That until the philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned; That until there are no longer first-class and second-class citizens of any nation; That until the color of a man’s skin is of no more significance than the color of his eyes; That until the basic human rights are equally guaranteed to all without regard to race; That until that day, the dream of lasting peace and world citizenship and the rule of international morality will remain but a fleeting illusion, to be pursued but never attained; – Bob Marley “War”
I want to start with a word of hope. If you are reading this, you are called to be church at a time such as this. God decided that you would be here on this day, the day after the election reading this. You are the incarnation of Christ and the hope of the world. That before the first stars burst into the universe and started to send light across the expanse, you were chosen for such a time as this. When the inky black expanse seemed to swallow creation whole, light knifed into the existence. At those very moments, you were ordained for this time. God is with you. Christ loves you.
Dear Church, I am not surprised. By 9pm EST I had a sinking feeling, By 10pm EST my fears were made manifest. By 11 pm EST I turned off the TV and told my wife lets go to bed and hold each other. She a Jew and I, Black, we had often joked that our marriage would illegal the day after the election. We went to bed with the sinking feeling it almost was.
More than half of America has spoken, and it was what I have come to expect. They have sided with hatred. As a Lutheran I was struck by Rozella Haydee White’s tweet last night. She pointed out the area’s that won this man the day are heavily ELCA.
Dear Church I am not surprised because of Emmett Till.
I am not surprised because of Sandra Bland. Eric Garner. Freddie Gray. Gynna Mcmillen. Trayvon Martin.
I am not surprised because systemic racism is demonic and exorcisms are not an easy affair. I am not surprised because as I waited in line at 8 AM to cast my vote, a Hillary supporter was trying to feel me out. I was in collar with a “pray for your enemies” hat. Doesn’t scream liberal. She was a well to do white liberal feminist working for the campaign, and when I talked about xenophobia, racism, and the fact that I have only had the right to vote for little over a 50 over years, she immediately was dismissive and centered her story. I hate misogyny as much as you, and her points struck true. Patriarchy be damned. But I don’t think she had any clue what she was facing. She was facing white supremacy and it will cause any white person, male or female to vote against their own self-interest.
She had no idea because she was lulled to sleep by the Obama presidency and was self-assured by neo liberal ideals. She truly thought she was doing enough.
I have seen the deep well of hatred and the hands that have lowered our collective dignity to pull up the bitter gall and poured it in our national cup. I have watched from facedown on the sidewalk the tear gas of the machine rise and the boots march in. I have seen the cell door close with the deep and metallic slam that vibrates in your very bones.
I know what empire looks like. It has been giving stump speeches for over a year now. It has been beating up activist. America, the mask has fallen and it is time we look into the dim mirror of our national living room. With sober eyes and clear heads we need to see who we truly are. The crimson in our flag is the blood of indigenous peoples of this land. The blue is the nightstick bruises on black bodies. The white is all we have ever cared about.
If you are a leader in the church, or in a movement of liberation, our fight has just begun. If you are complicit in this travesty, may God have mercy on your soul.