“They have treated the wound of my people carelessly,
saying, “Peace, peace,”
when there is no peace.
They acted shamefully, they committed abomination;
yet they were not ashamed,
they did not know how to blush.” –Jeremiah 6:14-15
From the prophets to the present, a call for integrity. Literally – to integrate what we do with what we value. If we value humanity, then we must act in ways that support and affirm that value. Shooting children, shooting adults – these are not ways of acting that support and affirm our value of humanity.
“And true, unless one lives and loves in the trenches, it is difficult to remember that the war against dehumanization is ceaseless.” ― Audre Lorde, Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches
So we must ask – what allows a white man with a gun to shoot an unarmed black youth? What has white people cautioning people of color to be peaceful in the midst of murder without consequence? Who reflexively points to a community saturated in grief and rage and says with impatience “Be still, be quiet, be good.”?
“One wonders what it will take for us to not merely listen but actually to hear the voices of black parents, fearful that the next time their child walks out the door may be the last, and all because someone—an officer or a self-appointed vigilante—sees them as dangerous, as disrespectful, as reaching for their gun? Might we be able to hear that without deftly pivoting to the much more comfortable [for Whites] topic of black crime or single-parent homes? Without deflecting the real and understandable fear of police abuse with lectures about the danger of having a victim mentality—especially ironic given that such lectures come from a people who apparently see ourselves as the always imminent victims of big black men?” -Tim Wise, Repetitive Motion Disorder: Black Reality and White Denial in America
If you can look a family in the eyes and say “your son deserved to die,” my friend, you have lost your own humanity. I invite you to begin a journey towards wholeness, a journey to reclaim what you have lost. Those who cannot value the humanity of others have no hope of integrity. And my prayer for me, for you, for all of us living in a world of a trillion points of view, is integrity in our lived lives.
This week, this year, this lifetime – show up. Show up for each other with integrity. Honor pain you cannot know, value grief for what it points to – love. We do not grieve what we do not love. I love you. And I grieve for every bit of the humanity we have sacrificed to feed the ideology of white supremacy.
May we heed the call for integrity. Show up, beloveds. It matters. Now more than ever
“He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” –Mark 4:9
FOR NEW ORLEANIANS: Today, 11/25, 6 PM in Lafayette Square #BlackLivesMatter #DayAfter #Ferguson #NoIndictment