Philando Castile: prayers for action and insight

In the wake of the death of Philando Castile, New City Church held a service for the community (with the gracious hosting of Walker United Methodist). We had "Action" and "Insight" walls, where people could write what they felt inspired to do. Here are the results:

The views below do not (necessarily) reflect the views or opinions of New City Church as a whole. Also, the typos may be because of what people wrote, and it may be because this is a LOT OF DATA ENTRY :)

Action:

  • To become present in the midst and listen--become educated in previously ignored stories. Become active in supporting change without taking it over. Help and be avaialble for leaders and movers to rise up.
  • I vow to treat all persons with respect and dignity. I want to be open to working for change by connecting with others who value all lives. I will challenge the way I have seen the world by opening my mind to perspectives different from mine.
  •  
  • Honoring
  • Volunteer at and support my ACLU. Do court watch to see what judges are doing--remove problem judges.
  • Go out into local community and engage with discussion around current disparities occuring in the neighborhood and what can be done on a small scale to improve and create localized change (example: urban food deserts limit access to healthy food. Create a community network space that contributes/makes donates fresh fruit)
  • Volunteer with school and community restorative justice 
  • LISTEN and HEAR. Do both of these things with intention. Let my conversations and actions extend into the weeks and months ahead. Let them be sustained. Foster connection, even when unfamiliar situations are difficult for the shy and introverted.
  • Demand change to attend the city's immediate need today! Open hotline for people to communicate with government. No combag gear--incites even mroe anger. Allow people to express feelings--let them march peacefully with police proection, not to combat
  • Ask, "What do you mean by that?" both within your movement, for building clarification, and with those whom you disagree with, rather than letting instances of racism/injustice slide by.
  • Transforming our language from "what can I do?" to "what do you need?" How do we respond with compasion and validation ofanger to protestors that are taking violent actions?
  • Smiles! Sing! Show up! Hug! Share!
  • Keep talking and listening but also take time to rest
  • Don't say I'm "Good" when I'm not. When things aren't alright don't pretend they are to strangers or friends.
  • organize/create spaces that encourage open and nonjudgment dialogue, about hte state of ssociety
  • look first for peace within myself
  • "small talk" opens doors--jsut start there. Know, learn to know, the other, the diferent. Say "hello," say check out those kids--how anything a game--start anywhere to see how alike we are. 
  • Block party. Vote economic justice.
  • Interrogate whitness in our social spaces, systems, and selves. Repent for my complicity and silence in the face of racist oppression hold other white people accoutnable for unlearning whitneess and deconstructing racism. Learn to shut up and listen and let POC voices be centered. Be humble and teachable. Show up--pray with presence and movement of feet. Hold our government accountable for rapid and sytemic change.
  • Exercise great kindness and seek empahty and truth == even if it harsh and hurtful
  • mobilize with youth to police stations [speak nothing]. Have each young person explain the feelings toward the police and why. Police accept that they are puppets of power. Documentary. Committee of Oppression. Opposers outfit, literally a group of five that can document and record injustices. Maybe a hotline (922?). Black officers. Human Rights Advocate at every arrest. 3 months out of 12 police should undergo rehabilitation languages and conduct. Not everyone is a criminal. Police need to have a strict no injustice tolerance act.
  • Talk with your fmaily and tell them how you feel
  • Order BLM yard sign and tshirt. Set intentional curriculum at school with works by POC. Get off FB as much and schedule more 1: time with friends
  • Implement cold anger by organizing a group that prints signs for peole to hold up on any street. The more signs everywhere the better.
  • Have people wear blaze orange ('don't shoot!')
  • end petty traffic pullovers run license send notice by mail. Underwrite minor car repairs: taillight, signal. Fixit clinic: grants, donations, churches, community groups, insurance COS, businesses, sports teams

Insight

  • Hate can never be justified. Anger and hate are not the same. Apathy is as dangerous as hatred. Change comes when we see things differently.
  • This has been such a hard week. All emotions right on the surface. Trying to bridge ___ that's my life purpose--all our purposes right now. REaching out with LOVE holding each so one tears' heal ALL
  • We are a circle within acircle. A circle where love always begins. And justice will never end. Blessed be!
  • It was courage and it was truth to film the massacre, so dissenters won't mislead the story on what happened. Defend the truth recorders!
  • Take sides. It feels divisivie, but that "neutrality" is the side of the status quo. I work for a business that this week used their busy sale time to shut down and protest police brutality, at a possible detriment tot eir sales. Which is not what everyone should or can do, but I appreciate being somewhere that doesn't pretend to have no bias, that acknowledges their ptential for shifting attention. I ronically, I used to work in a restraurant that gave cops in uniform free offee. Which I imagine htye would not have said was political, but of coursrse it was.
  • Why are cops so afraid?! Statistically, cops have never been safer. Why don't good cops speak out? There must be some reason why they are silent? Why does policing attract and support sadists and bullies?
  • We do not have to "finish" these, nor be 100% successful. We only need to seek. Just try!
  • Escapism is not healing. 
  • I love the idea of "healing" not meaning getting over somethign and moving on, but channeling our anger and centering ourselves so that we can mobilize, build community, and sustain a movement. It's hard to act when we're too overcome with grief to move. 
  • being born into "accidental privilege" and while having the benefit of a multicultural upbringing. I haven't experienced the terror of my children being in danger or being harmed by authorities who are meant to protect us
  • I may lose some friends over our disagreements re: race, police, America. I will never fully understand but I will always try to listen for understanding. I must get to know my neighbors.
  • "Black holds so much power"
  • What does it look like to use calm and beauty in the face of police brutality, tear gas, rubber bullets, ugliness, when the violence is often so much louder?
  • my silence = violence
  • "Violence is as American as cherry pie"
  • clear your vision by getting your life in order. Achieve routine so that an action is posible. Ideas will come. They lie ther ready to be harvested. To be taken up and run with.
  • The one step you make towards change is not merely one step. It rigns ane echoes and reaches those other souls who took astep forward too.
  • Am I willing to get arrested? If not, what does that mean?
  • Power dynamic change: transformation from seeking power over to power under. Lift up rather than speak fo; amplify voices that must be heard and have been ignored and silence.
  • racism is a symptom of the malignancy of greed. Police, even laws, are only necessary when someone does not have enough. They arefor those who do not appreciate having enough.The police are under values nad not compensated properly. Society gets what it pays for. A properly run police force is necessary for a well run society, we must consider it to be greatly important allocat eresources accordingly.
  • I have walled myself off from people's pain. Why?
  • I haven't been to church regularly, or at all, in a long time. But I noticed this morning that this space was one of hte most intergenerational ones I've been in in a while. So was the protest at the governor's mansion. So maybe I'm not selecting spaces well, in my life, but this feels important to name. Also, that community organizing is a skill: a necessary, practical one.
Posted on August 16, 2016 .