Grieving the Atlanta Shooting
President Castleberry recently sent out the following communication to NU community members in response to the shootings in Atlanta yesterday. We are deeply saddened by this news and stand in solidarity with the Asian and Asian American members of our community.
“Dear Northwest University Community,
On behalf of everyone in the Administration, Faculty, and Staff, I want to express deep sorrow and revulsion over the insane and racist murders of six Asian Americans in Atlanta yesterday. We were already concerned about acts of violence against Asian-Americans in our own area in recent months, as a number of stories in the local media have documented, but the atrocities in Atlanta take the issue to a new level of gravity.
First, I want to say to all of our students and employees at Northwest, and especially to those of Asian descent, that we love you all, and we stand ready to support you in any way you need at this time. If you feel threatened or concerned, please speak to someone in authority, whether it be an R.A. or an A.C., Campus Security, a supervisor or a counselor. We will rally to you in assistance. Feel free to contact me directly as well.
Let me be very clear: People of Asian descent—whether they are Americans citizens, permanent residents or international students or visitors—bear no collective guilt for the COVID-19 virus or any other thing. Furthermore, Asian Americans deserve enormous credit for their contributions to America’s prosperity, health, and cultural wealth. At Northwest, we are deeply grateful for the way our ethnic diversity enriches our community.
Returning to the Atlanta atrocities, I was further dismayed to learn that the deranged killer had been a member of a church, involved in their youth ministry as late as 2018. How he degenerated into a racist murderer is unknown, but this case illustrates that racial hatred must be addressed in all communities, even and especially Christian communities founded on the Great Commission and God’s love for every person in the world. We can never stop calling attention to the issue of racism, and we should hold each other accountable if expressions of prejudice surface in our interactions. There will be no tolerance of racial mistreatment at Northwest University.
Let’s be sure to pray for the safety and wellbeing of our friends of Asian descent and to affirm them personally this week. In our mid-day prayer meetings at noon this week, we will place special focus on this issue.”