“Moonbeams” is a periodic message from me in an attempt at reflecting the light. I hope these “Moonbeams” foster reflection in your own life. Every Blessing, Rev. Denny Moon
Black Lives Don’t Matter….A month after Eric Garner was asphyxiated by police power in New York City, while saying “I can’t breathe,” when Michael Brown was shot dead by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, in August, 2014, a banner was raised with the cry, Black Lives Matter! And then, after a long list of other Black Lives had been taken by police, George Floyd, was asphyxiated by police power in Minneapolis. Isn’t it time that White People finally face the truth: in America, “The home of the brave and the land of the free,” Black Lives Don’t Matter.
This truth has been revealed by COVID-19 as the virus has disproportionately affected people of color. In Chicago, for instance, where African Americans comprise a third of the city’s population, they account for half of those who have tested positive for the coronavirus, and almost three-quarters of COVID-19 deaths. This is the result of a variety of factors: crowded housing, working in jobs that are essential that cannot be done from home, inconsistent access to health care, chronic health conditions and the effect of stress on the immune system. (Dr. Sherita Golden, M.D., Johns Hopkins Medical University.)
This truth has also been revealed by the disproportionate number of Black Lives who are incarcerated in our state prisons. (African Americans are imprisoned at 5 times the rate of whites in state prisons across the country. Ashley Nellis, Ph. D. The Sentencing Project.) The backdrop to these factors is the never-ending poverty loop which has plagued Black Americans since their original enslavement. But “plagued” is too passive a word. This poverty loop was installed and has been kept in place through systemic injustices created by White people. Why? Because Black Lives Don’t Matter. The cry by some White people, “All Lives Matter!” is simply a denial of the facts. A lie. It is a very pleasant abstraction. (Cue “Kum Ba Yah”) But it obscures the reality on the ground and turns the victors into victims. Face it! All Lives Do Not Matter. Not in America. Not now. Not ever.
I am a White Man, a minister, a person of Privilege. My Privilege exists because the system in which we live has denied privilege to Black Lives. The system must be changed. American capitalism demands an underclass which has been, from the beginning, Black Lives. “Trickle-down economics” has never trickled down far. The change will mean that I will pay more taxes in order to provide opportunities for health care, education and affordable housing for Black Lives Who Haven’t Mattered, as well as Native Lives Who Haven’t Mattered and Other Lives That Haven’t Mattered. Only then will their offspring have the chance to live with the Privilege in which I live.
Do we really live in “The home of the brave and the land of the free”? Then White people must be brave! Black people have already displayed enormous bravery to have maintained hope in the face of White oppression, and I’ve no doubt they will continue courageously. We need Brave White People.
*Brave White People must face the truth that Black Lives Don’t Matter;
*Brave White People must ask and receive forgiveness from their Black Brothers and Sisters.
*Brave White People must hear the voices of their Black Sisters and Brothers and move forward with them as equals to reform the systemic dysfunctions that began with enslaving Black Lives for the sake of our economy.
Only then will any of us, White or Black, be free.
Only then can we say with confidence and truth: Black Lives Matter.
-Denny Moon (6/2/2020)