Kairos-Milwaukie United Church of Christ

Love Is Still PossibleOn the first day of Black History Month, fourteen HBCU’s (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) received bomb threats. For the past several months there has been a political backlash about what public schools teach about our country’s racial history and the persistence of systemic racism.

Meanwhile, a school district in Tennessee voted to ban Maus: A Survivor’s Tale, Art Spiegelman’s1986 graphic novel – a Pulitzer Prize winning account of his parents’ harrowing experiences of Auschwitz. And just last week Union Station in DC was defaced with dozens of drawings of swastikas.

It feels as if the white supremacy latent in America has been fanned into ferocious flame and married to the heresy of Christian nationalism. It is, frankly, frightening.

But, as Dr. Cornel West said so eloquently on CNN this week,

“We should not be going into a panic or be overly anxiety ridden. We cannot be surprised by evil. We will not be paralyzed by despair. We have to refortify ourselves and be ready to fight on every level, spiritual, political, economic, social. …. Where is the love, where is the courage, where is the vision, where is the solidarity, where is the willingness to serve…”?

I plan to refortify myself by reading again the Rev. Canon Kelly Brown Douglas’ most recent book, “Resurrection Hope: A Future Where Black Lives Matter.” In it she comes face to face with the temptation to despair in the face of ongoing violence against black bodies in America. Instead, she finds her hope renewed by the resurrected Christ’s call for his disciples not to stay at the cross but to meet him down the road in Galilee and join him in life-giving ministry toward God’s just future.

With what will you fortify yourself this month for the joyful work of solidarity and justice?