In case the not so subtle nuances and coded language around race and class that are pouring out of state legislatures and the presidential candidate nomination races have puzzled you, let us a take a moment to look back to the post-Civil war Reconstruction era. The need for White supremacy and 1%-er capitalism is explicitly explained and defended as essential in 1889 by Andrew Carnegie –1889.
“The price which society pays for the law of competition, like the price it pays for cheap comforts and luxuries, is also great; but the advantages of this law are also greater still than its cost—for it is to this law that we owe our wonderful material development, which brings improved conditions in its train. But, whether the law be benign or not, we must say of it, as we say of the change in the conditions of men to which we have referred: It is here; we cannot evade it; no substitutes for it have been found; and while the law may be sometimes hard for the individual, it is best for the race, because it insures the survival of the fittest in every department. We accept and welcome, therefore, as conditions to which we must accommodate ourselves, great inequality of environment; the concentration of business, industrial and commercial, in the hands of a few; and the law of competition between these, as being not only beneficial, but essential to the future progress of the race.”
– Andrew Carnegie, The Gospel of Wealth (1889)
We cannot afford to be ahistorical in this moment. If you can take 7 minutes and 36 seconds to walk through how Reconstruction has operated in this country, I commend to you Rev. Dr. William Barber: The 3rd Reconstruction .
Let’s not be confused and rest in comfortable despair.
Let’s get clarity together about oppression and the reason we are called into a time of fusion coalitions. Collective liberation is our hope for liberation – for all of us divided by the social constructs of race, gender, and class. We are stronger together. The 1% who hold the wealth of this nation have known it for generations and will not hesitate to divide us. We who believe in freedom cannot rest until we are all free.
Insist that Black Lives Matter
Respect the gender spectrum and offer hospitality to everyone unlimited by their pronoun
Welcome the immigrant stranger as friend and work for #not1moredeportation
Fight for $15 and living wages for everyone
Support reproductive justice (RJ) – reality based sex ed, access to health care, climate justice, prison abolition, voting rights access, and more…
The prophet Isaiah proclaimed, “Woe to those who make unjust laws, to those who issue oppressive decrees, to deprive the poor of their rights and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people, making widows their prey and robbing the fatherless.” (Isaiah 10:1-2)
We say joy unto those who make just laws, who lift oppressive decrees, who organize for justice and equity with the oppressed people of this world.
There is no better time to organize on the side of love and justice and mercy and compassion, my friends.
“Unitarian Universalism is a faith in people, hope for tomorrow’s child, confidence in a continuity that spans all times. It looks not to a perfect heaven but towards a good earth. It is respectful of the past, but not limited to it. It is trust in growing and conspiracy with change. It is a spiritual responsibility for a moral tomorrow”(Schempp, Belonging, 45).
We have a spiritual responsibility for a moral tomorrow. May we live into this faithful call with courage and grace.