I’m a day late posting to my blog. My June 1st post was going to be about the problems of recycling, and the ecological and theological reasons to move to a circular economy. I’ve been trying to write that post for several days, but my heart’s not in it. With all that’s happened across the country this past week, recycling and a circular economy don’t seem urgent.
My heart is heavy with the collective cry of pain from centuries of unnamed, unrepented, and unresolved violence against people of color in this country. The words “I can’t breathe” were ringing in my ears last week, when I read a report on my city’s website, saying African-Americans are 13% of the country’s population and nearly 60% of the deaths due to coronavirus. I considered writing a post about the way environmental racism contributes to African-Americans being more susceptible to COVID-19, but I would be appropriating their pain for my purpose. I do not want to co-opt their cry for justice.
Now is the time for white people like me to be quiet and listen with our hearts and our spirits. It’s time for us to be honest with ourselves about the systemic racism that has led to this moment, and quit pretending that justice only requires dealing with an officer who’s a so-called “bad apple.” It’s time to confess and repent. Kyrie eleison.