Black Lives Matter


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Today I participated in a ‘town meeting’ at the UU Church where I’ve been attending Sunday services. For those of you who do not know about Unitarian Universalist Churches, well, let’s just say many of them are very, very open, liberal, accepting of anyone from any religion, race, ethnic, political background or sexual orientation. They also tend to be socially active, and by this I mean “civilly active”–they give back to the community in a positive way. At least from what I’ve experienced.

So I came in late to the discussion about whether to hang a “Black Lives Matter” banner on the Church grounds so passing cars could visibly see it, but on the property so the city wouldn’t give us grief about it.

The decision must be a consensus of the congregation before it can go up–and as you can guess, there has been heated discussion.

From what I saw today, the main conflicting arguments seem to be between fear (don’t put it up) and standing up for equality and social justice (do put it up). All participants today came to this safe space to voice their deep and real feelings on these very current issues.

Fear, of course is one we can all relate to given the daily bombardment of news media relating story after story of innocent lives being taken by terrorists. Or even just hearing about people disagreeing with someone’s point of view and having them march into a place of worship and gunning down the parishioners. Fear is real and I definitely could identify with one woman’s heart thumping angst about hanging this sign, then picturing the aftermath. What if, what if….??

But what about all the Black lives? I had been personally very ignorant about the movement and said so, only knowing about its early beginnings. What I had heard in the beginning had turned me off because it had seemed too violent and militant for my taste. I have always been more of the same mind as Martin Luther King Jr. honestly–you don’t fight violence with violence….

I was told, though, I should go to the website and read it–that I might change my mind. So I did go, and now feel very differently about the movement. It was never that I doubted that Black lives matter, but I needed to be educated on what they were trying to propose and their credo. It made sense to me upon reading it.

So the real question is: how much is each person willing to risk for a personal belief? I stood outside with another woman who was also in favor (like me) of hanging the sign and we both felt that if the worse happened and we were killed for this, then we died for the right reason. Better than of cancer.

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She still couldn’t understand why others didn’t feel the same way. Having always played the diplomat, the ‘bridge’, the peacemaker–I tried to explain that people have a right to their fear and their opinion too–especially as UU’s!  Our ages took us through dark times with race inequality and in our own personal lives we had faced prejudice. So this shaped our decisions. But we all have our own story that creates our fears, our choices and our banners to wave.

So, we must continue to talk.

And this was the best part of the whole idea of hanging the banner in the first place: the dialog, the way it made us look deep within ourselves and how it makes us bind as a community. The ideas that surfaced and the commitments that came out of this meeting were so valuable too.

We must remember that even if the congregation votes no, it was not for nothing.

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16 thoughts on “Black Lives Matter

  1. Open and honest dialogue, in which different points of views are heard and respected rather than ridiculed or dismissed, is always a good thing! Good for your church for having this conversation.

  2. Although I totally agree that Black Lives Matter just as much as green, purple, and white ones I am not sold on this organization. It seems to be a bit radical for my taste as well and geared to a stand against law enforcement more than a stand for black lives.
    BUT..I am no expert.
    More research is needed and I think that waiting to hang this banner is a better idea than jumping on some bandwagon, even if the reason for waiting is out of fear rather than time to educate our selves.
    The result, hopefully is the same.

    1. I recommend you check out the website and read it thoroughly as I did before you make a judgment about what they stand for. ..actually they are very clear. I changed my mind after I read it. What you may have heard on the media or read on social media may not be accurate. Get it from the source! And as always, thanks for your honest and open response. It’s much appreciated! 🙂 ❤

      1. All of our opinions are humble and matter of course. The question is can their ever be full transparency ever with any organization, government or anything that’s run by people? Ultimately, in my opinion, you will have good ideas and good people that may be tainted by some bad people–like our very own government. For me though, I won’t throw out the baby with the bath water. Their premise is good after I understood what they are trying to accomplish–at least for now. We can always change our mind. The ultimate point of my blog, though, was that there was good conversation around this very difficult and controversial topic—just like here. And to me, that’s important.

  3. I hadn’t realized the BLM movement was started with the queer and trans angles. Though I’m a little confused by the founders claiming that people are ignoring that part, but then there isn’t any mention of that in their “about us”, “guiding principles”, and in the footer. If they want to focus on that, or at minimum call that the rallying cry/original movement, they should talk about that more.

    I do like the quote, “Once black lives are free, all are free.” I haven’t heard people say that before, and the complaints against “all lives matter” haven’t really made any sense to me.

    As for your church’s discussion, your ending point about the discussion being a good thing, even if the answer is no, is a good thing, but it is hard to remember to not be discouraged, at least for me.

    1. To me I find their website confusing in general. It’s hard to get to ‘the meat’ of their principles etc. Yes, I too found what you mentioned surprising. I feel most people do not know the heart of their movement and only know what they read in social media. I also like what they say in response to “all lives matter” and I wish more people would read that part.

      And ultimately the last part of my piece was the point! What I feel now after reading their blog and the discussions here is that I feel you can’t hang the sign without education. I mentioned this yesterday, but now I feel more passionate about it. Hang it, but have a public forum with panel speakers who will speak to and answer questions about what it all means. Maybe a police officer, a BLM spokesperson, a UU Church member…who else? I think this is a critical part. Education.

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