December 2014: Black Lives Matter—Are You Signed Up?Dear Friends, Ferguson is not a flash in the pan.
The current moment is one that has broken through years of pain, anger, and organizing. Young African American organizers are leading the call for a movement that not only stops our national crisis of police killings of young Black men but also changes our society into one that refuses to tolerate the criminalization, devaluing, killing, and brutalizing of Black people.
On a call before the Ferguson grand jury decision these young Black organizers shared that proclaiming All Lives Matter misses the point, because it goes without saying that white lives matter. The power of the Black Lives Matter slogan is that it contradicts what our culture currently expresses. The young leaders of Ferguson are demanding that their lives matter and asking us if we will join them in their struggle. Will you sign up?
In short order we have had two grand juries decide not to indict police officers for the killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, respectively. Now more than ever we have a chance to make change through mass action, speaking out, crossing borders, building relationships, and organizing. Across the country UUs are joining demonstrations in their communities. The National Action Network is organizing a national march against police violence on December 13 (check the Standing on the Side of Love Facebook page for details about a UU contingent being organized in the DC area).
If you or your congregation have been part of Black Lives Matter protests we want to hear from you. If you were not but wish you had been we want to hear from you. It’s time to organize our UU presence in this movement as powerfully as we can; we can start by standing up, being counted, and connecting. Fill out this form to be part of Standing on the Side of Love: Black Lives Matter.
Many of our congregations are part of community organizations addressing the criminalization of people of color—from racial profiling and mass incarceration and deportation to denying voting rights. Many of us are actively engaged in anti-racism work. And we all still struggle with the complicity of faith communities and faith leaders in these larger evils, through silence, through a lack of building relationships, through inaction. It’s time to really commit our faith community to being a strong part of the Black Lives Matter movement, bringing everything we can to it—from examining our own complicity in oppression to dismantling it and building Beloved Community. Can we sign you up?
Finally, get ready for Selma in March 2015 (registration now open) because we are going to be commemorating and recommitting our faith to the movement for racial justice. It’s been fifty years since we acted boldly in Selma and a loving bold spirit is needed now. It’s time to sign up, because Black Lives Matter!Read or subscribe to the Just Act Newsletter from the Office of Multicultural Growth and Witness of the UUA.