Cleveland. “Unfortunately, sisters and brothers like yourselves and others just don’t get it as it pertains to basically to black America and the history of black America with regards to America,” he told Rios. “I get so discouraged when I hear you guys talk about the current situation with policing and black America.”
Rios told Charles that he was being duped by “people who want to whip the black community in a frenzy by misrepresenting facts” on police shootings, saying that he has to be careful with the facts just as the Right does in talking about Jade Helm 15 and other anti-Obama conspiracy theories (something that Rios herself does not exactly do).
“You do understand, Charles, that there are people who want to whip the black community into a frenzy by misrepresenting facts?” she asked. “You know, I was just the object of this, I have just been — people have been whipped into a frenzy over statements that I made about the train conductor. And what they’re saying is, they take a lot of what I said and twist it, and then it goes like a house afire. So I know how this works. Maybe you don’t. But I tell you there are people that benefit from twisting the story ever so slightly to get you whipped into a rage.”
“Look, ABC doesn’t care about giving you the whole story, neither does CBS, because they want you to be an angry black man,” she said. “Do you understand that?”
Former Pennsylvania senator and GOP presidential hopeful Rick Santorum said yesterday at a campaign stop in Iowa that he worries “about anti-government rhetoric,” according to a local paper and to Washington Post reporter James Hohmann, who tweeted about the remark:
Santorum: "I worry abt anti-government rhetoric. I want to make sure we're talking to ppl where they are and not just to make them angry."
Really? The Santorum we know has spent the entire Obama presidency stoking mistrust of the federal government. Here are just fifteen examples, in no particular order, of Santorum’s anti-government rhetoric in the past few years.
1. When he claimed that Obama is a ‘tyrant’ hell-bent on destroying America
"If we have a system where the government is going to be the principal provider of health care for the country, we're done. Because then, you are dependent on the government for your life and your health...When Thatcher ran for prime minister she said - remember this, this is the Iron Lady - she said, 'The British national health care system is safe in my hands.' She wasn't going to take on health care, because she knew once you have people getting free health care from the government, you can't take it away from them. And the reason is because most people don't get sick, and so free health care is just that, free health care, until you get sick. Then, if you get sick and you don't get health care, you die and you don't vote. It's actually a pretty clever system. Take care of the people who can vote and people who can't vote, get rid of them as quickly as possible by not giving them care so they can't vote against you. That's how it works."
7. When he claimed that in Obama’s America, religious people are on “the path” to being beheaded like clergy in the French Revolution
8. When he warned that Christians must fight “persecution” in America to stop us from turning into Nazi Germany
9. When he claimed Obama is faking a war with ISIS and allowing the persecution of Christians
10. Whenhe warned of the hidden Obamacare agenda of using pre-natal testing to “cull the ranks of disabled” who are “less able than the elites who want to govern our society”
11. When he said the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities would empower the government to kill his daughter
“In the case of our 4-year-old daughter, Bella, who has Trisomy 18, a condition that the medical literature says is 'incompatible with life,' would her 'best interest' be that she be allowed to die? Some would undoubtedly say so.
So if the state, and not Karen and I, would have the final word on what is in the best interest of a child like Bella, what chance would a parent have to get appropriate care in the days of increasingly government-funded medical care?
Proponents have said that Section 7 would not affect a parent’s right under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, but the education standards of CRPD do not repeat the parental rights rules of past U.N. human-rights treaties. Omission of these rules combined with Section 7 could lead to the elimination of parental rights for the education of children with disabilities.
These issues become real for parents because, despite what the proponents insist, ratifying the treaty will require changes to U.S. laws to comply with the U.N. provisions. Section 4 requires any country that adopts this treaty 'to adopt all appropriate legislative, administrative and other measures for the implementation of the rights recognized in the present Convention.'”
12. When he claimed the health care reform’s contraception mandateis “a descendent of the French Revolution”
13. When he told Bryan Fischer that business owners who refuse service to gay customers have been sent to “reeducation camps” and pastors will soon be jailed or martyred
14. When he said the Democrats are worried Obama will go to Indonesia and “bow to more Muslims”
“Watching President Obama apologize last week for America's arrogance - before a French audience that owes its freedom to the sacrifices of Americans - helped convince me that he has a deep-seated antipathy toward American values and traditions.”
