Wednesday, September 2, 2015

#BlackLivesMatter - Further Considerations

As we continue to listen to #BlackLivesMatter, I found these articles to be helpful putting this movement in perspective and a call to join them.  Read on:
First, what exactly is Black Lives Matter? It’s more than just a slogan, or a chant, or a catchphrase. BLM is a movement, organized after the unjust death of teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO. But it is a movement responding to the hundreds of deaths before and after Brown, including Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis, Tamir Rice, Walter Scott, Eric Garner, Freddie Gray and many many more young black men who died at the hands of white police officers. Please understand that: it is an organized movement, with leaders and decision-makers and a policy platform. And it is centered around one of the largest on-going injustices in America today. There is a legitimate problem centered around black men being gunned down by police officers prior to any opportunity for due process and the judicial system to do its work, and then those police officers walking away with no consequences.
Read more here:
When news broke of the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., a year ago (Aug. 9, 2014), St. Louis seminary professor Leah Gunning Francis felt she couldn’t just sit quietly. She joined in the marches, the prayers and the vigils.

After Tamir Rice was shot and killed by a Cleveland police officer, Agnes Scott College religious studies professor Jan Willis turned to her Buddhist exercises and wrote a column called “Why We Can’t Breathe.”

And following the fatal shootings of nine African-Americans at a church in Charleston, S.C., in which a white gunman has been charged, Christian activist Bree Newsome climbed a flagpole at the Capitol and took down the Confederate flag. 
As the “Black Lives Matter” movement has grown, it has been accompanied by practical theologies of people who feel called to act on their faith in pursuit of racial justice, said Gunning Francis, author of the new book “Ferguson & Faith: Sparking Leadership & Awakening Community.”
Read more here:
Everyone has a role in ending racism, but the analogy shows how little sense it makes for only those facing the heel-end of oppression to do all the work. It’s time for White America to take on a far bigger role in taking off the boot. 

There are no doubt complexities that come with White Americans working for racial justice. White privilege can lead to a chronic case of undiagnosed entitlement, creating poor listeners, impatient speakers who talk over others, and people unaccustomed to taking orders. Nevertheless, the movement for racial justice needs more White Americans to get involved.
 Read more here:

We can live in a world where the police don't kill people by limiting police interventions, improving community interactions, and ensuring accountability.
Join in the movement:

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