The revelation earlier this month that the North Miami Beach Police Department was using mug shots of African-American men as practice targets sent shock waves across the nation. After initially trying to downplay the controversy, the department apologized, and the city council voted to ban the practice.
However, the outrage hasn't died down, and the hashtag #UseMeInstead is gaining steam, with people posting their own pictures as targets to protest racial profiling. The somewhat-surprising instigators of the hashtag: members of the Lutheran clergy.
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Clergy members were discussing the story when they decided to start a Facebook event and hashtag to bring attention to the controversy.
"If you must use pictures of real humans for your target practice, we request that you use ours. We're sending pictures of ourselves, in our clergy uniforms, to use," says the Facebook event's description.
"Our faith teaches us that all human life is sacred. And when human life is devalued, Jesus teaches us to put ourselves in the place of those whose humanity is denied, just as he did."
"It's such a desensitization thing, that if you start aiming at young black men, and told to put a bullet in them, you become desensitized," Rev. Joy M. Gonnerman, one of the creators of the group, told the Washington Post. "Maybe, to change the picture, it's you know what, dare ya, shoot a clergy person."
— e m a (@lizzie_anderson) January 25, 2015
— Miranda Hassett (@revmirandah) January 18, 2015
— Erik Olson (@eriktheolson) January 18, 2015
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