Black Lives Matter is the motto for a movement created by American citizens in response to recent, highly publicized incidents of racial violence and injustice throughout our country. The motto symbolizes the concern for racial justice and equality.
When Beverly Unitarian displayed Black Lives Matter on their sign, it generated enormous controversy, including venomous responses to a photo of the sign posted on Facebook that went viral. Comments were cruel and obscene, even including threats of violence. The Beverly Church board was so shocked by these bully tactics; they elected to change their sign to “Life Matters, Risk Loving Everyone.”
Rev. Jennifer Nordstrom, my colleague at Third Unitarian, puts it eloquently: “The work of racial justice is long-haul, deep-commitment work. Though we are all hurt by racism, people of color’s lives are threatened by it while white supremacy ensures that white people have more power in society to deal with their
feelings than people of color do.”
While I encourage all congregations to show solidarity with the movement for racial justice and display Black Lives Matter in front of our congregations, I joyfully affirm the sign in front of Beverly Unitarian Universalist that now displays “United against hate and fear. Stand with us against racism.”