#blacklivesmatter: Senior Minister’s Message in May newsletter
Posted by Rev Roger
Posted on April 27, 2016
Supporting the Black Lives Matter Movement
Last June, Unitarian Universalist delegates debated and approved an action of witness at the UUA’s 2015 General Assembly. They urged our 1,000 UU congregations to support the Black Lives Matter movement. There was some heat as delegates addressed the assembly from PRO and CON microphones. Young UUs of color and their allies made an eloquent case for taking such a stand, while some white UUs of older generations voiced their doubts and their requests for clarity about the meaning of the organizing slogan, #blacklivesmatter.
Some UUs and other folks continue to ask, “Do not all lives matter? Isn’t that our First UU Principle?”
That’s true. Here’s the distinction made by this young activist movement. So much of U.S. history bears evidence that some lives don’t really matter—that some lives are not as worthy, not as worried about, not as protected. “Black Lives Matter” is a reminder of unfinished work in this land.
With so much pain and so many lives lost, “Black Lives Matter” is a lamentation. With parents weeping over the loss of their sons or anxious for them to come home safely, “Black Lives Matter” is a cry for no life to be overlooked. With persistent racial disparities in economic structures, housing, health, and education systems, to say “Black Lives Matter” is to assert the need for equity. It’s a way of saying: “This is what human dignity should look like in practice.”
The action passed, not unanimously but overwhelmingly. Since then, many UU congregations have posted banners for passers-by to see: Black Lives Matter. As Rev. Lucy noted in the September Unigram newsletter, some of these have been vandalized several times, and replaced.
From teens in our Senior High Youth Group has come this question: Why not UUSS? They are saying it is time for their spiritual community to reflect on this call for justice. Lucy and I have begun that exploration—with sermons, book discussions, and facilitating the five-month program known as Beloved Conversations.
What now? Is it time for us, as a community, to show where we stand? Let me know your thoughts!