Over the course of this weekend, I once again (as a part of a spiritual practice) read Dr. King's Letter from a Birmingham Jail . I'm reminded of the deep necessity for us especially in this age, to be about Action and not just about service. Don't get me wrong service projects are critically important to the ongoing work of our communities. Many of these service projects exist because of the failure of those in political and business leadership to fulfill their responsibilities to local communities; in particular communities of color. I'm deeply troubled that in this age of income inequality; deep racial divisions; the privatization and profiteering off the bodies of black and brown folk that results in mass incarceration and mass deportation; to the violent ways in which we are tearing apart our environment; and treating so many classes of people who are marginalized (think Flint, Michigan) in such in such deeply oppressive ways that we think of honoring Dr. King with a Day of Service is well....insulting. All the service in the world does not change the issues that I mention in a systemic way. Why have we chosen to sanitize the memory of Dr. King into a happy go lucky you feel good, I feel good idea. He was radical. He pushed boundaries. He fought with love. If we really honored him we would do the very same things he did. Put our bodies on the line to change the damn world.
This week the denomination to which I belong, the United Church of Christ, released a video about my friend and colleague in the fight for justice,The Rev. Traci Blackmon. I have placed that video at the end of this blog. Rev. Blackmon is the new Executive Minister for Justice and Witness Ministries in the United Church of Christ. She is also one of the key clergy and organizers that supported the Ferguson community after Mike Brown was killed in August 2014. This video is a reminder to us about why we need to protest in this hour. The radical revolutionary faith, in which I belong, calls me to action. At the head of my faith is the revolutionary Savior by the name of Jesus. This Jesus was a disruptive presence and power in Palestine, some two millennia ago. Jesus reminds me over and over again that the call for people of faith is to never be satisfied with oppression and inequity in any form. We must protest using our voices, our feet, are hands, our minds, our words and our actions to stand up for righteousness and justice in this land. I implore you to join me as I follow the Rev. Traci Blackmon and many others who are putting not only their voices but their bodies on the line every single day to change the damn world. Join me in this hour as we seek to build the beloved community where All thrive not just a few.