We refuse to believe that we are doomed to live like this.
We refuse to believe that how things are now is how they have to be.
We refuse to believe that a Merciful God created this world broken.
We refuse to believe that this world is doomed to remain broken.
We refuse to believe that we as human beings are doomed to brokenness.
We refuse to believe in a God who remains unmoved by our suffering.
We refuse to believe that we are bound to live in a starless night.
We refuse to believe that hatred is our human destiny.
We refuse to believe that the bodies of our black babies should ever bleed on the hot asphalt.
We refuse to believe that “the talk” black parents should have with their children is about not getting killed.
We refuse to believe that those sworn to honor and protect us should be killing us.
We refuse to believe that violence against the police, or anyone, is the answer.
We refuse to believe that the fabric of our social bond is irrevocably broken.
We refuse to believe that the response to black people crying out in agony and pain over daily murder of their children is to callously state that “All Lives Matter.”
We refuse to believe the people who say “all lives matter,” when they haven’t done a single thing about the 20 percent of our children living in poverty, those languishing in privatized prisons, or millions of refugees.
We refuse to believe that we as Americans have ever been “Great” the way that the politicians tell us when slavery, Jim Crow, and Native American genocide are a part of our past.
We refuse to believe that Empires are truly Great.
We refuse to believe that drones should drop bombs.
We refuse to believe that human beings should live under occupation.
We refuse to lecture the wounded and the agonized.
We refuse the daily sirens of mass distraction, mass consumption, and mass terrorization.
We refuse to believe that love has to be locked up for private, and guns rule the streets.
Yes, we are frightened, fed up, tired, worn out.
But we know that we are not bound to live like this.
We do believe that there is a way forward.
We know that we’ve got work to do.
We do believe in living together.
We believe in standing up for one another.
We know that there is enough food for all of us.
We know there is enough love to uplift all of us.
We know there is enough dignity for every human being.
We know that dignity is not a zero sum game.
We do believe that Assata was right:
“We must love each other and support each other.
We have nothing to lose but our chains.”
We know that to love God we have to love humanity.
We know that to love humanity we start with the “least” of God’s children.
We do believe in a real peace that is rooted in real justice.
We do believe in a justice that is none other than love coming into the public spaces.
We do believe that greatness is possible for us if we reach out to one another in justice, fairness, love, and mercy.
We do believe that more and more people, of all races, see through the illusion of racism.
We know Toni Morrison is right:
“The function, the very serious function of racism, is distraction.
It keeps you from doing your work.
It keeps you explaining, over and over again, your reason for being.”
We know that we won’t be distracted.
We know that we will not waste one more breath having to prove our humanity.
We know that there is a whole generation of people determined to Stay Woke.
We trust: love is not merely an emotion, but the very unleashing of God onto this world.
We’ve got to love each other.
We’ve got to God each other.
We trust that when we stand on the precipice of disaster,
we will focus on small ripples of good around us.
Our little bit of good will link up with others’,
and save us from hopelessness.
We believe: Love always wins out over hatred.
We know: Knowledge is more divine than ignorance.
We trust: Light shall have victory over darkness.