Black people can eat at most lunch counters and travel across state lines without being consigned to the back of the bus. But the fundamental right to life continues to be haunted by white supremacy.
black lives matter
White Christians have to decide: will we show up and act for racial transformation, or will we sit idly by? But BLM isn't waiting to see what our verdict will be.
The BLM movement has issued a clarion call to the church, the black church in particular, to affirm a theology of resistance, not respectability. This means reckoning with who Jesus is.
In the civil rights movement, language of political participation was central. BLM activists are making a more profound demand.
Putting up signs is great. Talking about racism together is even better.
Disaster is understandable for black lives—they are antagonists in a narrative of humanity written to serve white supremacy. To say "black lives matter" is to interrupt this story.
In American history, some lives have mattered; others have not. That difference fundamentally has been a racial one.
Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old boy shot in Cleveland by an officer in training, suffered death. According to an Ohio grand jury, the case is closed. Elsewhere in these United States, presidential candidates have and will continue to laud America as exceptional.
Fifty-two years ago, eight white clergy penned their version of “all lives matter.” These white men of God questioned the efficacy of the civil rights movement in their hometown of Birmingham, Alabama. They wrote that "honest convictions in racial matters could properly be pursued in the courts.”
Last week we drove 350 miles to Smith College, where our daughter was singing with the glee club at Christmas Vespers. Each year at a pair of services, campus and community enter liminal space by hearing sacred music from student choral and orchestral groups, pondering poetry and biblical readings by students and faculty, and singing carols together. This year it also became a setting to turn attention to other matters. As a Facebook event page put it, “You can’t sing carols if you can’t breathe.”
Like Simeon and Anna, I had a rough Advent.