Open Letter to Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich The Destruction of Moses African Cemetery: Building a Monument to White Supremacy
Be advised that while you are graciously pushing off meeting with the Bethesda African Cemetery Coalition (BACC) until mid-July, at this very moment there is heavy equipment that you authorized
destroying irretrievable remains of our ancestors on the sacred ground in Moses African Cemetery at your Bethesda Self Storage Genocide site. Heavy equipment is crushing the bones, sacred remains, and funerary objects of our ancestors who were murdered, raped, worked to death on River Road. In particular, the little girls who were forced into sex breeding slavery to produce Africans for the deep south. They are not resting in peace but rather they are resting in power!
We hold you responsible for this act of genocide.
While you have been dismissive of the fact that the current portion of Moses Cemetery under attack is even part of the cemetery, esteemed archeologist Michael Blakey, Scientific Director of the renowned New York Burial Ground Project has reviewed photographs of material being destroyed at your Bethesda Self Storage Genocide site and will be advising you in writing that there is credible reason to believe that human remains and funerary artifacts are being destroyed. Archaeologists and Anthropologists are now calling Moses African Cemetery an international site of genocide, demanding a work stoppage to protect scientific knowledge that will inform the study of African history and medical investigations for generations.
Further, we take extreme offense that while you managed to contact the white developer and white owner of your Bethesda Self Storage Genocide enterprise, as you wrote in your recent email to the Coalition, you did not bother yourself with contacting the descendant community. While BACC, indeed all of Maryland was required to observe the pandemic shutdown, you took advantage of that mandated inactivity to permit the heavy equipment assault on our ancestors in earnest.
We are not naive enough to believe that you were unaware of the urgency of this situation to the descendant community that we have already repeatedly contacted your office about in the immediate past weeks.
You know exactly what you are doing. You know that Moses genocide is a monument to white supremacy. You know that with your inaction in stopping this abomination you are dogwhistling white supremacists that they need not worry about Black people getting too uppity. The annihilation of Moses African Cemetery is the equivalent of the KKK burning a cross inside our ancestors' final resting place or the humiliation felt by the black race in the incarceration of Nelson Mandela by the apartheid regime. You could not show more indifference to whatever landfill our ancestors get dumped in-indeed, the escalation of the desecration is ongoing with your blessings.
We understand that your inaction is calling us the n-word!
You need to stop all of your other important pressing affairs long enough to consider the long-term, genocide reinforcing impact of your cowardice in this matter.
We will never tolerate the continuation of the racist, white supremacist heritage you are intent on continuing in the long ugly heritage of every man who has held your office since the inception of Montgomery County in 1776. It was incumbent upon everyday citizens to place their bodies in front of concrete trucks, to prevent them from delivering their "final solution to Moses last week. The developers called the police on peaceful protestors who were exercising their first amendment rights: we were accosted by Montgomery County police, US Secret Service and the US Park police. Our ancestors are once again on the auction block with gun toting white "slave patrollers" daring anyone to challenge their authority.
A Park Police officer harassed and literally spit in the face of a young Black man during our demonstration - using profanity and shouting at him without wearing a face mask during a deadly pandemic. It is our sincere hope that your dereliction of duty does not result in further Black deaths while you sip coffee in your air conditioned office.
Very Truly Yours,
Marsha Coleman-Adebayo President, BACC