May 30, 2020
A Thought for Today
I was surprised and disappointed when I read a post on a United Methodist clergy page this morning. There were many ugly comments on the post, which only added to the distraction the author tried to create.
“Just to be clear, I abhor what occurred in Minneapolis, for it was truly a tragedy, but here's the question to ponder, "Where is the righteous outrage for the ongoing murder of innocent unborn children of all colors?" These are voices that are never heard. Where are the cries of anger & frustration for them losing their lives unjustly? When do they get to breathe? When will they get justice?”
When we deflect from issues the way this post does, we belittle the immediate situation. There is so much wrong about this post. The topic at hand is racism. The church has a history of racism. We need to focus and be in the moment and own our complicity. That does not mean that we don’t care and can’t discuss other issues. There is a time and place for our conversations.
This post sets up a competition between issues. “..It was truly a tragedy, but…” The person who posted this has an obvious agenda and appears to be incapable of listening and responding to the injustice, grief, and deep pain of the death of George Floyd.
When we feel uncomfortable with the original topic, we may try to deflect away from it because we are part of the problem. We can’t acknowledge that we are complicit because we know it is wrong. It could be that the author of this post does not see the magnitude of racism expressed in the murder of Mr. Floyd. If we follow the author into the other discussion, then we will dilute our response to racism. To be fully present in a moment is a gift we can give to those who are grieving.
Something amazing happened in Louisville, Kentucky on Thursday night. A group of protesters gathered to protest the death of Breonna Taylor, who was shot by police in her apartment during a no-knock warrant. A group of women also amassed. According to the Louisville Courier-Journal, “Chanelle Helm, a lead organizer for Black Lives Matter Louisville, said to white protesters using a bullhorn: "If you are going to be here, you should defend this space,” and instructed people to form the line facing police at 6th and Jefferson streets.” The women followed her instructions. They used their white privilege to protect the protestors. They responded with love. They were in the moment.