Meeting Approves Racial Justice Minute
With the addition of references to our influnces from Fellowship of Friends of African Descent, Trenton Meeting has approved this Racial Justice Minute on the Ninth Day of the Eighth Month 2020:
Racial Justice Minute
Approved 9 Eighth Month 2020
We were appalled and sickened by the brutal killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020 by a white police officer. The fact that this has sparked a fire of outrage all over the country and the world indicates that it is time to finally end racial injustice.
We cannot go back. We must not stay the same. We have to move forward to improve race relations and make this country a place where everyone can realize his/her potential. The "American Dream" is more of a nightmare for some where their children can be shot on a playground. It is not acceptable that our black/brown neighbors live in a state of constant fear and trauma.
As Michelle Alexander states in a recent Op Ed piece in the New York Times: "Unless we choose a radically different path now, our persistent racial divisions and oppressive political and economic systems may unravel our democracy sooner rather than later.” https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/08/opinion/george-floyd-protests-race.html
The Rev. William J. Barber II, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, refers to systemic racism as a "wound". He said, "There comes a time in every generation when the wound becomes so infested that the body politic cannot stand it. I pray that this is one of those moments."
Our spiritual guides also include two gatherings of Friends of color who have considered the racism that they have experienced inside and outside of our Meetings. Their distilled wisdom from these experiences is available to all online. The first is a minute from the 2016 gathering of the Fellowship of Friends of African Descent and deals specifically with state-sponsored violence: https://www.pym.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Fellowship-2016-Minute-w_-Cover-Letter.pdf. The second is the outgoing epistle of the 2020 Virtual Pre-gathering of Friends of Color and Their Families addressing racism in our meetings: https://www.fgcquaker.org/news/outgoing-epistle-2020-virtual-pre-gathering-friends-color-and-their-families.
The Spirit has rent the veil of our white fragility and we can now see where white injustice against our black neighbors, friends, and relatives has been masquerading as "justice" for centuries on end. We commit our hearts, financial and spiritual resources, time, and physical beings to the leadership of Black Lives Matter and other black leaders in our common struggle to right this grievous wrong by nonviolent means. Only a prosperity based on real equality merits that term; any other prosperity is pure fiction.
Charles Hardy, Clerk
Trenton Meeting of Friends (Quakers)