Response to Friends Who Talk About Rioting

A couple of my Facebook friends have talked about the rioting and violence that have occurred concurrently with some of the Black Lives Matter protests. I’ve been responding individually to their comments, but I thought it might save me time if I just did a copy and paste of my last response to a friend and saved it here:

Yeah. I hear you. CHOP in Seattle was a mess – I ain’t going to disagree with you there. But… if you scroll down my wall you’ll see an interesting post about who’s actually been causing the mayhem – and, according to a story in the Washington Post, it is apparently not “antifa” – it’s been caused mostly by ‘local hooligans, sometimes gangs, sometimes just individuals that are trying to take advantage of an opportunity.’ According to the article, the alt-right “Boogaloo” movement has played a part in the violence, too.

From my own experience participating in the local BLM rally in Burlington, the only maybe threatening and intimidating element I saw there were the half a dozen Trump supporters standing off to the side with their rifles, self-appointed to “keep the peace.” The actual police officers there – whom I thanked for their support – were very calm and friendly – and the protest was entirely peaceful.

The racism and hate crimes in this country need to end. Now. None of us who are true Americans can allow it to continue for even one more day. And when the bulk of our president’s Fourth of July speech is loaded with division and hate for his own constituents – instead of the compassion and understanding we all sorely need right now – we need to call him on it.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

:

He Underestimated the People

He underestimated the goodness of the people of this country.
And that was his downfall.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

(Moon rising over Mount Baker. Photo by Karen Molenaar Terrell._

Moon Over Mount Baker

White Privilege: If You When You Then You

If you
don’t have to worry about looking suspicious
when you
walk around eating Skittles, wearing a hoodie
when you
go on a run through a suburban neighborhood
when you
carry assault rifles into a government building
then you
know white privilege
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

So Grateful I Was Raised by These People

Missing Dad and Moz today, but so glad they’re not here to see what’s happening to our poor country.

I spent an hour today driving around to the places Dad and I used to go on our drives together – feeling the echo of his presence still there, talking to me. I had a flashback of a time when a young black man in a hoodie stopped to open the door for Dad, and I remember how Dad took the time to stop and thank him before he went into the building. It was a brief exchange – very quick – but the power of the brotherly love I felt being exchanged between Dad and the young man is still with me.

Thinking of Moz and imagining her shaking with indignation and anger at the injustice and racism we’re seeing – just as she did when I was a little girl and we encountered a racist at the Sears store. The man had nodded his head towards a little black family and said they should be shopping in their own store. When Moz understood what he was saying she was furious – “They have as much right to be here as you or me!” she told him, trembling with rage. The man realized, then, who he was dealing with in Moz and got all red in the face and scurried away. That was a moment I will never forget – it had a huge impact on me. I remember feeling very proud to be Moz’s daughter.

I remember how Moz and Dad celebrated the night Obama got elected – they were both so happy. Dad said he never thought he’d live long enough to see an African-American in the White House – his whole face was lit up with pride in his country. Moz had tears in her eyes with the joy she felt that night.

I’m so grateful I was raised by these people – so grateful I was brought up to see beyond the color of someone’s skin to what was in the heart of people. My parents gave me a kind of freedom with that.

Here’s Moz in her Obama hat. 

This picture of my mom, wearing her Obama cap, always puts a grin on my face.

How do you argue with Love?

You can’t argue with Love.
There’s nothing in Love to insult, offend or attack.
There’s nothing in Love to be hurt or to hit back.
Love doesn’t see skin color – not white or black.
Love fills all space – and that’s a fact.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

What I’m Feeling Right Now

How many black men have to die for things to change?

What’s on your mind? Facebook asks.
And I look at the little box and wonder
how I can possibly put into words
what I’m feeling right now –
I’m not sure there are any words
big enough for my feelings.
Our world is in desperate need –
in desperate need of love,
of honesty and kindness and wisdom.
And my heart breaks for our world
and for all its creatures.
Love bless us all – each and every one.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

“Love is impartial and universal in its adaptation and bestowals.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

Ahmoud Arbury’s Murder

I’ve been struggling to find some way to respond. I’ve been tempted to stay off the internet, dodge every source of news, isolate myself in every way from the world. But I realize none of that is going to make this go away. So. Yeah. Here we are.

When Ahmoud Arbury was chased down a suburban street in Georgia and shot in broad daylight – that was murder – plain and simple. He was innocently jogging. He had committed no crime. He had done nothing wrong. The only reason he was chased and killed was because the people who killed him didn’t like the color of his skin.

The murderers were (finally- months later!) arrested. And now there’s a group on Facebook called “Christians Against Google” that supports Ahmoud Arbury’s killers. There is so much wrong with that I can’t even wrap my head around it. “Christians”?!! What part of Jesus’ simple instruction to “love your neighbor” is so hard for his professed followers to understand?

The group’s description says: “These 2 God fearing men were only trying to protect their neighborhood” and “this man… did not comply with simple commands.” WHAT THE HELL?!!! Ahmoud Arbury was under no obligation to “comply” with the commands being given by these racist sociopaths intent on killing him – and if you’ve seen the video you know it wouldn’t have helped Ahmoud Arbury to “comply,” anyway.

The inhumanity, the hatred, the insanity, the sheer brutality and senselessness of it – there is no way for this to be justified. No excuse for Ahmoud Arbury’s tragic murder.

It needs to stop. There’s no place or time for racist hatred in our world. We were all made for better things. We were all made to be DOing better things.
– Karen

Universal Love

Where It All Needs to Start

You know, this stuff didn’t start with Trump. The greed, the racism, the me-firstness, the bullying, the dishonesty, the corruption, the mean-spiritedness – that stuff has been a part of our society and politics for a long time – the only difference in the last couple of years is that it’s come out in the open – people almost seem proud of their hate and greed and dishonesty now. And to see all of that being played out in front of us – in the open – is disheartening, yes. But… here’s what gives me hope: It seems to me that if there’s been a rise in acts of hatred, there’s also been a rise in acts of kindness in the last couple years – people seem, to me, to be more conscious and deliberate about kindness.

And that’s where it all needs to start, doesn’t it? The healing and progress? It needs to start with us, as individuals. In our own acts of kindness to others. In our own generosity. In our own integrity.

Alrighty. That’s where I am right now. Carry on then…

kind heart

Do we really even need to debate this stuff?

I can’t believe we’re still debating stuff in 2018 that we should have moved beyond long ago.

No, it’s not alright to separate children from their parents at the border. No, it’s not alright to torture ANYone or thing. No, we shouldn’t be taking from the poor to give to the rich. Yes, we should be caring for our planet – it’s the only one we’ve got. No, we should not be denying people their rights to life, liberty, happiness, and prosperity because of their race, religion or non-religion, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation. Are these things we really even need to debate? Sheesh.

debating stuff

 

The Urgency of the Moment

“…Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy; now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice; now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood; now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children. It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment…

“I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed, ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’ I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, sons of former slaves and the sons of former slaveowners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood… I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character…

“…and when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: ‘Free at last. Free at last. Thank God Almighty, we are free at last.’”
– Martin Luther King, Jr.
from the “I Have a Dream” speech

King’s words are still relevant today – and we are, again, living in a time when we need to recognize “the urgency of the moment.” Our nation is at a crossroads, isn’t it? All the slime and ooze hidden on the bottom of the pond has been stirred up and is coming to the surface – corruption, racism, bigotry, and greed are being exposed to the light. Now it’s up to us to decide, as a nation, what we’re going to do about it. The decisions we make now – the direction we choose to go – is going to determine our fate.  I’m thinking we should choose equality, freedom, and justice, right?

I keep hanging onto the memory of that night – the night of the election – when I saw a shooting star streak across the sky and the voice said, “Trust. Everything is happening as it needs to happen.” But the voice didn’t tell me what was to come would be easy, or that it wouldn’t involve some effort, time, sweat, tears, courage, and prayer…

trust

“Peals that should startle the slumbering thought from its erroneous dreams are partially unheeded; but the last trump has not sounded, or this would not be so. Marvels, calamities, and sin will much more abound as truth urges upon mortals its resisted claims; but the awful daring of sin destroys sin, and foreshadows the triumph of truth.”
– Mary Baker Eddy