Unitarian Universalists were among many of the crowds of protesters across the U.S. last week decrying the Ferguson grand jury decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson for killing Michael Brown. Carey McDonald, Director of Outreach at the Unitarian Universalist Association, joined a Black Lives Matter rally near Boston on Tuesday. The next day he wrote these words in a Facebook post:
“Had you been in Roxbury last night, or at any of the other dozens of demonstrations across the country, you would have witnessed the legitimate rage that arises from the heart of Ferguson. It is the legacy of 400 years of slavery, oppression and marginalization. The bitterness of bad schools, crappy housing and no job prospects. The system that brought Darren Wilson and Mike Brown face to face on August 9, one feeling hopeless and the other terrified. The fear of difference and strategic trampling of black and brown Americans that makes up the face of racism today, and the apathy towards questioning how things got to be the way they are. All concentrated into a single symbol, one grand jury decision, that is fraught but still the (latest) compelling example of the extreme disproportionality of how systemic racism functions. Racism has been called America’s original sin, and I think that’s about right.
“I went to the vigil, the protest, because I wanted to be with people who saw the whole picture. Who saw the truth of Ferguson. I also wanted to show up to make sure that the news stories conveyed the depth of what was happening.
“I have hope because I have faith, in people and in the long arc of the universe, but the path forward is anything but clear. I stand on the side of love, and of compassion, for my kindred spirits. May we all discern how to sift through the chaos to improve the lives of those in our communities, and those whom we’ve never met, in the name of a more perfect union..”