Just a week ago, a small and relatively obscure delegation of seasoned pastors and ministerial students from Delaware released "An Open Letter to Newt Gingrich from the Pastors of Poor Children" because Mr. Gingrich has been stereotyping minority children, and their communities, throughout his presidential campaign as lazy and unworthy of real opportunity. We were angry (and still are) that he found it appropriate to implore such a divisive and offensive campaign strategy. And so, we spoke out.
Some have commented that our call for an apology from Mr. Gingrich is worthless. Some assume that our letter was merely an exercise in frivolity or a gesture without legs. Others pointed out that we lack the power to force an apology -- that we are but a small group with no muscle. I confess, after reading those comments I too was momentarily unsure.
However, today I write once again undeterred and certain. There is something to be said about campaigns that seek to change hearts and minds. Changed hearts and minds change the world.
What I have realized is that 4,599 people shared our letter and liked it on Facebook; influential organizations, bloggers, and concerned citizens tweeted it; many cosigned; and pastors made time during their worship services this past Sunday to bring attention to it. We are fed up and done with politicians and public figures debasing our communities and children. We will not stand for it.
I hope that Mr. Gingrich receives this memo: The faith community has now occupied your campaign.
Our open letter is undoubtedly another marker of the radical shift taking place all over the world today. This move of the Spirit is so palpable that even Mr. Gingrich's Catholic brethren saw fit to hold him accountable. And as of today, Faith For Change, the Progressive National Baptist Convention, the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, and the United Church of Christ Justice and Witness Ministries stand with us.
You too can stand with us and for our children. Co-sign our open letter and add your voice to the list of those calling for Mr. Gingrich to apologize. Our children deserve better.
Follow Joi Ruth Orr on Twitter: www.twitter.com/joi_orr