"People of faith, particularly those of us who are white progressives, need to combat the systems of criminalization in our country. Systems of policing and criminalization in this country are inherently violent, steeped in and created to reinforce white supremacy, anti-blackness, and racialized control."
President Reverend Dr. Susan Frederick-Gray
As the pain and grief of centuries of violence without justice find their expression, let us remember the Rev. Dr. King’s words: “America must see that riots do not develop out of thin air. Certain conditions continue to exist in our society which must be condemned as vigorously as we condemn riots. But in the final analysis, a riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it that America has failed to hear?”
This week, we heard about Amy Cooper. And then George Floyd. And then Tony McDade...
All of this just weeks after we heard about the murders of Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery. Weeks after a series of armed white militias confronted local police at state capitols across the country without consequence, without arrest--and without death.
We also continue to reckon with hearing that over 103,000 human lives have been lost from the coronavirus pandemic--a virus which has had a disproportionate impact on the Black community.
Do we hear that “Enough is Enough?” Do we hear the cries of resistance in this moment stating that each of us is worthy, and all of us have dignity?
It is critical that we respond to this hearing with action. We must do more than say the names of those whose lives have been taken by racialized violence. We must do more than name the systems of white supremacy and capitalism that wage violence against our black siblings.
As people of faith, we must bear witness to this moment. That means that we must name hard truths, but that we also must act.
Here are three concrete things all Unitarian Universalists and people of faith and conscience can do right now in response to this moment:
- Support the uprising and commit to joining other UUs in working to combat the violence of militarism and the police state: Share this message widely with your networks. Speak about your convictions in support of Black liberation. Articulate your support of Black organizing, grounded in your faith and conscience. Have hard conversations with your family, your social networks, your neighbors. And sign up at this link to be connected with a network of UUs committing to learning, reflecting, and acting together.
- Support the front line organizers providing leadership: Give your money, ask others to give, and take up a collection at this Sunday’s service in support of organizations like Black Visions Collective, Reclaim the Block, and Minnesota Freedom Fund.
- Learn more & take action: Join the Movement for Black Lives National Call in Defense of Black life on Saturday May 30 at 1pm ET/10am PT and plug into #DefundPolice work where you live and are building.