Response: July 2019 | Sojourners

Response: July 2019

“Maybe Just Listen”
George Pagan III

In “Remembrance and Repentance” (May 2019), Kimberly Burge wrote about her church, founded by Methodists who had split from their denomination in 1844 “so that its members could defend slavery while remaining within the church.” For Burge and her fellow parishioners, facing this history has led to public repentance. But not all readers were convinced: “You don’t have to repent for the sins of dead people. They are not your sins,” commented Joe-Al-len Doty in response. Other readers took a different approach: “If systemic racism had an end date, I’d agree with you,” replied Elizabeth Shedd. “But since it’s endured and left room for those modern sins that the arti-cle details, the comfort of white people should not be what steers the conversation. Maybe just listen.” Write us at

This appears in the July 2019 issue of Sojourners
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