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White Chicago Pastor 'Repents' for Violence Against Blacks

Image: White Chicago Pastor 'Repents' for Violence Against Blacks
People gather outside Chicago police headquarters for a prayer vigil and demonstration to protest the death and alleged cover-up of Laquan McDonald on November 30, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 01 Dec 2015 05:02 PM

A white Chicago pastor who "repented" for violence committed by white people "in the name of racism" during a prayer Monday at a Black Lives Matter protest said Tuesday that his goal was "to help white people and others confess that we are all infected by this diseased narrative."

"Until we root it out, things are not going to change," the Rev. Daniel Hill, senior pastor of the River City Community Church on the city's north side, told Brooke Baldwin on CNN. "There's a narrative that's alive and well and diseasing the roots of our systems and structures."

"Until we begin a rebooting process, there's never going to be a change," he said.

Hill led a prayer during the rally after former Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke posted bond in the shooting death of Laquan McDonald, 17, who was killed in October 2014.

Van Dyke is charged with fatally shooting McDonald 16 times. He was released Monday after posting $150,000 of his $1.5 million bond.

Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez said that McDonald was carrying a 3-inch blade that had been recovered from the scene.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who sought for months to keep the public from seeing a video that led to Van Dyke's charges, Tuesday fired Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy in the wake of protests over the shooting and video's release.

During his prayer outside the station on Monday, Hill confessed "on behalf of my white brothers and sisters for the history that we have brought to this moment."

"For holding our people, our color, our kind as the epitome of the most valuable and of devaluing so many other people, of devaluing so many black lives — and none of us want to say it out loud, but we show it in the ways that our systems play out every day in our country."

"We see it when brothers and sisters are made in your precious image are shot down and shot over and over and over," Hill said.

He told Baldwin Tuesday that he had been by a group of pastors at the Black Lives Matter protest to pray for repentance, "so I felt that was appropriate in that moment."

Adding that he was "coming at this from a Christian perspective," Hill said that with repentance, "we have to confess our sins and name it."

"You're supposed to change actions. But you're supposed to change the way you think."

He cited how slavery was used by whites to devalue African Americans.

"We instituted this system of slavery in our country," Hill told Baldwin. "It was horrific in every way. Human beings, every kind of human being, knew how terrible it was."

"We had to do something to justify it and make peace with this horrible reality around us. We created a narrative that black people could be dehumanized and that black people could be devalued and seen as less than white people. We confirm that narrative along the way."

"We're mourning and confessing and repenting the fact that that narrative, though slavery may have been overturned, that narrative is alive and well in today's day in age," Hill added. "It diseases every system and every structure and continues to perpetuate this lie that black lives can be devalued and denied personhood."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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A white Chicago pastor who "repented" for violence committed by white people "in the name of racism" during a prayer Monday at a Black Lives Matter protest said Tuesday that his goal was "to help white people and others confess that we are all infected by this diseased narrative."
chicago, pastor, repents, violence, blacks, rally
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2015-02-01
Tuesday, 01 Dec 2015 05:02 PM
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