Red paint is poured on the statue called #silentsam at #uncchapelhill; a statue that celebrates a racist history in a public space unavoidable to students and community members who are threatened by it and the white supremacy it represents.

Confederate context

I stand with UNC PhD student Maya Little who was arrested today for pouring blood and paint on Silent Sam. Here is her statement: I have been an organizer for the Silent Sam Sit-In since September 2017, when campus police confiscated the belongings of the 24 hour occupiers. Every weekday we provide context around the …

Continue reading "Confederate context"
"Kids Before Guns"

A national turning point

Lots schools have been shot up. Lots of people have protested. But it really is different this time. 
 
This moment reminds me of when the Greensboro Four sat down at a lunch counter in 1960 and captured the nation’s attention, largely because it was covered on national TV and the timing was right. It wasn’t nearly the first sit-in of it’s kind, but it had a bigger impact than most before it.
 
These young people have a national platform and they’re using it SO WELL. They’re increasingly intersectional, and they’re building a movement. I think this will evolve beyond guns and really help to energize the actual majority of the country that is sick of Republican greed and corruption.

Continue reading "A national turning point"
"You cannot change any society unless you take responsibility for it, unless you see yourself as belonging to it and responsible for changing it." – Grace Lee Boggs

Stay alive, stay connected

Check out the late Grace Lee Boggs on how to foster solidarity and make it through this horrible time with our souls and hopefully our social fabric intact. Her words are only becoming more and more important. “I’ve come to believe that you cannot change any society unless you take responsibility for it, unless you …

Continue reading "Stay alive, stay connected"
Black clad demonstrators with "NO HATE" signs

Can you be Buddhist and antifa at the same time?

Haven’t processed all of this yet, but this is a great exploration of antifa from a Buddhist perspective. Please read if like me you are troubled by both violence and nazis. Buddhists and the Bloc: An Open Thread On Antifa On perceptions: I also want to think about this on a “Buddhist” level. What do …

Continue reading "Can you be Buddhist and antifa at the same time?"
An African American woman with her fist in the air looks a white man giving a Nazi salute

What happened in Durham

Like many people, a week ago I was feeling pretty down about the state of racial justice and just basic humanity in the United States. But then something happened.

In response to the hate and violence displayed in Charlottesville, hundreds of Durhamites came together for a huge vigil on Sunday night. Many friends of mine posted pictures and powerful testimonials to the collective love they felt gathered together.

But I also noticed that some activists had less satisfied responses, including frustration that the mostly-white event marginalized voices of color and those with more radical tactics. Much of that frustration fed into the Monday demonstration, which had already been planned to take place in front of Durham’s old courthouse, where there was a confederate monument with an inscription to “the boys who wore gray.”

Many times I have passed that statue and wondered what on earth it was doing there. Until last year, I really didn’t realize how pervasive these were and what drove their creation.

Continue reading "What happened in Durham"

“Imagine for a moment having hands on the levers of this world.”

You yourself with the steady brown hands by Kriti Sharma, February 13th, 2017 Imagine for a moment having hands on the levers of this world. Imagine not having to go through extraordinary and psychically costly effort to lovingly and very very carefully persuade someone to put down the gun. Imagine, in a swift and compassionate …

Continue reading "“Imagine for a moment having hands on the levers of this world.”"

No more innocent liberal surprise.

Friends, please don’t make the mistake of thinking that Trump’s seemingly random and ill-informed actions are not part of President Bannon’s strategy. They’ll bleed the public of money, culture, education, health, and community. They’ll sow chaos and violence. And they’ll beef up institutions that can enforce their coup: police & military. This is truly disturbing to …

Continue reading "No more innocent liberal surprise."
We-Commit-To-Resist

Beautiful posters for resisting racism and bigotry

Thanks to the American Friends Service Committee for publishing these two wonderful posters for resisting racism and bigotry. AFSC is a great organization. I collaborated with them when I worked at the Fellowship of Reconciliation.   Driven by a desire to provide tools for schools and the larger community to create space for discussion and declare …

Continue reading "Beautiful posters for resisting racism and bigotry"

“Mother of Exiles”

The New Colossus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_New_Colossus

Photo: First Lady Nancy Reagan waves from the Statue of Liberty after she re opened the structure on its 100th birthday, 1986.

Putting our hearts and bodies where our mouths are

Blessing for the Women’s March

By Erika A. Hewitt (Unitarian Universalist minister)

May you be safe.
May you be free from all harm.

As the road or skies carry you toward your fellow pilgrims,
may you sense the presence of those who travel with you in spirit,
whose hopes and hearts are tucked into your pockets,
who name your journey’s purpose as sacred.

May you encounter strangers-as-kindred,
and may that recognition of kinship bring joy to your journey.

Whether the faces in the crowd number in the dozens, hundreds, or thousands,
may you not only recognize yourself,
but may you also witness a dazzling tapestry of colors, languages, genders, ages, and bodies:
proud testament to and humbling display of our human family.

Continue reading "Putting our hearts and bodies where our mouths are"