Yesterday it was announced that charges will not be brought against Darren Wilson for the death of Michael Brown.
Let me start by saying though we could spend much time and energy discussing the circumstances of these individual cases, we are called to look at the larger picture.
Two young people of color are dead. Their families are grieving and we grieve with them.
These two unjustly taken lives reflect that people of color are 21 times more likely to be killed by police than are whites. Every 28 hours an African American is shot and killed by the police, and local police are involved in 400 killings per year. Every day in America, young people of color are routinely harassed by police using racial profiling.
They are victims of systemic police brutality. Victims of a justice system that is not just.
Our Unitarian Universalist (UU) faith calls us to stand up in solidarity with black and brown UU youth and young adults, and all our siblings of color. To be Unitarian Universalist means to live in tune with the great covenant of life, built on love, not fear. Love is an act, not just a state of being. To be UU simply means to go where we are called and act with love. The decision of the grand jury to not indict Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown calls upon the responsibility every Unitarian Universalist has to put faith in action, for if we truly love our neighbor – our black neighbor, our homeless neighbor, our neighbor who fears the police – we will stand against this decision and on the side of love. if we truly love our neighbor – our confused neighbor who has always felt safe with police, our law enforcement neighbor who knows the stress of the job – we will reach out in love and stand firmly on the side of justice.
Tonight, I encourage you to join the thousands of others who will be coming together to pray for peace and the end of violent police actions.
As you pray or sing tonight, remember that we are praying for all of our lives. Tomorrow, if you haven't already started your own journey in challenging racism, I encourage you to take that first step. Black lives matter and in working to undo racism we are building the beloved community so that all of our brothers, sisters, cousins, older and younger, can live without fear.Read the statement by Peter Morales, President of the Unitarian Universalist Association. Learn how to Stand on the Side of Love with Ferguson from Standing on the Side of Love. Read how you can Be Seen Standing on the Side of Love and Justice.