April 23, 2021
Like many people, I was relieved by the verdict delivered Tuesday in the trial of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd. Before we knew what the verdict would be, leaders of MLK Saratoga planned a gathering at the Spirit of Life statue in Congress Park for 6:00 that day.
At the event, I led a prayer in which I said that we could feel the God who is justice moving in our land. And I do believe that’s true. And yet, none of us were exactly partying.
We were glad to feel some healing and hope, but we knew there was healing work and justice work that still needs to happen. On Earth Day, Thursday, was the funeral for Daunte Wright, and there was a black 16 year old killed by police just an hour before the Chauvin verdict was read. Here in Saratoga Springs, justice in the case of Darryl Mount, now six years old, is still somewhere over the horizon.
I hope and pray that the guilty verdict handed down this week marks a turning point or a shifting of the ground so that our work for racial justice may feel not quite so uphill. But I’m not exactly expecting that to be the case. Still, let us give our hearts to the family and friends of those killed, let us open our hearts to change and transformation for ourselves and our society. We still need to proclaim that black lives matter. We still need to act on our UU conviction that every person holds an inherent worth and dignity, because our society is still only learning to act as if that is so.
Keith Ellison, the Attorney General for Minnesota, had this to say:
“One conviction can’t by itself transform decades of mistrust and abuse and centuries of trauma.
Securing meaningful, enduring justice for all means using your clearest, loudest, most morally grounded voice to demand change – the hard, vital change our communities need to live the fullest measure and promise of their lives.”
May we continue to help one another through these challenging times of sorrow and joy. May we be morally grounded and willing to enact change that allows for the fullest measure and promise of lives. It is being in covenant and community with people like you that makes it impossible for me to deny the presence and persistence of hope.
April 23, 2021