Earlier this week, we reported on Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s comment on Dana Loesch’s radio program that a bill he signed requiring that women seeking abortions first undergo a medically unnecessary ultrasound was no big deal because ultrasounds are “lovely” and “just a cool thing.”
The comment was subsequently picked up by a number of media outlets, eventually leading to a backlash from the right-wing media, who claimed that the whole thing was taken out of context.
Yesterday, Walker returned to Loesch’s show to slam the media for being “biased” and “lazy” for reporting on his comments, encouraged by pro-choice advocates who “can’t win” on the issues.
But then he repeated the very same sentiment he expressed in the original interview, saying that mandatory ultrasounds are no big deal: “Who’s opposed to an ultrasound?’”
Here, as in our original post, is the full audio of Walker’s comments. Judge for yourself:
The Heritage Foundation’s Ryan T. Anderson — the fresh face of the movement against marriage equality — agreed with an interviewer last week that the road to marriage equality started with widespread contraception use, saying that the acceptance of gay marriage came about because “we’ve had a culture since the ‘60s, since the sexual revolution, that has largely made a mess of human sexuality, the family and marriage.”
Patrick Coffin, who hosts a podcast for the group Catholic Answers, asked Anderson whether “the widespread acceptance of contraception” was “the first domino to fall” on the way to marriage equality.
“Yes, the sexual revolution explains quite a bit of this,” Anderson agreed. “We only arrived at the place where we are today, in 2015, at the cusp of a potential Supreme Court case redefining marriage everywhere because we’ve had a culture since the ‘60s, since the sexual revolution, that has largely made a mess of human sexuality, the family and marriage. It’s only after a generation or two of premarital sex, non-marital childbearing, the hookup culture, pornography, no-fault divorce, that you’d then be at the point of saying, ‘Oh, yeah, marriage has nothing to do with men and women.’”
Opponents of marriage equality don’t always acknowledge that the rights that they would like to roll back don’t stop with gay marriage. But just as the gay rights and women’s rights movements have been intertwined for decades, so has the opposition to those advances.
As people continue to see the bad results of the sexual revolution, they are likely to reevaluate their current attitudes toward sex, and while doing so they may find that the logic of human sexuality leads right back to traditional Christian orthodoxy. Might the continued push for same-sex "marriage" and the normalization of homosexuality prove to be the tipping point, the catalyst for a widespread reexamination of Christian sexual practice? Might these issues push the envelope so far that, as faithful Christians reflect on the reasons why they must conclude that homosexual acts fail to embody the truth of human sexuality, they come to realize that these same reasons entail the immorality of contraception? (For the moment I’ll assume that anyone entertaining this line of thought has already concluded that premarital and extramarital sex likewise fail to embody the truth of human sexuality.)
Last month, during the Supreme Court arguments in the Obergefell v. Hodges marriage equality cases, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg challenged the idea that the definition of marriage has existed for “millennia,” pointing out that the ground for same-sex marriage was paved by a “change in the institution of marriage to make it egalitarian” for women. More recently, the legal fight for reproductive rights for women — starting with defending the right to contraception — has gone hand in hand with the fight for LGBT rights.
This post has been updated with Anderson's 2006 article.
In a radio commentary earlier this month, Eagle Forum founder Phyllis Schlafly acknowledged that it’s “quite true that America was built by hard-working people from all over the world,” but cautioned that today’s immigrants from Latin America are “not the same sort” as the wave of mostly European immigrants who came to the U.S. in the early 20th century.
Schlafly criticized President Obama for calling the U.S. “a nation of immigrants,” saying, “The problem is that the immigrants coming into our country today are not the same sort as the immigrants who contributed so much to building our great country. The immigrants who came to America in the 1920s and ‘30s were different – with very different motives.”
“It’s quite true that America was built by hard working people from all over the world who sought a place of freedom where they could realize their dream,” she said. “But today’s immigrants don’t have the same motivation, the same love for America, the same desire to be part of the American culture and dream.”
She cited Russian-born songwriter Irving Berlin as the kind of America-loving immigrant who supposedly no longer come to the United States.
