One of the most important things you will read this year …

Read the whole piece, please, starting with this …

Adding insult to injury, while we are having a photo-op next to the “dignified” removal of the flag in South Carolina, their counterparts in US Congress actually debated whether to keep the same flag flying on federal property, of the same government land that the flag sought to overthrow. To some of them, Black lives, Black emotions, Black history, and Black pain don’t matter. Human beings, deeply hurt by death, are the only creatures who don’t have to respond with death. But we must refuse to be easily comforted, and not to be tricked by cosmetic fixes. Our ability to forgive is, in reality, an act of resistance to the attempts to lay the blame for this horror at the feet of one man.
Two days after the nine assassinations at Mother Emanuel, I was asked to preach at New York’s renowned Riverside Church a sermon, which I later completed in my own pulpit, and said in light of the arrest of Dylann Roof:

The perpetrator has been caught. But the killers are still at large. The deep well of American racism and white supremacy that Dylann Roof drank from remains. The families of the nine martyrs challenged the schizophrenia of American morality that allowed political leaders to condemn the crime and at the same time embrace the policies that are its genesis. Many of South Carolina politicians and others in the nation are examples. They decry the killings but steadfastly refuse to support efforts to quell their divisive rhetoric and to cease their push for policies that promote race-based voter suppression. They refuse to vote for the Voting Rights Act. They cut funds for public education in ways that foster, re-segregation. They deny workers living wages. They refuse Medicaid expansion. They proliferate guns. They use racialized code words to criticize the president, all in the name of taking ‘their’ country back to ‘prevent its destruction.’ When will they own up to the fact that there is a history of racialized political rhetoric and policies that directly spawn the pathology of terroristic assassinations and carnages, and of violent resistance to constitutional decisions.

—A Message to America in the Midst of Our Mourning, Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II
Please follow Dr. Barber on Twitter here – @RevDrBarber