Charleston

01 Jan 2013, Charleston, South Carolina, USA --- Senior Pastor, Rev. Clementa Pinckney, speaks to those gathered during the Watch Night service at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina December 31, 2012. New Year's Day 2013 was the 150th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, which declared free all slaves in the rebellious states of the Civil War.The Watch Night tradition at black churches goes back to Freedom's Eve, on New Year's Eve 1862 when slaves, free blacks and abolitionists gathered in churches and homes to wait for the Emancipation Proclamation to take effect on January 1, 1863. REUTERS/Randall Hill (UNITED STATES - Tags: SOCIETY RELIGION POLITICS) --- Image by © RANDALL HILL/Reuters/Corbis

Senior Pastor, Rev. Clementa Pinckney, 41– Image by © RANDALL HILL/Reuters/Corbis

I could choose to write about Father’s Day.  I’m not worried about my father getting shot just going through his day.  That’s Privilege.  I could choose to write about the Summer Solstice.  The longest day of the year when the sun shines, illuminating things.  Maybe I’ll just shine my light on a Difficult Topic, #BlackLivesMatter.

Tywanza Sanders 26 Graduate of  Allen University in Columbia, SC. with a degree in business administration.             (Anita Brewer Dantzler via AP)

Tywanza Sanders 26 Graduate of Allen University in Columbia, SC. with a degree in business administration. (Anita Brewer Dantzler via AP)

We are taught a very highly Edited version of history.   I had no idea how important the AME church was, historically, until Obama started talking about it.  I believe it is our personal responsibility to educate our selves on the things going on around us that the System would rather we ignore.  This is not an easy task.  It first requires an understanding that what we are taught isn’t the whole story.

Cynthia Hurd, 54 Hurd was a branch manager at the Charleston County Public Library.

Cynthia Hurd, 54
Hurd was a branch manager at the Charleston County Public Library.

The reason people who are educated in this area talk about systemic racism is because it is invisible and perpetuated by the system.  This is not a new thing.  I remember Kent State.  The first time the National Guard opened fire on campus?  No.  The first time a white upper middle class student was killed.  Yes.

Rev. Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, 45 Coleman-Singleton was a high school track coach at Charleston Southern University

Rev. Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, 45
Coleman-Singleton was a high school track coach at Charleston Southern University

I hear white people ask, “Why is it always about race?”   Because when you have to live with it every day, you begin to realize it is inescapable.  There is a reason that #BlackLivesMatter is not #AllLivesMatter.  It is not because all lives shouldn’t matter, but because it’s clear that Black lives don’t.

There is a difference between not actively perpetuating the problem and helping to solve it.  That difference starts with awareness.  The things that are so common it’s easy not to even notice are often referred to as microaggressions.

Myra Thompson, 59 The Church of the Holy Trinity, via its Facebook page, identified Thompson as the wife of Reverend Anthony Thompson, Vicar of Holy Trinity Reformed Episcopal Church in Charleston.

Myra Thompson, 59
Wife of Reverend Anthony Thompson, Vicar of Holy Trinity Reformed Episcopal Church in Charleston.

Learning to recognize these in ourselves,

in the media, and in others is a big step towards simply validating the problem.  Then the next step is to Speak Up.

Ethel Lee Lance, 70  (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Ethel Lee Lance, 70
(AP Photo/David Goldman)

I end where I started, encouraging self education.  Each of these links takes you to places where you can hear different voices, and perhaps learn more.  Additionally I recommend checking out my friend Crystal Blanton’s 30 Day Real Black History Challenge.  She’s been doing this for several years so check out her archives as well.

Rev. Daniel Simmons, 74

Rev. Daniel Simmons, 74

Crystal was instrumental in the editing of the anthology Bringing Race to the Table:Exploring Racism in the Pagan Community.  I have a small essay in that book, and I’m very proud to be a contributor.  I recommend it to non-Pagans as well.  The book is structured with a section on People of Color’s experiences, a section on History, and a section where ally’s speak.  I think the material is widely applicable and sometimes it’s easier to hear if you have a little distance.

Thank you for reading.

Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor, 49 Enrollment counselor at the Charleston campus of Southern Wesleyan University

Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor, 49
Enrollment counselor at the Charleston campus of Southern Wesleyan University

 

Susie Jackson, 87  (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Susie Jackson, 87
(AP Photo/David Goldman)

Photos from Huffington Post

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About lisaspiral

I've been writing and speaking about spirituality to small groups for years and am looking to expand my horizons. Hopefully this blog will inspire you to expand yours as well.

Posted on June 22, 2015, in Acceptance, writing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Gosh, Lisa, you write so powerfully and moving about this horrific act! Thank you so much. I heard Obama sing Amazing Grace yesterday. What a eulogy he delivered!

    And just so you know. This summer I’m going on two-month RV trip with my nearing-ninety Godmother and her cat Pepe le Mew. I leave for the US in a week. The RV is huge, 37-feet. My Godmother will be driving and towing an SUV the entire way. She was a Flamenco dancer during her entire professional life. I’m going to try to blog about our trip and write a book about the 64 beautiful years she and my Godfather, a Venezuelan movie star (I kid you not!), were married, until Raul died last fall one month shy of his 97th birthday.

    I’m sorry to have been away for so long, my friend! Hope you are well.

    Hugs from Ecuador,
    Kathy

    • Thank you Kathy. I loved the eulogy and Amazing Grace was the perfect ending. The RV trip sounds great – driving up to Minnesota? It will be great to see you blogging again. I’ve missed you! So much to catch up on!

  1. Pingback: Midsummer | Spiral Visions

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