St. Pete church displaying controversial sign

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A St. Petersburg church is ruffling some feathers with its sign out front.
“If you are white, use your privilege to fight for justice.” Those are the words on a sign outside of Good Samaritan and it isn’t sitting well with people who pass by it.

“I don’t think it sends the right message especially for a church to have that up and I would like an explanation,” said St. Pete resident Mike Lawry.

The pastor of Good Samaritan Church, Jennifer Daysa said the message is simple.

“We really feel that white privilege and having a lot more advantage in our community is just a fact of reality and history,” said Daysa. “We think we need to work on that so we can be a more reconciled people among all groups.”

Daysa said they’ve been studying race in her predominantly white church, and the entire church feels they need to do more.

“We very much put forward the message that everyone is equal and a beautiful child of God. But we also feel like those who are in positions of power and privilege have an obligation to lay down that power and work for a more just, equal society,” she said.

But not everyone sees it that way.

“Everybody has rights no matter if you’re black or white, or Hispanic or anything. Everybody has basic human rights and we should all be guaranteed and we are all guaranteed under the constitution. I don’t think there is a such thing as a white privilege,” said resident David Garman.

Daysa said this isn’t the first time she’s put up a sign like this and with all of the feedback it probably won’t be the last.

“We had a sign out there a few weeks ago over Martin Luther King week. It came directly from our national denomination who has a media campaign right now confronting white privilege and power, and the sign read: ‘White Privilege: If you can’t see it you’ve got it,’ ” she said. “And there were a number of people calling into the church calling us anti-racist and a disappointment to Martin Luther King Jr.”

Whether you agree or not, when you’re driving down Park Boulevard there’s a chance you’ll see the controversial sign.

By: Saundra Weathers, Reporter

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