Schlafly's commentary varies slightly from a transcript provided on Eagle Forum's website, which adds this thought: "[Today's immigrants] don’t want to leave their homes and become Americans, accepting all that comes along with it. Many of them just want to reap the rewards of our free nation without accepting American culture, the English language, and the rule of law.”
Pat Robertson’s “The 700 Club” ran an alarmed segment about this “new social media trend” today, citing “spiritual experts” who warn that there are “clear warnings” against such activities in the Bible.
Robertson was also not amused, warning that “like it or not, demons are real” and “they will possess and they will destroy” those who mess with them:
Homosexual activists long ago declared war on the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) and have for years delivered blow after blow against them for their stand against open homosexuality within their leadership.
The Scouts have stood with dignity and valor through every attempt, but that's about to change ...
Homosexual activists are on the brink of finally bullying them into submission. and BSA President Gates needs to know just where you stand regarding his lack of courage.
In Congress and state legislatures across the country, right-wing politicians are pushing hard to construct new barriers to women exercising the constitutional right to have an abortion.
Earlier this month the U.S. House passed a bill banning abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, and GOP legislators in Wisconsin are staging a parallel attack. They introduced a similar 20-week ban, which Gov. Scott Walker has indicated he would sign, and have scheduled a hearing on the bill for next week. PFAW supporters in Wisconsin will be out in force to demonstrate their commitment to protecting this core right.
A couple of important points about 20-week bans: first, they are plainly unconstitutional. One of the main holdings of the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision was a woman’s right to an abortion before the fetus becomes viable – that is, the point when a fetus could survive outside the uterus. As Imani Gandy writes at RH Reality Check:
In the past 40 years, the Court has never wavered from the fetal viability benchmark…Courts have consistently smacked down legislative attempts to ban abortions at 20 weeks. But states are undeterred by such pedestrian concerns as constitutionality.
Second, the overwhelming majority of abortions (close to 99 percent) happen before 21 weeks. Those that happen after that are often because of a complicated situation – such as the discovery of a severe fetal abnormality – and the path forward should be determined by a woman and her doctor, not by politicians looking to score points with their base.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, these bans are part of an anti-choice agenda with a much broader goal: banning abortions across the board. From mandatory waiting period laws to “personhood” efforts which would give embryos full legal rights from the moment of conception, the anti-choice movement is playing the long game and slowly “chipping away at choice.”
When legislators try to insert themselves into decisions that should be made by women and their health care providers, it’s more than a political ploy. It’s a real threat to every woman’s health and autonomy.
Several years ago, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins strongly defended a Uganda bill, which at the time included a measure making homosexuality in some cases a capital offense. While the provision was dropped, the Ugandan government still increased the draconian penalties punishing people for being.
So it came as no surprise that on yesterday’s edition of “Washington Watch,” FRC senior fellow Peter Sprigg — who once called for the U.S. to “ export homosexuals” — criticized Randy Berry, the Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBT Persons, for reportedly traveling to travel to Uganda and Jamaica, where homosexuality is also criminalized.
Sprigg said that Berry and the Obama administration are trying to “force this American-style homosexual agenda down the throats of other countries” such as Uganda, “which is one of the countries which has been most bitterly attacked by homosexual activists around the world.”
Today on “Generations Radio,” Colorado homeschooling activists Kevin Swanson and Steve Vaughn discussed the Duggar family child sexual abuse scandal.
Swanson insisted that liberals were waiting for the opportunity to mock the Duggar family because “the world has killed billions of babies since 1960 thanks to abortion and the abortifacient birth control pill,” and are hoping to silence anyone who says “that there is something wrong with killing babies or there’s something wrong with having sex with anything out there that moves or doesn’t move.”
Then, Swanson sarcastically shared “a list of things we’re not going to say about the recent revelations,” for example, “we’re not going to say that incest is worse than homosexuality.”
Sen. Rand Paul’s recent remark that the issue of abortion rights would be best handled “by the states” rather than “under the 14th Amendment” and his ambiguous answer to the question of “when does life begin” were, as commentators on the leftand the right have pointed out, somewhat confounding since Paul has sponsored a Senate bill that aims to undermine Roe v. Wade by defining life as beginning “at conception.”
