For the past few days I have been trying to find words to describe what is breaking my heart. What is this madness in our country where we condemn other nations for inhumanity, yet injustices to our own citizens of color has become almost a weekly occurrence? In just the past two years, Black men, women, and children have been killed while selling CDs outside of a store. Selling cigarettes. Wearing a hoodie. Driving with a broken brake light. Missing a front license plate.
All Souls member Taquiena Boston, lamenting on her Facebook page, wrote, “Crucifixion and lynching had the same purpose: to promote fear and submission in the oppressed. It seems 21st Century law enforcement is repeating history. Black Lives Matter cannot be asserted enough.” To add salt to our wounds, this morning we woke up to another tragedy. Last night, at the end of a peaceful Black Lives Matter rally in Dallas, a sniper ambushed police officers. Five are dead and seven wounded. Hatred, racism, and fear is snatching the breath of life out of our souls.
Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King said it well…
“Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding a deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only love can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
On Thursday, July 21 (7:00-9:00 pm), join us at church for the next session of our ongoing series, ADORE (A Dialogue On Race and Ethnicity). This month we will discuss Rev. Dr. William Barber's book, The Third Reconstruction (Beacon Press). Rev. Barber is on of the leadin voices in Moral Mondays and Foward Together, a new justice movement that took root in North Carolina and is spreading in the U.S.
Marion Wright Edelman said, “The Reverend William Barber and his allies are at the forefront of a movement for justice that our nation's children and families desperately need. This book presents a blueprint for moving forward together.”
We all should be reading Rev. Barber's book as we approach Election Day. This summer the demand for racial justice is reaching a peak. The massacre in Orlando at a gay night club targeted Latin Night and 49 people were killed. Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge and Philando Castille in St. Paul were both videotaped while being killed by police. Five white police officers killed in Dallas by a lone gun man during a Black Lives Matter protest. And so much more. We must change the structures and the culture that perpetuate animosity, violence, and inequity. Some of us have heard Rev. Barber powerfully address these concerns, either from the pulpit at All Souls (listen here and here), in front of the US Capital at Democracy Springs, or at the 2016 UUA General Assembly. You can also see Rev. Barber's July 2014 interview with Bill Maher on Youtube.
We are grateful that the REEB Project for Voting Rights brought Rev. Barber to our attention. We also welcome participants from Towson, Baltimore, and Paint Branch ADORE groups. Come, be inspired, go deep, and let us build the future together.