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Opinion: Governing body of Presbyterian Church of Lawrenceville decries theft and removal of Black Lives Matter signs

The borough's Human Relations Commission organized a peaceful protest and rally for social justice on June 13 at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park with NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) of Metuchen-Edison, student groups led by MHS4BLM (Metuchen High School for Black Lives Matter) and local organizers with Speak Up NJ.

We write to decry the recent acts of vandalism, theft and removal of several “Black Lives Matter” signs in our community. The news of these events saddens us and, as citizens of Lawrence Township and members of the Presbyterian Church of Lawrenceville, it is necessary to speak out.


We hope and pray that the disappearance of these signs is not a targeted act and an expression of overt racism seeking to deny free speech. Both overt racism and underlying systemic racism are contrary to our Christian faith and our values as citizens.


We recognize racism to be a complex issue, which requires us to devote ourselves to self-examination, critical thinking, and to a process of listening to our neighbors. We also recognize that while we may not all agree as to how to address the problem, what we need is for people of good-will to reflect, to discuss and to act.


Our congregation is embarking on a process of conversation about racism, and our commitment is for talk to lead to tangible action. We are committed to supporting efforts led by Black citizens within our township and to promote meaningful opportunities for education and dialogue. We are committed to supporting efforts to ensure that Black students are supported and encouraged to achieve their full potential in our schools and that Black families feel safe and protected in our communities. We would urge our fellow citizens to back such efforts as well.


We believe that the genius of the American experiment is our ability to enact positive change through this kind of civic, and civil, conversation and action. We appeal to the conscience of all citizens to participate, in whatever way possible, in addressing this critical issue of our time.


The Session of the Presbyterian Church of Lawrenceville


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