A heartfelt note written by Colorado Sen. Mike Johnston has gone viral on Facebook. In the wake of the Charleston shooting that took place on Wednesday, June 17, Sen. Johnston penned a heartfelt letter that he posted on the doors of Shorter Community AME, a black Denver church in the middle of the night.
Then, he shared details about the letter on Facebook. It didn’t take long for many Facebook users to echo similar sentiments. Many social media users have commended Johnston for his heartfelt words and kind gesture.
Here is a copy of the letter:
“My heart breaks for those children of God that we lost in your sister church in South Carolina tonight. On a night when old, devastating patterns of racial injustice return like childhood nightmares, it seemed the best thing to do was to get out of my bed and drive over here to make sure this note was the first thing you saw when you walked in the church tomorrow. This white man is driving over to this AME church to tell you how deeply grateful I am that the leaders of your church have helped build this city, and how honored I am that the ancestors of this church have helped build this great country.”
“For centuries your church has stood for the unconditional love, unfettered hope, and relentless forgiveness that define the American spirit. I want you to know I stand arm in arm with you today in your grief. I refuse to let one deranged man speak for me, and I also refuse to stay silent after his abomination.”
“I drove over just to remind you and remind myself of the words from one of America’s greatest preachers and one of the Lord’s greatest prophets who said that “Hate can not drive out hate, only love can do that.” With that truth in mind, in the wake of tonight’s heartless stabs of hatred, I drove here to reaffirm the overwhelming supremacy of love. And to stand with millions of other white men who are proud to call you brothers and sisters, and who feel compelled now to right the wrongs of generations past by ensuring that these lost loved ones you will not grieve alone, this hollow hatred you will not face alone, and this righteous justice you will not seek alone.”
Along with the letter, Johnston included an additional message to his Facebook followers with a more personal perspective of the ongoing problem with racism in the United States. He also offered a humble suggestion for those who are willing to show their support as well. He concluded with the hashtag, “#Onlylovecandothat.”
Here is an excerpt from his additional message on Facebook.
“As a white man I have never been called on to be an ambassador for my race. I was never the only person who looked like me in a college seminar when the room uncomfortably waited for me to speak up on behalf of my people,” Johnston said. “I have never been the one at the cocktail party confused for ‘the help.’ And when America met Timothy McVeigh or Ted Kaczynski or Dylan Klebold I never for a minute worried that their illness said something about me…”
“As a white American I think we should make a point today to make a small but powerful statement that today we all stand together: and do it by stopping by any AME church in your community and perform a quiet act of service and leave a humble note of thanks…”
“Then share your small acts of love with the hashtag #Onlylovecandothat.”
According to the Denver Post, the church’s pastor Dr. Timothy Tyler briefly responded to the letter on behalf of his congregation. He revealed how the letter impacted his life. “It touched my heart so greatly,” Dr. Tyler said.
[Image via Facebook]