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Black Lives Matter: Sacred Breath

Jun 02, 2020 — Categories:

Many religious stories begin with a breath. God creating the universe with just a breath, and then light. A breath that clarifies thought, leading to understanding. The breath that pulses through the universe, inhabiting every person and everything—uniting us. “I…can’t…breathe.” This is the reality of where we are. And who we are. Our culture creates this violence, and supports it.

Black Lives Matter: Sacred Breath

blacklivesmatter.com

 

Many religious stories begin with a breath. God creating the universe with just a breath, and then light. A breath that clarifies thought, leading to understanding. The breath that pulses through the universe, inhabiting every person and everything—uniting us.

“I…can’t…breathe.”

This is the reality of where we are. And who we are. Our culture creates this violence, and supports it. Every institution has racism woven into its foundation—the steel girders that support an entire system of injustice.

We are witnessing state-sanctioned murder, over and over.

In this country, we have a long bloody history of killing the sacred breath of African Americans. Lynching. Tear gas. Police batons. Water cannons. Gunshots. Chokeholds. We live in a system that suffocates Black people-- that literally steals the breath from their bodies.

And when that sacred breath is used to protest, to demand justice, equality, safety…every force is used to silence it.  Militarized police who view citizens as enemies. Politicians who glorify domination. Media fixation on the broken glass of a storefront, and not the shattered people who are afraid for their lives and the lives of their children, every day.

Our religious traditions glorify peace. But they also demonstration rebellion, in the name of that which is sacred—the breath and the beauty of a life.

Racism courses through the bloodstream of this country. And what we know, what we see today in our streets as teargas floats through the air, is that there is no place of safety, or of justice. Police can kill with no accountability. White racists can terrorize, threaten, or murder and there is no place to go. The culture is broken, and there is no safe haven.

Today is when we get to decide if we are willing to live with this. If we can, again, turn away from the destruction that hatred has created. Can you breathe?

 

About the Author

Sarah Butler is a Program Manager at FaithTrust Institute.

 

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