Last week over 2,000 people marched in San Mateo, and thousands of thousands more across the country and around the world (amid a global health pandemic!) We did this in solidarity with the idea of bringing real change for Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) and an end to systems of “law and order” which perpetuate cruelty and senseless violence through prisons and policing.
For many white people, making this a personal (and local) issue begins with doing the difficult, spiritual work on ourselves: to see what we have not seen before and how the absence of our ownership of the problem is, in fact, a major source of its perpetuity, despite our stated desires for “justice, equity and compassion for all”—one of our basic UU principles.
How we engage ourselves in doing our own work, as a predominantly white congregation and association, will make all the difference in whether this is THE time of a true transformation of the planet, or just ‘a moment’ in history.
I know…”It’s complicated.” But understanding that complexity begins with engaging in any aspect of it from a personal encounter.
This week, half a dozen UUSM’ers joined with a dozen other San Mateo citizens to start a chapter of SURJ (“Showing Up for Racial Justice”), an organization that was born from the call by our BIPOC siblings for white “allies” to become “accomplices” in dismantling white supremacy culture and treating it as a ‘white’ problem.
I invite you to learn more about SURJ by sending me an email after checking out SURJ values by going to their website: https://www.showingupforracialjustice.org/surj-values.html
And, for a better understanding of another ‘complicated’ idea, “Defunding Police,” I offer these suggestions from the Rev. Meg Riley:
- check out www.OperationZero.org.
- Or, watch Trevor Noah talk with activists.
- These websites layout paths towards systematic changes that could lead to much safer and happier communities.
For those of us who are white, it’s an opportunity for us to listen and learn and to respond in alignment with our UU principles and values and our highest aspirations for a more just and safe world.
In Peace and Unrest,