Words Don't Matter - Black Lives Matter
Again we mourn the death of black men at the hands of police officers with no apparent threat beyond skin color. Again we look to one another wondering what can be said, what can be done? Outrage and pain are the order of the day. Again the black and brown community is traumatized and re-entrenched in the reality that there is no way to be safe – no way to be actually legal in a world where doing things that white people do every day can get you killed if you are not white.
There is nothing to say on this day that will change anything. There is much that we can – we must - do to begin to shift the stone of racism that threatens to destroy us. I confess to many words and little action these two years of the Black Lives Matter movement, to kind thoughts and little deed, to pride in my progressive thinking with little progressive doing. It is time to do.
Let us commit to step forward today. To pray for strength to name truth into the chasm – Black Lives Matter. As people of faith let us remember that Jesus himself boldly, blatantly named the worth of the lives the world had forgotten – in the name of God he called humanity to hold up those who had been slammed down. He stood in the face of the powers that be and pointed to the reality of oppression and despair. Are we not to do the same?
This is the beginning of doing. If you haven’t already, begin to learn. From that place, begin to act. Remember to listen and to make room for voices that need to be heard. One of the primary actions that white folks can achieve is to use their power and space to make room – to open the door and listen to those who have not had the floor.
May the God who called the world into being, who breathed the breath of life into us, call us into action and breathe the breath of truth and bravery and faithfulness into our hearts on this day.
If you haven’t already, I invite you to begin by reading the guiding principles of the Black Lives Matter movement - to understand the hope of these young people for a future without racism.
Justin Cohen offers advice for white people in the aftermath of the last 48 hours: “Advice for White Folks in the Wake of the Police Murder of a Black Person”.
UCC Justice and Witness Ministries has reposted its Litany for Those Who Aren't Ready for Healing.
The Rev. Kent Siladi, Minister and President of the Connecticut Conference of the United Church of Christ, expresses a call to action and his exhaustion with statements in his address “I'm Tired” where he quotes John Pavolitz saying “White people we need to wake up-and we need to go to work.”
I refer you to the Massachusetts Conference website and the Connecticut Conference website with resources and opportunities for training and reading and education. Also, Massachusetts Conference members can attend a Racial Justice Training, being held July 25 - 29 in Connecticut free of charge, due to the partnership between the Connecticut and Massachusetts Conferences.
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