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thoughts on charleston and justice

thoughts on charleston and justice
I recently visited a facility in our area that rescues marine mammal life. Volunteers in the hundreds literally come 24 hours a day to care for these animals. Thousands and thousands of private donation dollars each year are poured into this facility to rescue and rehabilitate these animals. As I walked away from seeing these rehabilitated seals and sea lions, I honestly just got kind of angry. Our African American brothers and sisters are dying. Our Native American brothers and sisters are dying. Our Latino American brothers and sisters are dying. And no one seems to care, but these little cute sea lions are rescued and sent back into the ocean – so all is well with the world???!!! (I’m not trying to say I don’t care about the environment, but come on guys, something is really wrong here with our distribution of resources). I heard a powerful sermon on justice a few years ago at church and my take away was that Justice IS caring for my fellow human as if they were your biological brother and sister – seeing them as human and as your family. Granted You and I alone cannot save the world. But, together we can do something. I was thinking today and grieving for Charleston. This isn’t just about 9 people in a church killed for the color of their skin. I was thinking, it’s about decades, centuries actually of hatred and killing and slavery. It’s about police profiling and white privilege. and many other issues that I can’t get into in one blog post.. But to add to the list It’s ALSO about chronic grief. Because of the color the skin you were born with. I know I don’t really get it because I come from a privileged ethnicity and class. But I want to try to get it. We have a responsibility to GET IT. I have only experienced a touch of chronic grief. Most parents with children with medical or developmental conditions can attest to the chronic grief and stress of raising a child with disabilities. Most caretakers of the elderly or health care workers or policemen or social workers can attest to what chronic grief feels like. Most people suffering from cancer or chronic illness can also relate to chronic grief. It’s sad things happening to you over and over and over and over. But today I realized that my brothers and sisters of color are basically living lives BEYOND chronic grief. They are living lives equivalent to those in WAR TORN nations. They experience the stress and grief of seeing family and friends die tragically day after day, the injustice of people in power persecuting them for the color of their skin, the hopelessness of seeing their children be born to a world that tells them that they have a high probability of dying or being incarcrated before they turn 18, the reality of DAILY hunger and poverty and crime and hatred. And no one seems to care or even acknowledge that the problem is there. People actually blame them for their problems. They blame them for being born with a skin color other than their own. Ok Enough of the soap box. What can I do? What can YOU do? Be Aware, Grieve, and stop talking and debating about it and go DO. Become a Big brother or Big sister. Financially sponsor a child’s school expenses, for the next year, or better yet, through graduation. Buy that family dinner or groceries, for a week, for a month, for a year. Pay that family’s rent check, for 6 months.. Volunteer in the community, once a month, and not just on Christmas. Reach out to a local school with a low API score. Offer snacks, your time, computer help to the teachers. Donate to causes doing direct work in the community, such as the Salvation Army Volunteer at the local hospital that serves people who are uninsured Look at your Money, your Schedule, your Emotional bandwidth – then go out – Go to the “other side of the tracks” Talk to pastors and community workers who are on the ground in the trenches and ask them what you can do to help them! Pray generally and specifically Make a difference in the life of ONE person, One Family, One CHILD. Do what you can, but please do something…. Because if we do nothing, we are perpetuating the problem. That is justice. Now GO.

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