By Keith Magee, Director, Social Justice Institute and Scholar in Residence at Elie Wiesel Center, Boston University
For the last four visible years America has endured, once again, the polarizing effects of racism and injustice. Yet, instead of the perpetrators wearing white sheets and lynching African Americans with coral ropes as they did decades prior, they now wear blue uniforms and use issued firearms. The loss of Trayvon, Eric, Tamir, Sandra, Freddie, Korryn, Alton, Terence, Keith, and all of the others we name, came not because their assassins feared them, but because they believed these lives didn’t matter. Secretly, I’ve wept at my core when I hear the news that they have taken another life. Even when I’m driving my car, with my two-year-old Zayden, I pray that our lives will matter. Continue reading “Why Did Jesus Weep: Because #BlackLivesMatter Too?”→
What does it mean for Black Women, Black Girls and Black Femmes to respond to dying cities and the death of Black families in dying cities? What does it mean for Black Women, Black Girls and Black Femmes to call out from Detroit to the world to not only recognize the humanity of Black lives, but to challenge the world to respond with the full of their own humanity? We live in movement times. A time where we can clearly articulate all that is wrong in society and all that is wrong in the world. A time where the stark contrasts between which Black lives matter and which don’t, are becoming more and more prevalent within the Black community. Continue reading “A Call for 10,000 Black Women, Girls & Femmes”→
By Leah Grady Sayvetz. Leah grew up in the Ithaca Catholic Worker community. After some years away she has moved back to her home town to join efforts in local social justice organizing, starting at the local level to effect change in the world.
On a Tuesday morning in early November, on my way driving to work, I was stopped at the bottom of Elm street by a traffic jam, not atypical for 8am on a week day. Thinking nothing of it, I patiently waited for vehicles to move on so that I could pull out onto Floral Ave. The car ahead of me seemed somewhat thoughtless in how they had stopped across a lane of traffic on Floral and did not appear to be moving. An elderly black man turned up Elm, having just come from the Martin Luther King Blvd bridge, and stopped his car next to mine to let out his passenger, a middle-aged black man. As I saw these two men say good bye, I realized that the driver of the car ahead of me, a white man, had just jumped out of his vehicle and was now pointing a gun at the younger of the two black men. It suddenly became clear that we were surrounded by undercover police. The cars behind us and ahead of us, the car which had just turned onto Floral Ave from MLK Blvd, and other cars waiting in line before the Floral Ave stop sign all carried men in regular dress who jumped out and surrounded this man on the side of the street. All of these under cover officers were white men. Many of them carried guns, some pointed their guns at the black man who had just gotten out of his friend’s car. I recognized the man being surrounded as someone I see a lot in my neighborhood- he is a neighbor who I know by face but not by name. The cops all wore civilian clothing of various styles, one man had long hair in a messy pony tail and a scruffy beard, they all wore calm and business-like expressions on their faces. Their demeanor communicated to everyone around that this was just business as usual: nothing to be alarmed about. Continue reading “#BLACKLIVESMATTER”→
Local chapters of Black Lives Matter and Jewish Voice for Peace coordinated actions in Chicago, Illinois on the weekend of October 24-25, 2015. CPTers attended the events, employing our public witness, human rights documentation, and nonviolent direct action support skills. We’re in the middle of a month-long training of 10 new recruits; people from across the organization—administrative team, field team, and a trainee—participated. Continue reading “Not Another Nickel”→
#BlackLivesMatter is homing in on ten specific proposals. Read the entire article here for a helpful update on the movement and a lot of really profound research.
1. End broken windows policing. This refers to a style of policing that goes after minor crimes and activities, based on the notion that letting minor crimes go unaddressed can foster and lead to even worse crimes in a community. In practice, this tactic has disproportionately impacted minority Americans — in New York City, the vast majority of stops in 2012 were of black or Hispanic people. Continue reading “Campaign Zero”→
The sun hits my face hard as I listen to the water from the fountain. As I look up and around, I am aware how little this downtown resembles the city I know anymore. The faces are all young and white (not unlike my own) playing beach ball, listening to live bands, sipping mid-day cocktails, and eating from food trucks. I look down at the 25 black bodies lying on the cement draped with signs and names of those killed at the hands of the police. On my lap sits the one-and-a-half year old who is my constant companion and teacher these days. He watches intently holding an air of seriousness in his body. Continue reading “Learning from Laughter: Speaking Truth to Innocence”→
By Lindsay Airey. Originally published in the Detroit Catholic Worker paper On the Edge. Lindsay is a marriage & family therapist, radical disciple, and recovering AlAnon member, living and working alongside her husband Tom, the Larkins St. Community, and St. Peter’s Episcopal Church. Her activist work has been focused with We The People of Detroit, organizing around the ongoing water struggle.
“T’was grace that taught my heart to fear, and grace my fears relieved.” -John Newton, Amazing Grace
If not for grace, I could never meaningfully engage the inner work of healing and repenting from white supremacy. This “taught my heart to fear” kind of grace is what compels me into this work. It is also what keeps me in it. Perhaps understood most deeply by recovering addicts and abusers, this “amazing” grace is foreign to the distorted, cheap & enabling grace vended on the daily at your local mainstream, white-dominated, suburban and affluent Christian church. Meanwhile, on the outer fringes of the (c)hristian tradition, this slave-trader-turned-abolitionist kind of grace may be the penultimate anti-white supremacist/anti-racist “program” we Christians have uniquely to offer the struggle for racial equity and reconciliation in America. Continue reading “Twas Grace”→