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Until the killing of black men, black mothers’ sons
Is as important as the killing of white men, white mothers’ sons
We who believe in freedom cannot rest
We who believe in freedom cannot rest until it comes (“Ella’s Song,” Sweet Honey in the Rock)
What does it take to get justice in this county if you’re a black man attacked by a white person? When will young black men be free to walk in safety?
Your assault can be captured on videotape as Rodney King’s was. You can be shot 41 times, as Amadou Diallo was. Your killer can document his own stalking of you on a recorded call to 911, as Trayvon Martin’s did. And it still doesn’t seem to be enough to land a conviction, or even a proper investigation, of your attackers.
What will it take?
For a start, it will take millions more of your countryfolk, especially the white ones, demanding justice. That’s why this Sunday is “Wear Your Hoodie to Church Day” at UUCPA. Everyone is invited to wear a hooded sweatshirt, and we’ll put our group photo out there to show the world that our hearts are broken by the death of Trayvon Martin, that we are watching, that we want the same justice for his family as we would want for our own, and that we will not rest until black Americans are as free as white Americans. (If you don’t have a hoodie, show your support by being in the photo anyway!)
Last night was the last of our midweek contemplative services. They have been very special for me and other participants, but since the attendance has remained small and recruiting leaders has been difficult, it is time to call an end to this phase of the experiment. Maybe we will try them again in the not-too-distant future, in some form, if there is a groundswell asking for them.
The theme last night was “heart to heart,” and we had a ritual of blessing little pewter hearts with something we have gained from coming to these services, and/or that we hope that others will take away with them. We blessed them silently, each of us putting our hand over them, then I gave a heart to each person, and after I spoke their name, we went around the circle speaking the blessing we had each given. So I have a heart in my pocket that holds tenderness and gentleness, compassion, clarity, generosity, humility, space for reflection, and the love and support of friends who show how they feel. All blessings I am very glad to carry in my heart. One more blessing is this congregation, whom I love so much that it’s a good thing that heart is made of pewter or it just might burst.