Progressive National Baptist Convention President James Perkins on Baltimore: Anger Understandable, Violence Is Not

James C. Perkins
James C. Perkins

Rioters in Baltimore sacrifice the moral high ground of nonviolent protest advocated by Martin Luther King, an African-American Baptist leader said.

“Anger over the yet unexplained death of Freddie Gray is one thing, but to respond through the violence which has engulfed the city is another matter,” Progressive National Baptist Convention President James Perkins said in a statement on Facebook. “The rioting, looting and burning does not accomplish anything.”

Perkins, pastor of Greater Christ Baptist Church in Detroit, said anger over the April 19 death of the 25-year-old African-American man from spinal injuries suffered in police custody is understandable. While police brutality against peaceful protestors in the civil rights movement sparked conversation about the need for change, he said, that message is lost when protest turns violent.

“The Progressive National Baptist Convention condemns this violence, but we also condemn the system that consistently ignores the need to engage in urban revitalization and providing jobs that pay a livable wage,” Perkins said. “Until the larger underlying issues are addressed, this frustration will erupt again and again. Let us pray and work to effect true, lasting and positive change.”

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SOURCE: The Baptist Standard
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