On this Independence Day, the Westport/Weston Clergy Association says:
In recent weeks many of us have come to a greater understanding of the constant, oppressive, life-threatening, structural racism endured by those among us who are black and brown.
Many of our ancestors endured a history of injustice and murder. Our black and brown siblings continue to face injustice and murder on a daily basis. Many of us thought we knew and understood. We have come to realize that we have so much more to understand, particularly those among us who have benefited from a system that favors whiteness.
In 1964 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. visited Westport at the invitation of Rabbi Byron T. Rubenstein. In his address at Temple Israel he said, “One of the great liabilities of life is that all too many people find themselves living amid a great period of social change, and yet they fail to develop the new attitudes… that the new situation demands. They end up sleeping through a revolution.”
Let us not sleep through this revolution.
Let us learn to oppose racism and bigotry with all our hearts, all our souls, all our might.
Let us become anti-racists, actively dismantling structures of inequality and injustice.
Let us one day look our children in the eye and tell them honestly that we did our part to create a world more righteous than the one we inherited.
Let each of our congregations commit to action, so that black people will no longer be, in the words of Rev. Dr. Bernard Wilson of Norfield Congregational Church in Weston, “treated as second-class citizens in the nation of our birth.”
It is not up to us to complete the work of repairing the world. But neither can we absent ourselves from it.