The Rev. Peter Morales, president of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), issued this statement following the continued violence in Ferguson, MO:
“The images from Ferguson, Missouri, are profoundly unsettling: tanks, tear gas, military weaponry for urban warfare, angry crowds. We immediately feel a mixture of shock, anger, dismay, helplessness, sympathy, and outrage. As religious people who are committed to compassion and justice, what are we to do?
In the short-term, we must add our voices to those who seek an end to the violence and chaos. We must stand in solidarity with those who seek justice. This is a time to be steady, calm, resolute, and determined. It is also a time for reflection.
The real challenge for us is not in the short-term, but in the long-term. Events like those transpiring in Ferguson have happened too often. The disturbing fact is that they could have happened in most cities in America. There is so much bottled up frustration, so much injustice, so much repression, so much fear, hatred, and racism in our nation that the explosion of violence and rage in Ferguson is symptomatic of a cultural disease.
Ferguson is not about Ferguson. It is about the systematic dehumanizing of people all over America. As Unitarian Universalists, we have faith that it need not be this way. We can create a world that is accepting, fair, loving, and diverse. We know we can make a difference. Look at our work for justice throughout our history.
In the short-term, let us stand on the side of love with those seeking healing and some measure of justice. In the long-term, let us rededicate ourselves to the work of building a world where events like those in Ferguson are unthinkable.”