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Looking back and looking forward
Not long ago, Jews celebrated Passover, during which we are commanded to feel as if we ourselves were liberated from slavery. The reason is that when Jews cross over from oppression to freedom, we can get comfortable in The Good Life and lose touch with the horrors of social, economic, or political persecution. In this and other ways, Judaism actively encourages people to stay awake to and see ourselves reflected in the suffering of others, so that we dissolve the false divisions between "them" and "us" and are motivated to take action on behalf of others.
For these reasons, the Yeashore Community stands in solidarity with Black Lives Matter and with all of the under-served, abandoned, and trod-upon people of this country - in particular, people of color, native peoples, and those who are poor.
"Justice Justice Shall Ye Pursue"
America was founded on slavery and genocide. It was founded on the backs of African slaves. It was build up on the bodies of the genocidal murdered native peoples. It grew on the suffering of Hispanics, Irish, Chinese and others. It continued to develop in ways that inflicted suffering on anyone who was not Anglo Saxon. And the America tradition of causing suffering continues today, through vilifying and imprisoning immigrants, including those who are children.
Deuteronomy 16:20 teaches “Tzedek, tzedek tirdof" – justice, justice you shall pursue.” For far too long, this has not happened in America. That's why we need to stand with Black LIves Matter, pursuing justice for fellow human beings with lives and names. We need to be pursuing justice for Michael Brown, pursuing justice for Eric Garner, pursuing justice for Amadou Diallo, pursuing justice for Patrick Dorismond, pursuing justice for Ousmane Zongo, pursuing justice for Timothy Stansbury, pursuing justice for Sean Bell, pursuing justice for Oscar Grant, pursuing justice for Aiyana Stanley-Jones, pursuing justice for Ramarley Graham, pursuing justice for Tamon Robinson, pursuing justice for Rekia Boyd, pursuing justice for Kimani Gray, and too many, many more.
In 2019 data of all police killings in the country compiled by Mapping Police Violence, black Americans were nearly 300% more likely to die from police than white Americans. Other statistics showed that black Americans were nearly 150% times more likely to be unarmed before their death. (https://mappingpoliceviolence.org/)
"Justice is Just Us."
That's why many of us are on the streets, demanding change, demanding justice, demanding accountability.
Is This the Tipping Point?
Perhaps we have reached the tipping point with the murder of George Floyd. Then again, many thought we had reached the tipping point with regards to gun violence, after the mass murders by gun violence that took place at Sandy Hook, in Las Vegas, in Orlando, in nearby Gilroy, and in so many other locations nationwide.
We can only hope that this time, our voices will be heard, actions will be taken, and change will happen. Never again should the last words of an unarmed person of color be, "I can't breathe," while at the mercy of the police.
Stay Safe Out There!
While I understand the need for protest, I also worry about the spread of the deadly Coronavirus among the people who are out on the streets. If you are protesting, please wear a mask, wash your hands, get tested, and stay away from higher risk people.
With blessings for healing and wholeness, that we may live in a world where all lives matter, all the time.
...Be Seeing You...Maggid Raja Anderson...