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Grand Basileus Tony Knox

June 18, 2015

Giving honor to God to and my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ

Greetings Omega men,

Brothers, as I reach out to you, I pray that you and yours are safe and out of any danger. Then I ask you to please stop what you are doing and immediately lift up a silent prayer for the families of those who were senselessly murdered during a prayer meeting last night in Charleston, South Carolina. Before writing this, I emailed our Grand Chaplain and asked him to pray for me and for all of us.

It's been challenging for us all to deal with the actions of those who are sworn to protect such as in the killing of young black men as well as the handling of young black women that occurred in McKinney, Texas. We despise and speak out against the needless violence that runs prevalent in our own communities. However, nothing cuts to the core more deeply than the killings in Charleston.

This ultimate act of cowardice took place at the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, or Mother Emanuel, which traces its origins to 1816. Its mighty edifice was burned to the ground because its members fought to end slavery. Its congregation has played a key and vital role in the civil rights struggle.

We take comfort to know that a suspect has been arrested. Yet, we echo the words of President Obama, who said, "There is something particularly heartbreaking about a death happening in a place in which we seek solace and we seek peace, in a place of worship."

Brothers, this was an invitation, but not the type that I first thought, but of one for us to come together as an organization and as a people to do more. We have to show more love toward all people, to be a friend to each other, to work with our churches and organizations to help keep everyone safe. Yet, we must demand equal justice in all matters.

We must hold each other accountable first and foremost to live out the vision of our Founders; and to work together to make out communities better. It's our job to provide and protect in the right way. Brothers, I pray for calm and for us to be diligent and let the Charleston police and federal authorities do their jobs.

I thank our Grand Chaplain and other Omega men in the clergy for their earnest prayers because I know they continue to pray for us all.

Indeed, Friendship is Essential to The Soul and its precepts are now more apparent than ever.

I love you all.

Fraternally and humbly,

Antonio F. Knox Sr.
40th Grand Basileus

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