Written by Traci Blackmon
"Thus says the Lord: A voice is heard in Ramah, lamentation and bitter weeping. Rachel is weeping for her children; she refuses to be comforted for her children, because they are no more." - Jeremiah 31: 15
Today we mourn the lives of the 5 law enforcement officers killed and those wounded in Thursday’s attack. Our deepest prayers are with their families and communities and we grieve the toxic realities of our times that nourish systemic hatred which knows no bounds.
Ultimately, the guns used to kill those 5 officers and wound six more and one civilian and the guns used to kill Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, Jordan Davis, John Crawford, Amadou Diallo, 49 mostly Black and Latinx people who were LGTBQ at Pulse in Orlando, and the nine people in Bible study in Charleston were loaded by our common enemies—fear and hate.
This same ammunition is responsible for the bombing of mosques and the burning of churches. This same ammunition fuels the escalating levels of death in our nation's streets as a result of communal violence. Irrational fear and hatred that nurse at the breast of a nation increasingly divided against itself.
We lament collectively the lives lost in Dallas and the blood that stains our streets from death at the hands of fear and hate.
We must mourn them all because we are all connected.
And we must find our way back to Love.
Murder is a by-product of people who have lost their love. Love is our only hope.
We pray for the families. We pray for the cities. We pray for us all. Amen.
Traci Blackmon is the Acting Executive Minister of the United Church of Christ’s Justice and Witness Ministries.