Many messages: written, spoken, even shouted. 

Here  is one

Let’s Be Clear, We Said

BLACK LIVES MATTER

We NEVER Said

ONLY BLACK LIVES MATTER

In Truth, We Know That

ALL LIVES MATTER

We’ve supported Your Lives Throughout History

Now We Need Your Help with

BLACK LIVES MATTER

For Black Lives Are In Danger!

(Gene Testimony Hall)

After many disturbing incidents, deaths, and repression of personal freedom involving

poverty, discrimination, and  unfair treatment, our nation, even the world, has erupted,

like a volcano that has been steaming for a long time. 

I’m old enough to remember a similar time. The hopeful attitude our citizens felt after soldiers returned home after the end of World War II was subdued by the realization that society did not provide equal opportunity to all Americans. Responding, the civil rights movement seeking justice kindled hope amidst opposition. I personally served with Fannie Lou Hamer and her Mississippi Freedom Farm Co-op and her Freedom Democratic Party which campaigned to register to vote under threats of violence and even death. Many were injured and some killed, including three exemplary leaders: President John Kennedy and brother Robert as well as Martin Luther King Jr. Rioting damaged many neighborhoods. Laws were passed hoping to provide greater opportunities in voting, education, and employment. But the disease of discrimination was not eradicated, only swept under the carpet.

Now more than 50 years after the I Have a Dream by Dr. King, 150 years after the war that legally ended the buying and selling of humans, our imperfect union is again threatened. Yes, we can rebuild buildings, but strengthening the human heart is close to impossible.

Yet for over 200 years a diverse people have come together with a common vision. In my adopted community of Fort Wayne, Indiana, there are at least 70 different diverse ethnic backgrounds all sharing the same physical space. They have all contributed differently to a common purpose. Like pushing a boulder uphill, the road wasn’t then and isn’t now easy.

I, as an American of European descent, I need to seriously review my life on the topic of race.  I recommend a book: White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism by Robin Diangelo. (Available from WholeWorldBooks.com for $16)

Can we rationally address and adapt our common citizenship without resorting to violence?

I pray that we can.  

 To be angry on behalf of those who are treated unjustly means that we have compassion.

(Dalai Lama)

Hate evil, love good; maintain justice in the courts. Perhaps the LORD God Almighty will have mercy on the remnant of Joseph.

(Amos 5:15)

  Jim Goetsch,  Friends of the Poor, June 2020


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