Interdependent Web: The precariousness doesn’t end

Interdependent Web: The precariousness doesn’t end

A weekly roundup of blogs and other user-generated web content about Unitarian Universalism


The precariousness doesn’t end

Kim Hampton can’t get past hearing that George Floyd called out for his mother, who died two years ago.

Black parenthood is so precarious in this country; starting with the higher rates of infant and maternal mortality. Then moving to the higher rates of lead poisoning, asthma and other respirtory diseases, etc. And an education system that is against them (if you haven't read the education research about white teachers* and Black children, you should). And a society that criminalizes them/holds them suspect starting around the time they start school. Just getting them to 18 is a miracle.

But the precariousness doesn't end. (Facebook, June 2)

Fulgence Ndagijimana, a refugee who makes his home in Canada, notes that even in this relatively safer place, he could “breathe better” than he does.

In the past year, I had to contend with a neighbour calling the city for a car parked on the street because “I will never know why”, a landlady saying that because of African food that makes her house dirty, she would keep our rent deposit and people from my faith movement refusing to believe that I am a Unitarian Minister as I attempted to enter a meeting venue while black! (Facebook, May 30)

Bring down the curtain

Adam Dyer asks, “What if instead of building our civic order around ‘police’ and ‘criminal justice’ we actually built it around public safety?”

With the depth and breadth of racism in our country, strategies that can ultimately fix the overwhelming impact of police violence against black people will need to factor in the ethical, moral and spiritual violence that racism has been for over 400 years. . . .

This type of change can be led by faith leaders. . . . Our job should not just be to pray after the fact of tragedy. We are also called in our leadership to offer prophetic insight that points to the consequences of being out of covenant with our fellow beings. . . . With the question of policing and criminal justice being an issue of human dignity and quite simply an issue of life and death, there is no faith “leader” in this moment who can afford to follow. (spirituwellness, June 1)

Watching Donald Trump use a Bible as a stage prop, after his way has been cleared by force, Dyer again urges leaders to take action.

Religious/ spiritual/ ethical leaders of all kinds…progressive conservative, pro-choice, pro-life, Orthodox and Atheist must come together in this moment to recognize that all of our ideas about “faith” or “not faith” are being grossly abused and the result will be that we will all loose the right to our freedom of belief. There is no policy agenda that is worth the loss of real liberty that comes from allowing the broad spectrum of faith to be co-opted and misrepresented by someone who only sees religious expression as theater.

We need to bring the curtain down on this show. (spirituwellness, June 3)

Words to white people

Dan Harper has words for white guys, whose recklessness too often gets blamed on black protesters.

If you really want to change the status quo, then when you go to one of the protests, make sure for once in your life that you’re not in charge of anything. In fact, if you go to a white allies protest, let white people of other genders run it. When you’re at a protest, don’t draw attention to yourself. Don’t do anything to cause others to photograph you. Don’t be a rugged individualist or a lone ranger. Don’t even go bragging all over social media about what a social justice warrior you are because you, a white guy, were brave enough to attend a protest. In short, for once in your life, you’re not going to be the center of attention. I’m a white guy myself, so I know how hard that will be; but that’s what we need to do. (Yet Another Unitarian Universalist, June 1)

Sadie Lansdale doesn’t mince words with people who are up in arms about property damage.

We never, ever equate or compare the destruction of property to the destruction of Black life. Hold that truth close to your heart. Keep it always on your tongue. No human being is expendable. Black lives matter. . . .

Life is a gift. What blasphemy, what utter desecration of the holiness of human life to ever, ever compare Black lives to burning buildings. (Facebook, May 30)

Doug Muder recounts in unflinching detail the murder of George Floyd, the context of racist policing, and the inevitable escalation of suppressed protest.

When you suppress peaceful protest against legitimate injustices, and punish the people who do it, you make violent protest inevitable.

And I don’t want to hear the platitude that violence never changes anything. In fact it does, and I think we’re seeing that now. The riots are sending white America the message that this can’t go on. It could have heard that message when Eric Garner said, “I can’t breathe.” It could have understood that message when football players knelt. But it refused. Now the message is being sent with fire and broken glass.

This can’t go on. (The Weekly Sift, June 1)

Jordinn Nelson Long confronts white parents who protect the “pristine innocence” of their child’s ears.

[Those] of us living largely white lives in a largely privileged world see comfort as the ultimate signifier that the kids are alright, and respond as though SAFETY is threatened when all you actually are sacrificing is a bit of your own COMFORT.

Your kid is fine. They can handle more than you think they can. You, on the other hand, cannot, and it is YOUR SACRED WORK to begin to establish some resilience muscles. (Facebook, June 4)

Amy Zucker Morgenstern calls for the defunding of the police.

The police of our country have always been pulled two ways: protect the ill-gotten gains of robber barons against the poor who press to receive their due, or protect the people’s rights? Be the legitimized face of white supremacist terrorism, or protect everybody? Act as judge/jury/executioner, or respectfully turn over suspected violators of the law to the courts?

This week they have chosen the evil path over and over, and it’s just one bad week in 250 bad years. Time for a new way. (Sermons in Stones, June 4)

Liz James remembers a time when she used to say that Canada was much less racist than the United States.

If I were talking to ten-years-ago me, I’d just say “Are you sure about what you’re saying? Do you think you’re the one best equipped to judge this? Have you thought about the impact your words might have on people of a diversity of races?”

And then I’d encourage yesterday-me to funnel all her rage and pain about events in another country into the working on the very real problems here... Because I am a person of limited energy, and I want to spend my energy where I can have the most impact. And because I cannot imagine how much it would hurt to be someone watching their neighbours ignore their pain while raging on about racism far away. (Facebook, May 31)