Dear Members and Friends,
I woke up at 4:30 this morning. The killing of George Floyd was on my mind and heart. How could it be otherwise? How is it possible not to respond with anger, despair, sorrow, grief, and sleeplessness? Sadly this act of brutality against a black man is not new. Nor are such acts of violence against black boys and black women new. We’ve seen it before – too many times. The history of racism, colonization, slavery, exploitation, and white privilege in this nation is long and tragic.
Our congregation has been on a journey to educate ourselves and dismantle racism and oppression in ourselves, our church, and other institutions. Just two weeks ago, our church voted to adopt The 8th Principle of Unitarian Universalism, affirming our commitment to building anti-racist, anti-oppression Beloved Community. What does this mean to us in this moment? What is being asked of our religious community right now, specifically those of us who are white?
Susan Frederick-Gray our UUA President writes that, “People of faith, particularly those of us who are white progressives, need to combat the systems of criminalization in our country. . . .We must all commit to dismantle white supremacy everywhere it shows up. We cannot advance the values of justice, equity, dignity, compassion, and interdependence without working to dismantle the culture of white supremacy. “
Indeed, we need to continue our work to educate ourselves and to ally with others in this work. We need to come together for dialogue and lament. And we need to work to dismantle white supremacy. Our ADORE group (A Dialogue on Race and Ethnicity) is in conversation about hosting a virtual conversation.
Meanwhile, let’s not get distracted from this calling of ours. Let’s continue the journey together – in love and grief.
Yours in faith,
Rev. Dr. Sandra Fees