On Saturday, June 25 2022, a Black male carpenter found a noose hung in a shared storage trailer on a construction site in Redmond, WA. A tool was taped to the noose with the carpenter’s name written on it. As of issuing this statement, the incident is being investigated as a hate crime.
This was not an isolated incident; it was discovered that, in 2021 also, a Black woman found several nooses at a construction site at the Redmond Microsoft campus, causing her to quit the industry after 14 years of working there.
We know that the noose, an unambiguous symbol that evokes the lynchings during the era of Jim Crow, is employed not only to threaten and harass the victim, but also to instill racial terror.
As members of the Racial Justice Group of Saint Andrew’s Lutheran Church in Bellevue, Washington, and with the full support of the Congregation Council, we condemn this cowardly and evil act, and condemn all racially-motivated threats, harassment, and violence.
We issue this statement to fulfill our commitment made in the Racial Justice Statement approved by Congregation Council in April 2021: “…Recognizing the systemic racism and racial inequality in our community and nation, we acknowledge that we cannot remain silent, nor can we sit idly by. Remaining silent only contributes to injustice.”
We resolve to take the following actions, which serve as a starting point but can be expanded upon as we continue to grow on our journey to true racial equity:
- We ask members of Saint Andrew’s Lutheran Church to learn about the history of lynching and racial terror in America, using this website made by the Equal Justice Initiative: lynchinginamerica.eji.org
- We will host a future Discipleship Forum covering the history of lynching in America.
- We ask members of Saint Andrew’s Lutheran Church to donate to Eastside Embrace, a Redmond/Kirkland-based and Black-led anti-racist group dedicated to enhancing diversity and racial justice in local communities and lifting up marginalized voices. They hosted “Eastside Honoring Juneteenth” in Kirkland on June 18th. http://eastsideembrace.weebly.com/
Congregation members are encouraged to contact the Racial Justice Group with any questions.