Adding to the confusion, just a few weeks before Paul made his remarks, the “personhood” group National Pro-Life Alliance forwarded to its members a fundraising email Paul wrote last year urging them to support the effort to “bypass Roe v. Wade” by declaring “unborn children ‘persons’ as defined by the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, entitled to legal protection.”
On April 4, National Pro-Life Alliance forwarded Paul’s letter with the subject line “Sign the petition to bypass Roe v. Wade”:
In the past, many in the pro-life movement have felt limited to protecting a life here and there -- passing some limited law to slightly control abortion in the more outrageous cases.
But some pro-lifers always seem to tiptoe around the Supreme Court, hoping they won't be offended.
Now the time to grovel before the Supreme Court is over .
Working from what the Supreme Court ruled in Roe v. Wade, pro-life lawmakers can pass a Life at Conception Act and end abortion using the Constitution instead of amending it.
Signing the Life at Conception Act petition will help break through the opposition clinging to abortion-on-demand and ultimately win a vote on this life-saving bill to overturn Roe v. Wade.
A Life at Conception Act declares unborn children "persons" as defined by the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, entitled to legal protection .
This is the one thing the Supreme Court admitted in Roe v. Wade that would cause the case for legal abortion to "collapse."
Today, the group sent a similar message from former Rep. Steve Stockman of Texas. Paul’s and Stockman’s argument is based on the somewhat questionable legal theory — rejected by even many anti-choice leaders — that Congress can “bypass” a constitutional amendment or Supreme Court decision overturning Roe by simply passing legislation declaring fertilized eggs and fetuses to be “persons” under the law.
Some anti-choice leaders worry that this strategy would backfire in the courts, giving the Supreme Court a broad opening to strengthen Roe v. Wade. But if it were to succeed, the consequences would be enormous , not only defining all abortion as murder, but endangering common forms of birth control as well. Back in 2013, Paul claimed that such a measure would have “thousands of exceptions,” which his staff later clarified that he did not actually mean.
In fact, saying completely contradictory things on reproductive rights seems to be becoming Paul’s official campaign line. In his profile of Paul in March, Brian summarized Paul’s shifting stance on abortion rights as he heads into the 2016 presidential election:
Paul has also been on all sides of the question of abortion rights. Although Paul is the chief sponsor of a federal personhood bill that would ban abortion in all cases and has warned that a failure to pass the bill will result in the collapse of civilization, he has also said that he does not favor changing the nation’s abortion laws because the country is currently too divided on the issue. Paul insists that he opposes bans on birth control, despite the fact that his own personhood bill would give legal rights to zygotes and could ban common forms of contraception. In a 2013 CNN interview, Paul said that there would be “thousands of exceptions” to his personhood bill, but a spokesman later assured anti-choice activists that the senator approved of just a single exception, allowing abortion in cases where the life of the pregnant woman is at risk.
The watchdog group Homeschoolers Anonymous alerts us today to a string of Facebook posts from Rick Boyer, the author of the Quiverfull book “Take Back The Land,” which was endorsed by America’s most famous Quiverfull patriarch, Jim Bob Duggar, defending the Duggar family’s handling of reported sexual abuse by their eldest son Josh.
“‘Abuse’ is the new ‘racism,’” writes Boyer, who is also a board member of Home Educators Association of Virginia. “As soon as you’re accused of it, you’re considered guilty. Just what would you like the Duggars to have done? Turn all their kids over to a godless psychologist? Maybe one supplied by the local public school system where ‘abuse’ is so unheard of? Should they have skinned Josh alive, rolled him in salt and hung him on a meathook?”
Of course, Josh Duggar has admitted to sexually abusing young girls when he was a minor and his parents have admitted that he did not receive counseling but instead went to live briefly with a family friend.
“Do you hear Josh’s sisters railing against him? Not, it’s not the victims howling for scalps, it’s pagans and gullible Christians, eagerly grabbing the bait and shooting their own wounded,” he continues.
Boyer also defends Bill Gothard, a conservative activist closely linked to the Duggar family who is the focus of a different abuse scandal.
