This morning the NYTimes published an essay John Lewis wrote to be shared on the day of his funeral (which is today).
Read it. Please.
We continue to lament the ever increasing rise of police violence in the US. This project visualizes the names of more than 28,000 fatal encounters with police nationwide.
Many people in Catholic and Episcopal settings are familiar with the practices of a “way of the cross.” Here is a powerful interpretation of that practice, as seen through the experiences of people seeking asylum.
There’s been a lot of discussion lately about whether white people should be thinking of themselves as allies in the struggle for racial justice, or perhaps instead as accomplices, opening up spaces. Whatever your answer to that question you might find this guide to allyship useful. Buried in its massive set of links is this guide from the film company Bad Robot, to dismantling white supremacy in the workplace.
On June 17th, 2020, at 11:00 am central time, the AME and the ELCA will hold a liturgy in commemoration of the Emanuel 9, killed five years ago in Charleston, South Caroline. That liturgy will remain available following its premiere.
Too much has been happening the last few days to report it all here. But one resource that is worth reminding people about is The Marshall Project, which is focused on transforming our criminal justice system. They have created a series of short videos where people witness to their interactions with the system. It’s a great place to start from if you are working with people who have no idea how destructive and racist our systems are.
Here we go again. On Monday May 25th Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin arrested George Floyd, and used a restraint hold (kneeling on his neck) that either killed him outright, or certainly contributed to his death.
On Tuesday there were protests and a march that for the most part were very calm and peaceful, until the very end when eye witnesses noted young white males involved in property damage at the police station in precinct three. The police moved in with riot gear, tear gas, mace, and rubber bullets.
By Wednesday morning the cities were in shock. Four police officers who were at the scene of the original arrest have been fired. The mayor of Minneapolis and the Chief of Police have asked both the BCA (Bureau of Criminal Apprehension) and the FBI to investigate.
Update Thursday, June 4th
Today as I update this post George Floyd’s memorial service will happen. All four officers have now been charged (with Derek Chauvin charged with various degrees of murder), the State of Minnesota has begun a civil rights investigation stretching back 10 years of the Minneapolis police department, and days and days of marches have happened and continue to go on.
We must lament, and we must act. This week some of the resources that are once again being shared include:
a poignant recognition of the paternalistic racism of “good white people”
a very thoughtful analysis of how de-escalation helps when police engage protests, and yet why they do not use it
all the other resources at this site!
There are also statements being made by many organizations:
the board of the Catholic Theological Society of America
the board of the College Theology Society
As this pandemic unfolds, it’s clear that the disease is not an equalizer. We’re still learning, but here is some initial data on COVID-19 and race.
Dr. Jason Chang has begun to compile a set of resources for responding to the specific forms of racism that are emerging in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic.