48 hours after the shooting in New Zealand a white cis straight male was being arraigned in court. A picture begins to circulate on social media of this human clasping his pointer finger to his thumb and extended the three remaining fingers outward to symbolize “White Power.”
50 individuals lost their lives inside places of worship located at two mosques in Christchurch of New Zealand.
The manifesto sent to authorities, media sites and the prime minister moments before the shooting began referenced the pervious carried out attacks in America and the need for a supreme race.
If this isn’t sickening to you – I beg to ask the question – why?
48 hours later the image I saw sitting at a stop sign in a neighborhood was also sickening.
Across the street from the stop sign was a synagogue. Boys are playing outside with a soccer ball. That all seems normal, right? Except this synagogue is surrounded by a fence, surveillance camera’s and on this day – a patrol car.
On this day 48 hours after the mass murder in New Zealand, American communities who are most targeted by rancid hate fueled by White Supremacy are fearful. They’re gates and surveillance systems – such that most (white) Christian places of worship I cannot name have – are not enough to hold a place of comfort.
In this neighborhood that my partner and I were driving through there are a lot of mosques and synagogues. They all have fences and surveillance systems.
On Sunday when I go to church I am not hyper aware of my surroundings. There are no fences for my protection or surveillance cameras – there is merely coffee and comfort.
The truth is, even as a queer person, I cannot imagine the fear and tension of going to my house of worship on Sunday’s as my Muslim/Jewish siblings do.
I sat at dinner this evening with my partner thinking out loud what role do I have here? What can I do?
I wrote down one sentence:
“How do we create shalom in us and our world?”
As Christians we are not selected into a chosen few who have ultimate comfort & salvation. Jesus himself debunked this as he read Isaiah to the crowd in his home church. This community is for all nations. (Randy Woodley Shalom and the Community of Creation: An Indigenous Vision” )
My plan this evening and tomorrow is to compile a list of mosques in my area and write letters.
Friends, I have so much work to do in myself and in this world. I am appalled, once again, at our complacency to simply “thoughts & prayers” our way through loss.
In my church I will be asking leadership to speak to the harm done in New Zealand – to name it as what it is: White Supremacy.
Check on your friends. Ask yourself what you can do — and do not stop asking. Keep educating yourself. Keep voicing when violence is unfolding. Keep defending those who are being spoken against.
Keep naming violence.