Sometimes things are not what they appear at a distance. With all respect to everybody who has an opinion, I will unequivocally say that the Duggars are one of the happiest, holiest, humblest families I have ever met. Yes, I’ve met them. I’ve been in their home. I’ve been in their church. I am proud to call them my friends. Why don’t the critics ask the Duggar kids what they think of their oldest brother? Because they’d say he’s a sinner-which you and I are too, by the way-and he’s repented and he’s proven that he’s changed and they love and respect him. As for Bill Gothard, I am personally acquainted with him and I have a friend very close to that ministry. He was thoroughly investigated and what he was ACTUALLY found to be guilty of was touching some girls’ hands, hair and feet. He was honest enough to admit that these things were inappropriate and resign. But good grief, how does that compare with what most people are guilty of? All this piling on by people who are not in a position to really know, is just exactly what our enemies, human and spiritual, were hoping for. So many Christians are suckers.
“Abuse” is the new “racism.” As soon as you’re accused of it, you’re considered guilty. Just what would you like the Duggars to have done? Turn all their kids over to a godless psychologist? Maybe one supplied by the local public school system where “abuse” is so unheard of? Should they have skinned Josh alive, rolled him in salt and hung him on a meathook? They guy sinned, repented, changed, and lived an exemplary life for TWELVE YEARS before a tabloid spent thousands of dollars sending a team to Arkansas to go door to door trying to dig up dirt on this exemplary family. How much would it cost them to find dirt on YOU? Would they have to dig that hard? Do you hear Josh’s sisters railing against him? Not, it’s not the victims howling for scalps, it’s pagans and gullible Christians, eagerly grabbing the bait and shooting their own wounded. Ok, go ahead and follow the crowd. I am taking a stand here and now, and you may quote me anywhere you care to. The Duggars are an exemplary family and I wish I were half the man that Jim Bob Duggar is. I hope I have made myself clear. Let the chips fall where God guides them.
OH, I almost forgot: I love Bill Gothard and his ministry has been the most helpful influence in the development of my family. His teaching, and the teaching of others who learned from him has transformed my life and that of my wife as well, who is the most admired woman I know. We owe much of the blessing we’ve seen on our family of 16 to IBLP (although we are not members of ATI.) I highly recommend Bill’s basic and advanced conferences and I believe every Christian would benefit by attending. Is Bill a sinner? Yes. Did he ever claim to be anything else? No. The Apostle Paul was a sinner too but he was surely one of the most godly men in the New Testament age. I firmly believe that Bill Gothard is one of the most godly men in this age. Perfect? No. Just about a hundred times closer to God than I am (And I make and effort). Have you ever spent THIRTY days in prayer and fasting just to draw closer to God? Have you ever risked your life to witness to Chicago street gangs? Have you ever spent most of your time away from home, when you hate to travel, for the sake of ministering to others? Think carefully before you cast the first stone. There. I hope I haven’t pulled too many punches.
One overlooked murderer of the family, Schlafly said, are “the free trade people who have done the work of the feminists by getting rid of [middle class] jobs.” This led her to discuss the gender pay gap, which she said is actually something that women like because they want to marry someone who makes more than they do (a sentiment that she has expressed before).
“Women like to marry a man who makes more than she does,” she explained, “so then she can take time off and work fewer hours when she has something she’d rather do like have a kid and look after her children. So the pay gap, really, is something that women like.”
Josh Duggar, who recently resigned from his post with the Family Research Council after it was revealed that he sexually abused several girls as a minor, recently withdrew from speaking at a homeschooling convention in Sandusky, Ohio.
However, Duggar is still scheduled to speak at the ALIVE Festival in Mineral City, Ohio, an event sponsored by Liberty University and other Christian organizations, to discuss how “the Bible is the owner’s manual for life.”
Prominent evangelist Ray Comfort also told fans in a Facebook post that he will boycott TLC if the network dares to drop the Duggar family’s reality TV show in response to the alleged cover-up of Josh’s abuse.
www.livingwaters.comI saw that The Learning Channel dropped “19 Kids and Counting” from their line-up, so we dropped...
Today on “Sandy Rios in the Morning,” Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, said that the Obama administration’s prosecution of senior FIFA officials and investigations into law enforcement misconduct show that the administration is ignoring the threat of terrorism.
