Posted by the UUCF Racial Justice Steering Committee on Jun. 2, 2020.
“Racism and white supremacy culture is killing our bodies, killing our spirits and killing our humanity.”
– Rev. Jen Crow, First Universalist Church of Minneapolis
After the tragic murders by police of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and countless others, we are filled with rage and grief. As Unitarian Universalists, we are called to act and speak against the seemingly endless violence targeting our Black, Brown and Indigenous siblings arising from the national diseases of racism and white supremacy.
The systems that uphold this culture of racism and violence date back 400 years to the founding of our republic. Every level of government, cultural, educational and even our religious institutions have been complicit in keeping these systems in place. From slavery and Jim Crow through the Civil Rights era and up to today, these systems of bias, dehumanization and violence have been allowed to flourish because they have always benefited the people in power.
Changing those systems will require change within ourselves. There is very little comfort in this kind of change. Dismantling a centuries-old culture of racism and supremacy will not be done overnight. Transforming our law enforcement and justice systems will require commitment and stamina. But it can be done. It will take the will of the people – people of all races – to demand change. For white people, our privilege and the injustice that has been done in our names and for our benefit, means we must take responsibility. It will take individual sacrifice, courage and imagination of new possibilities. This is the justice work Unitarian Universalists have embraced since the beginning of our movement. This is the true meaning of inherent worth and dignity. This is the work our faith calls on us to do now and commit to long-term as a matter of conscience.
Therefore, as members of the Racial Justice Steering Committee and lay and ministerial leadership of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Fairfax, we affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity of every person, justice and equity in human relations and the interdependence of all life. Living these values with love we are called to:
- Act, and express our commitment that Black Lives Matter and ALL people in this country deserve justice and peace.
- Learn about, understand and act to undo the systems of white supremacist that have been intentionally and unintentionally built into this nation’s culture and fostered over the centuries by public, private and religious institutions.
- Acknowledge and feel the pain caused by systemic racism and systems of oppression that have allowed for and encouraged dehumanization and violence against Black, Brown and Indigenous lives.
- In solidarity with Communities of Colors, act to create new systems that honor Black, Brown, and Indigenous life, specifically. This will be done through relationship building, listening to and following the lead of Communities of Color, and then demanding and creating together the systems that will uphold love and justice.
The work starts with each of us, wherever we are on the continuum of learning, understanding, committing and acting. It starts in our homes, our congregation and our community. It starts now.
With thanks and credit to First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Diego for parts of this statement’s affirmations.