"Do not get lost in a sea of despair. Be hopeful, be optimistic. Our struggle is not the struggle of a day, a week, a month, or a year, it is the struggle of a lifetime. Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble." (John Lewis)
The murder of George Floyd, which the whole world saw while he pleaded for his life, has unleashed 400 years of frustration and suffering by not only our black brothers and sisters, but also of all who are not of the dominant culture – read white people of European descent.
“So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.” (James 2:17)
That day on the streets of Minneapolis has become the proverbial tipping point in race relations in the United States and indeed around the world. There has been anger, there has been violence, there has been denial. And it continues still.
“Do not be wise in words be wise in deeds.” (Jewish proverb)
But we have also perhaps been presented with the best opportunity in our lifetimes to begin to correct the wrongs that have created barriers to equality and to fulfill the U.S. Declaration of Independence’s words: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all [people] are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
"O you who believe, be persistently standing firm in justice, as witnesses before God, even if it be against yourselves or your parents and relatives." (Qur’an 4:135)
The time has come to imbue those words in the Declaration of Independence with action, and to that end, all members of our community, whatever their background, religious beliefs or any other circumstance are invited to join with others in educating themselves about the reality of systemic racism, what that means and how it is imbedded in our culture and government, then assessing what we as citizens of this country can do to turn the tide.
“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” (Maya Angelou)
Members of the First Presbyterian Church of Morgantown invite you to join with others from around the community in this effort to help to create a truly anti-racist society. (While we at First Presbyterian are engaged in this discussion because we believe our faith demands it, we hope all people, regardless of their faith tradition, if any, will join in this endeavor.)
"We should not think of the next year or two as the start of a decade or more of incremental progress. We should think of the next year or two as all the time we have, and a last chance to get it right." (Jennifer A. Richeson, The Atlantic)
We are currently holding monthly meetings to determine what other initiatives are under way in our community, and will eventually decide where our efforts are best concentrated.
For more information, to find out how to participate or to join our online Google Group, send an email to DismantlingRacismTogether@gmail.com.
Dismantling Racism Together:
A Community Response to Systemic Racism
OUR NEXT MEETING:
Dismantling Racism Together's next meeting will be Wednesday, Dec. 8 at 7 p.m., via Zoom.
The speaker will be Morgantown PRIDE President Ash Orr who will present a session on anti-racism training, including some of the special problems faced by people of color.
Login information will be available after Thanksgiving.
If you have any questions, please email them to DismantlingRacismTogether@gmail.com
A Video from our October meeting with. our local NAACP,
sharing about their work for local police reform.