From the Associate Rector - April 23rd, 2021
Black Lives Matter.
As the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” Earlier this week, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of the murder of George Floyd. That verdict was a small step in the right direction of justice, of holding our Police to accountability.
But we are not there yet. If anything, this is where we begin.
The death of George Floyd changed America. Whether it reinforced the lived experiences so many black and brown people have had of police brutality and racist violence, or whether it ignited a new understanding of others to work for systemic change, the protests of last summer changed us all. And yet, the killing of unarmed black and brown people by police continues: less than 30 minutes before the verdict was read in the Chauvin trial, police in Columbus, Ohio shot 16 year old Ma’Khia Bryant. Last month, police shot and killed unarmed 13 year old Adam Toledo. We face the astonishing statistic that black children are six times more likely to be shot by police than white children. We have seen police arrest white men carrying rifles, and kill black men armed with Skittles or a sandwich. We know how the system works, and it must be stopped.
So what do we do? As a community of faith, we must pray. We must pray for God’s justice to be fully realized in our world. We must pray for and lift up the names of those who are killed - we must say their names: George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, John Crawford, Sandra Bland, Rekia Boyd, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, and far too many others. We must also act, in whatever ways we can. As Christians, we must demand for change in our systems of law, policing, and incarceration. As Christians, we must act to ensure that the arc will continue to bend toward justice, as we promise in our baptismal vows to strive for justice and peace among all people, and to respect the dignity of every human being. May God have mercy on us all, and continue to show us the way forward.