A group of faith leaders of different denominations are teaming up with college students to deliver a cease-and-desist letter to the governor and state lawmakers in Tallahassee.
The letter calls for them to stop sowing what the advocates say is hate and division and to cease and desist, repent or resign.
It was signed by hundreds of students who are calling out Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and other state leaders.
It states, “While your hateful and divisive lies about Black people, trans people, immigrants and women have filled the airwaves, 9,539,000 poor and low-income people account for 44.5% of the population in your state– a country where poverty is the fourth leading cause of death.
“Instead of focusing on and addressing the real issues in your state, you spend time spewing hate and division…. We as religious and moral leaders… are publicly calling you to cease and desist or resign from using public office, public space, and the public’s microphone to spew hate and divide the people. This is a form of public service malpractice and is dangerously irresponsible.”
This comes after several groups, from clergy to other Florida politicians, said the governor’s rhetoric played a role in the racially motivated shooting at a Jacksonville Dollar General where three people were killed. DeSantis vehemently defended himself against the claims.
“These victims in Jacksonville, Angela Michelle Carr, Anolt Laguerre, Jerrald Gallion, as Dr. King would say, each of the three have something to say in their deaths,” said the Rev. Mark Thompson. “They say to us that we must be concerned not merely about the ones who murdered them but about the system, the way of life, the philosophy that produced the murder.”
Several groups have events planned this weekend to demand what they call dangerous rhetoric to stop.
For one of those events, people are invited to meet at the Bethel Church at 9 a.m. for a “centering prayer,” and then march about a quarter mile to Jacksonville City Hall where the advocates plan to speak out at 10 a.m.
They are calling it a “Take Back the Mic” campaign.