UUA Statement on Events in Furguson, MO

The Rev. Peter Morales, president of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), issued this statement following the news in Ferguson, MO, that charges will not be brought against Officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown:

“Our fear that justice will not be served is now a reality. Regardless of the reasons why a grand jury decided not to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown, people are angry, frustrated, and outraged. We still have questions unanswered. We still seek justice.

There are vigils and witness events taking place around the country. I encourage you, if you are willing and able, to witness for justice in your community. You can find a list of events here. Take a moment,however you are able, to be in solidarity with the people of Ferguson, for all who want to end systemic racism, and for those who continue to be abused by a system that is meant to protect them.

The events in Ferguson remind me of another city that was infected by racism and violence. Almost 50 years ago, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, ‘In the vicious maltreatment of defenseless citizens of Selma, where old women and young children were gassed and clubbed at random, we have witnessed an eruption of the disease of racism which seeks to destroy all America. No American is without responsibility…The people of Selma will struggle on for the soul of the nation, but it is fitting that all Americans help to bear the burden.’

It pains me–and I know it pains many of you–to reflect on the similarities between Selma and Ferguson. In Ferguson, as in Selma, we saw heavily armed police suppress fundamental human rights. As we approach the 50th anniversary of the history-changing events in Selma, AL, we recognize that while we have made great strides towards racial justice, there is still a long way to go to achieve the ideal of the Beloved Community. We must recommit to the important work still left to do.

At the UUA’s 2013 General Assembly, delegates approved an Action of Immediate Witness condemning racist mistreatment of young people of color by police. It called for member congregations to ‘actively demonstrate alongside others who are fighting to change the laws that allow police harassment, which results in violence against communities of color.’

Standing on the Side of Love has curated resources to explore ways to learn more, grow, heal, and take action. And when more resources and information on how you can get involved become available, we will share that with you.

Collectively, we must be a strong voice for change to end police brutality and the systemic racism in our society that causes violence, chaos, and death. Black lives matter.”

This statement is available on UUA.org and is reposted from an email announcement.