Statement on the Tragedy in Charlottesville

Dear Friends of the UU Urban Ministry,

Many of us have been consumed these last few days with anger, fear and sorrow at the unfolding events in Charlottesville.

These tumultuous times demand something from us: To stand shoulder-to-shoulder and insist our country and communities move forward – not back – on issues of racism, homophobia, Islamaphobia and anti-semitism. Our insistence will take many forms. Speaking up in social media and, more importantly, person-to-person. Standing up in forums and vigils and marches. Advocating for change in the systems that actualize oppression.

We also must continue the work that many of us have been engaged with, to dig deeper into the ways that racism has infiltrated our subconscious, our hearts, and our educational, prison and government systems since our country was founded. The hate on display in Charlottesville, as grotesque as it was, is not disconnected from the rest of us. It is the most egregious, visible outgrowth of the racism we have all breathed in, like polluted air, our whole lives.

We are all caught in that web. For those of us who are white, we work to become unstuck through listening and learning. Listening nondefensively to people of color who are willing to share their experiences and viewpoint. Learning about the history of racism in our nation.

Changing the world means confronting those who marched in Charlottesville with hate, those who have submitted to their soul sickness.

It also means working to heal ourselves.

At the UU Urban Ministry we continue to create space so communities and people can reach across race and faith and difference, and strive to become the opposite of what we witnessed in Virginia. As painful as these times can seem, let us find hope in our ability to make change. To hold hands, join hearts, and continue the work of love and justice before us.

Thank you for being a part of the UU Urban Ministry.

In faith,
Mary Margaret