Black Lives Matter

Someone pointed out recently that in July of 2015 I was invited to respond in a statement of 30 seconds or less to the latest in a series of killings of young black men by police. In my response, I wrote/said “all lives matter.”
Since then, the phrase “all lives matter” has become a standard way of undermining, avoiding, betraying, or weakening the urgent message of the Black Lives Matter movement. That certainly wasn’t my intent in the original post, but I can see how it could easily be interpreted that way. That could have been an innocent mistake or it could have expressed the unconscious obliviousness that is all too common among privileged white people like myself. Either way (or a little of both), I regret it.
So, if I had the opportunity to go back and edit that 30sol message, here’s what I’d say:

Does anybody doubt that the greatest enemy of humanity is inhumanity?
Racism is a form of inhumanity. The opposite of inhumanity is compassion. Compassion means that every “us” and “them” is part of a bigger “us,” that all of us humans are part of one story of God’s creative adventure on this planet earth. That’s why, in our nation with its exceptionally racist history, we must affirm that Black lives matter.
We’re called to leave inhumanity behind and embrace compassion.

Even better, though, I was invited to submit something new in 30 seconds or less, which you can see here.

America is exceptional in its racism. People of color know this all too well, but too many white people like me still don’t get it.
Our whole way of life has been framed by white privilege and white supremacy. We have political, cultural, and even theological ways of remaining oblivious.
Those who conceal their sins won’t prosper, the Bible says, but those who confess and renounce them find mercy.* When white Americans affirm that black lives matter, we are taking a first step toward healing.

* Prov. 28:13