This past Sunday, about 50 people remained online after the service to talk about the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police on May 25 and the protests and subsequent rioting, and police response and retaliation. The pain and outrage was palpable, as was confusion and frustration. And we heard a need for knowledge and direction.
Our challenge is to find ways to bring opportunities for dialogue and thought provoking information and experiences to the congregation in our new virtual reality. This is the first such effort.
The Inclusivity Team offers the following thoughts and resources to expand our understanding of recent events and to help prepare us to challenge white privilege, racism, and white supremacy culture, and address the harm it has caused in our congregation and in our communities.
- “Eventually, doctors will find a coronavirus vaccine, but black people will continue to wait, despite the futility of hope, for a cure for racism. We will live with the knowledge that a hashtag is not a vaccine for white supremacy. We live with the knowledge that, still, no one is coming to save us. The rest of the world yearns to get back to normal. For black people, normal is the very thing from which we yearn to be free.” (Remember, No One is Coming to Save Us, Roxane Gray, NY Times, May 30, 2020) https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/30/opinion/sunday/trump-george-floyd-coronavirus.html
- Cicada Tell-Drake: “I hope and sincerely believe we will never go back to ‘normal.’ ‘Normal’ wasn’t very good to begin with.” (Senior Youth Service)
There is a profound dissonance between the experiences of white people and people of color. People of color have had to learn so much about white people and white culture to survive in a racist world not of their making. White people, on the other hand, have not needed to make similar efforts, and generally have a superficial knowledge of the experiences of people of color.
There are countless incidents of racism in the daily lives of people of color, including in our own congregation, that do not make the news. Incidents that do not end in death, but are harmful or traumatic for people of color: driving while Black, shopping or playing in the park while Black, applying for a job or a bank loan while Black, being in Starbucks or birdwatching in the park while Black – just walking down the street in a group while Black.
- Marchers chant “No justice, no peace.” Do white UUs wish for peace while people of color need justice to live emotionally and physically safe lives - safety that we take for granted each day?
Embracing our UU principles requires that we examine our own actions and inactions – we are accountable to each other. It’s up to
of us to heal the harms. By living our values within this congregation and the community, we can dismantle white supremacy and bring about the world we want.
Luchia Hornsby: “I talk a lot about issues in our society, but I believe I have gotten past the point of feeling angry all the time for being born in a broken world riddled with injustices and hatred. I’ve even gotten past the point of being angry that people are being complacent in the systems that allow this to happen, though I am disappointed.” (Senior Youth Service)
Let us work to fix our broken world. Let us not be complacent.