Help us to see
Friends, yesterday's grand jury decision not to bring charges up against Breonna Taylor's murderers was tragic, enraging, and most disappointingly, not at all surprising. If I, as a cis-gendered white man can see this, how much more must our BIPOC siblings see this. As Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked 'insufficient funds.'"
I, like Dr. King, "...refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation."
Many are protesting, as they ought. And, dear sibling... especially dear white siblings, we need a moral revolution to fuel a political revolution. (And when I say "political", I am not reducing this to one party versus the other. I am talking about a revolution in the very fabric of our common life.)
As a person of faith, as a spiritual leader, and a spiritual teacher, I believe that our political revolution - even our moral revolution has to be grounded in who we are - as children of the Divine, as siblings with one another.
In just under two weeks, I am planning on leading a retreat entitled, "Help Us to See: A Spirituality of Recovery from White Supremacy." And in all honesty, dear siblings, I feel so ill-prepared to lead this retreat. Who am I - a white guy born and raised in the American South - a person of relative privilege in this culture (which is to say, a person of great privilege in the world)- who am I to lead this retreat?
In the spirit of Dr. King, I could also ask, "who would I be if I did not rise to this challenge?"
This is not the hard work of anti-racism training that others are doing. And, it is a spiritual grounding to do this hard work.
So here's the thing, as of yesterday, there are no registrants for this retreat. None. I am aghast. And I want to believe that there are people out there - especially that there are white people out there who are willing to open their hearts enough to be transformed by grace to do the work of bringing about a moral and political revolution.
The sign-up page for this retreat is below. And, just to put it out there - I am not getting paid to do this retreat at all. Any donations that come from doing this retreat will go to Rolling Ridge Retreat and Conference Center in North Andover, MA. Rolling Ridge does fantastic work in the world, and they were financially devastated by the pandemic.
And just in case Rolling Ridge cancels the retreat for lack of registration, I pledge to lead it anyway.
Dr. King often referred to, "the fierce urgency of now." My dear siblings, there is a fierce urgency to right now. We must ground ourselves and act. Otherwise, the blood of our fallen siblings is on all of our hands. May God have mercy on us all.