‘Speak up for those who have no voice, for the justice of all who are dispossessed. Speak up, judge righteously, and defend the cause of the oppressed and needy. ‘ ~ Proverbs 31:8-9 HCSB
There is no way to avoid the fact that Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) are dispossessed, oppressed, and in need of justice, along with economic and social equity. We also know (or are coming to realize) the realities of white privilege, which is, ultimately, at the root of systemic and institutionalized racism in our nation.
The verse quoted above is the advice of a mother to her son, the king, the ruler of the people and the highest authority in the land.
‘It is not for kings, Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine or for rulers to desire beer. Otherwise, they will drink, forget what is decreed, and pervert justice for all the oppressed. ‘ Proverbs 31:4-5 HCSB
We have been witness to, perhaps even complicit in, the perverted justice of the oppressed by the way we have supported or allowed the “rulers,” the people in power in our country – whether they be police or politicians corporate heads – the billionaires and millionaires, to manipulate, dictate, and enforce the laws and the tenets of Constitutional rights. Over the past week, especially the past few days, we have seen the evidence of this perversion of justice by the man who would be king, if he could.
‘“But woe to you Pharisees! You give a tenth of mint, rue, and every kind of herb, and you bypass justice and love for God. These things you should have done without neglecting the others.’ Luke 11:42 HCSB
As Jesus followers we have to be careful to ensure we are not placing things above people. Yes, we are to take care of things and steward them responsibly. That’s just what we’re supposed to be doing in the course of daily living. However, we are called to go above and beyond that and make justice for people, a form of loving God, a priority.
So, how do we do that?
Some of us have little to give in terms of material wealth and possessions. Some of us have compromised physical and/or mental health to be able to engage in “active” ways. Some of us are overwhelmed with the daily responsibilities and obligations we experience. Some of us are fighting for our own survival in ways we may not have shared with others.
In these instances, it may feel like we have little to nothing to offer. The truth is, we each have something to offer and something we can do.
First, we can educate ourselves. Research BIPOC writers and authors, filmmakers and educators. Find their books, blogs, movies, and classes.
Second, we can speak out and up on whatever platform we have, whether it’s on social media or in conversations with others.
Third, we can shop and eat at BIPOC owned businesses in support of their communities.
Fourth, volunteer. Whether it’s to make phone calls, write letters, sign petitions, or even provide office support, even if it’s only for an hour a week, it matters.
As always, we can pray. Pray for justice, equity, and protection of our BIPOC brothers and sisters. Pray for justice. Pray for the community, governmental, and corporate leaders to make the changes in themselves and in their areas of influence.
Here are some places to start:
- ACLU: Reforming Police
- Police Reform vs. Policing Reform (The e-newsletter of the COPS Office | Volume 9 | Issue 8 | August 2016)
- The Marshall Project: Police Reform
- Oregon Live: Opinion: Police reform must go beyond ‘substantial compliance’
- SPLC: Criminal Justice Reform
- EJI: Criminal Justice Reform
- The Marshall Project: Criminal Justice Reform
- ACLU: Criminal Law Reform
- The New Jim Crow – Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness Michelle Alexander
Book Reading list
- “What Is an Anti-Racist Reading List For?” By Lauren Michele Jackson
- An Antiracist Reading List By Ibram X Kendi
- An Essential Reading Guide For Fighting Racism
- Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment by Patricia Hill Collins
- Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine
- The Possessive Investment in Whiteness: How White People Profit from Identity Politics (1, Twentieth Anniversary) by George Lipsitz
- Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches by Audre Lorde
- Habits of Whiteness: A Pragmatist Reconstruction by Terrance Macmullan
- Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-Create Race in the Twenty-First Century by Dorothy Roberts
- Racism Without Racists by Eduardo Bonilla-Silva
Netflix Anti-racism Movie Calendar