Tuesday night as dusk settled onto Madison, the lawn in front of the theological school at Drew was populated with at least 100 little signs. Each one was a marker with the name of a black person slain by law enforcement in separate incidents across the country just in the last few years.
Black Lives Matter.
There is a disproportionate number of victims of color in confrontations with law enforcement all over the country. I hope and pray that by now you are not still thinking that “Yes We Can” and a black president are proof that race is a distant issue in America. Please don’t be lulled into thinking that the politicizing of this issue in some way blows the stats out of proportion. I assure you, it does not.
Watch the documentary 13th on Netflix.
It should make you mad.
I hope so.
I’ve seen it twice.
13th was fresh on my mind Tuesday night as a group led by the Black Ministry Caucus of Drew graduate theology students gathered to pay silent tribute to the victims and march to the Borough Hall in solidarity. We each uprooted those markers and carried them in vigil to the steps of the hall. Students, faculty, administration, Madison police, and caring community members carried signs and a strong silent message of peace to the streets, through the intersections of our Borough.
Thankfully, we do not have police brutality issues in Madison.
We do not have issues because our force is on their game.
Chief Dachisen is committed.
Our police are leading—they are out in front.
Since I came to Madison, we have been partnering with our friend Rev. Craig Dunn at First Baptist along with a number of other clergy, the sisters of the various local Orders, the university administrations, and community leaders. I joined a conversation in progress and the conversation continues. Amazing!
Nonetheless, we come together because Black Lives Matter is an umbrella for all oppressed people based on disparities not just of race but gender, sexual orientation, socio-economy, and so forth. Just imagine. We are determined to constantly be in dialog.
Honestly, I think we are intentionally showing off for our children. Modeling. Every moment is a teachable moment. Every day. That’s how we do it.
We do it all the time until it’s not a thing.
We do it because Black Lives Matter.
It’s still a thing.
It’s still a big thing.
Grace and peace,