“We know with Nero, he allegedly fiddled while Rome burned,” Gohmert said. “America is being destroyed from within and instead of fiddling, this administration is going after people that don’t really make any difference to the ongoing of a free republic. It’s tragic.”
The Texas Republican criticized the Justice Department for “going after police forces all over the country,” adding: “This Department of Justice couldn’t find their rear end with both hands and yet they’re out there telling everybody else how they have to act.”
“This administration has coddled racism, reverse racism, all kinds of problems and discrimination against women,” Gohmert continued.
He also claimed that the administration is targeting “fantastic patriots” who “say this administration is allowing radicalized Islamists to get away with murder.”
“They will not go after the radicalized murderers, the potential radicalized murderers or the terrorists being led into the country. No, they will come after you,” he said.
Sandy Rios, the governmental affairs director of the American Family Association, is in the camp that President Obama maybeasecret Muslim, and today on her radio program she claimed that he is helping Islamists win power in the Middle East.
“I think American people need to know: Our government is working against us in every single, it seems, situation,” she said.
“There is a plan, it always turns out to favor the Islamists, whatever the plan,” Rios said, claiming that U.S. intervention in Libya and supporting democracy in Egypt were moves intended to help Islamist groups.
“Maybe they just are overlooking things. You think? I don’t think so but you could say that, but we will look at their actions and their actions are absolutely disastrous.”
We will wait for Rios’ exposé about how the Bush administration invaded Iraq to help Al Qaeda and Iran.
Rafael Cruz said at anevent in Brenham, Texas, this month that the impending Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage will be “an ominous decision” that will determine “whether the definition of marriage we have had for 6,000 years is going to be thrown out the window.”
Cruz, the father and top campaign surrogate of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, warned that “if this decision comes against the biblical definition of marriage, the next thing that is going to happen is the government is going to come demanding that churches hire homosexual pastors and churches perform homosexual marriages. It is a very critical time in America.”
Likening the silence of Christians in the face of impending gay marriage doom to the silence of German citizens in Nazi Germany, Cruz asked, “How long are we going to remain silent? Or perhaps the more important question is are we going to have to answer to God for our silence? You know, silence is not an option.” Quoting German pastor and dissident Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Cruz reminded his audience that “silence in the face of evil is evil itself…not to speak, is to speak. See, the silence sends the message loud and clear. We can’t afford to be silent anymore.”
As police violence plagues cities across the nation, communities are actively responding with initiatives to mitigate violence and work toward justice. Elected officials, faith leaders and community activists have come together to strengthen their communities in places such as Ferguson and Baltimore. As Pastor Barry Hargrove, president of the Progressive Baptist Convention of Maryland and an active minister in our African American Religious Affairs Program, explained, “There are lots of things happening behind the scenes, happening on the ground, that are not being reported.”
On Tuesday, PFAW hosted a telebriefing for members about the Black Lives Matter movement. PFAW Communications Director Drew Courtney moderated a dialogue among Hargrove, Missouri State Senator and member of affiliate PFAW Foundation’s Young Elected Officials Network Maria Chappelle-Nadal, PFAWF Director of Youth Leadership and Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, and PFAWF Director of African American Religious Affairs Leslie Watson Malachi.
In the telebriefing, these leaders answered questions about Baltimore and Ferguson and discussed progressive measures taking place in their own communities. In both Baltimore and Ferguson, local leaders have turned toward broad and responsive solutions – such as community policing, social justice education curricula, and prayer rallies – to address targeted violence against minorities.
Despite these steps, Chappelle-Nadal noted that there are still “a significant number of issues that have not been addressed by the legislature.” Chappelle-Nadal, as well as Hargrove, Gillum, and Malachi, encouraged participants to continue advocating for local policies that can help to provoke a systemic change in police practices and empower communities.
Call participants posed many productive questions, including a member who asked what steps could be taken to address tension between the police and communities. Hargrove suggested working within “spheres of influence,” whether it be faith-based organizations or public policy proposals. He also encouraged dialogues between police and community members; Chappelle-Nadal echoed this sentiment by urging citizens to build connections based on commonalities rather than differences.