After Worship: Black Lives Matter

In my sermon on Sunday, I talked about Black Lives Matter, and I wanted to share with you a number of articles and resources that are helping me as I struggle to understand race and violence in our country:

A post by Michelle Alexander
Author of The New Jim Crow
July 9, 2016
I no longer believe that we can “fix” the police, as though the police are anything other than a mirror reflecting back to us the true nature of our democracy. We cannot “fix” the police without a revolution of values and radical change to the basic structure of our society. Of course important policy changes can and should be made to improve police practices. But if we’re serious about having peace officers — rather than a domestic military at war with its own people— we’re going to have to get honest with ourselves about who our democracy actually serves and protects.

Advice for White Folks in the Wake of the Police Murder of a Black Person
Justin C. Cohen
July 6, 2016
I feel an extraordinary amount of anger and sadness today, but that pain cannot compare to what our Black friends and colleagues are experiencing. As a White person, I will never know the extent of this sort of pain. I can, however, offer some modest advice to other White folks who are trying to figure out how to be good allies on a day like today.

Before killing Alton Sterling, Baton Rouge police had a history of brutality complaints
Jarvis DeBerry, | The Times-Picayune
July 6, 2016
Alton Sterling was selling CDs outside a Baton Rouge convenience store early Tuesday morning when the police responded to a 911 call that Sterling had threatened the 911 caller with a gun. That’s sufficient reason for the police to come to the scene, but – just in case this needs to be said – that’s not sufficient reason for the police to kill him. The Baton Rouge Police Department – like so many other departments across the country – is notorious for its brutal treatment of black people.

The Police Are Killing People As Often As They Were Before Ferguson
By Carl Bialik, Fivethirtyeight
July 7, 2016
Yet the best available data suggests that if police officers are being watched more closely, that hasn’t reduced the frequency with which they kill people. In fact, they might be killing people more often. And the people dying still are disproportionately black.

The next time someone says ‘all lives matter,’ show them these 5 paragraphs
Imagine that you’re sitting down to dinner with your family, and while everyone else gets a serving of the meal, you don’t get any. So you say “I should get my fair share.” And as a direct response to this, your dad corrects you, saying, “everyone should get their fair share.”