Justice, Religion

Vidui for Black Lives

Yesterday I was floored by the callous disregard for justice  – no, I’m used to that. What I was floored by was its blatentness. To have the only charges be for the walls of the neighbors’ apartments, and none for the senseless and terrible death of Breonna Taylor.

At this time of year, especially, we cannot allow this to pass. We must take action.

Just in case anyone has forgotten, every Black person was also made in God’s image.
Whenever we allow them to be murdered in their beds, on the streets, in their cars… we have stood idly by as someone put out a spark of the Divine.
We have failed to guard those precious lives
We have allowed their allotted time to be stolen from them
Dibarnu dofi
Our poisoned speech has spread calumnies about Black victims of violence, blaming them for their own murders
We have encouraged those with the power of death to murder by not holding them responsible – over and over and over again
We have tolerated malicious racism
We have allowed violence against them
Tafalnu sheker
We have falsely claimed there was nothing we could do
Yaatznu ra
We have told them “if you obeyed, you wouldn’t be killed.”
Kizavnu. Latznu
We have stood silent at racist jokes and ignored when our colleagues passed on racist memes
We have showed our disdain for God who made them.
We have made it about us
We have turned away from their pleas for justice
We have claimed that it all happened long before our time so we aren’t responsible
We have claimed that bad things happened to us too and we got over it
We have been too intent on how change might inconvenience US
Kishinu Oref
We have turned our faces away
We have participated in these deaths
We have been corrupted by our own success
We have become inured to abomination
When begged for equality, justice and restitution – begged for us to do teshuvah- we have wandered slowly down winding paths that lead nowhere instead
We continue to watch as holy souls are put out before us

It’s not too late to do better. Teshuva, tefilah, tzedekah: repentance, reflection, righteousness – they can avert the evil that harms us all.

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