This weekly pastoral message by the Interim Ministry Team comes out on Wednesdays. Rev. Meg, Rev. Terri and Arif will take turns writing or recording a video.
This week I was part of an 85 car caravan protesting the indifference towards workers’ safety and lives at a poultry processing plant in rural Minnesota where COVID is rampant. The workers are largely Somali and Latinx immigrants. It felt like very little to offer, to put signs on our cars insisting on workers safety and drive back and forth in front of the plant, but the workers appreciated the support and it was on the front page of the Minneapolis paper, so hopefully some pressure is being felt.
I sincerely hope that the caravan protest has some kind of impact. Honestly, though, I was so grateful for any small action I could take that I needed to be there whether it did or it didn’t. The combination of witnessing indifferent cruelty with homebound isolation is a bad one for me. I need to find paths to resistance or boil in my own rage. I need to know other people are as angry as I am, and also ready to resist.
In this time of pandemic there is a great deal I don’t know, no one really knows. But here’s something I absolutely do know. There is no life that is expendable. We are bound to one another in an interdependent web. Our well being is in one anothers’ hands.
We’re not all having the same pandemic. Black people are becoming infected and dying at many times the rate of other communities. Every briefing we hear, every political decision, is grounded in unspoken commitments and questions: Whose lives matter most to preserve? Whose deaths are acceptable? Which people are expendable?
As Unitarian Universalists, we affirm the inherent worth and dignity of every person, and the interdependent web of which all are a part. This is why, for us, insisting that Black Lives Matter and lifting up the humanity of immigrants and other outcasts is a matter of faith.
I’m glad to be connected to my community of faith in this time of trouble. I need companionship in my rage and my commitment to justice. I hope you, too, are finding it here.