June 5, 2020
Today should have been Breonna Taylor’s 27th birthday. On March 13, she was sleeping in her own home when Louisville Police Officers entered her home and shot her; at least 8 times, killing her. To date, none of the officers have been charged nor held responsible for her death. This is just one illustration of the reason for the rage across the country; and the demand for change. The Mama Bear in me is enraged that Breonna was not alive for her birthday this day. And the fact that police could enter her home, kill her; and then find they had the wrong location… and the suspect was already in custody. This is inhumane! Even if the suspect was in the house… an arrest could be made without shooting and killing. Breonna was an EMT and had been working tirelessly through the COVID-19 pandemic. She deserved rest and peace. She was in her own home. She did not deserve to be murdered and then have no one held accountable.
Today I received photos and video from my own daughter. They were of the protest she participated with in Chicago. We raised our kids to protest against injustice, and work for peace. Seeing the photos and videos; and realizing she was seated just 2 feet in front of a wall of officers with riot gear and weapons, worried and enraged the Mama Bear in me. Along with the photos, my daughter texted, “Had a long day out at the protest. Made eye contact with lots of cops to try to see their humanity and beg them to see mine. It was very powerful and frustrating.”
My daughter was protesting Breonna’s death and so many many others. And thankfully was able to exercise her First Amendment right without harm. I’m seeing many examples where that is not the case. I realize through Breonna Taylor’s death, and my daughter’s protesting, I cannot trust our children are safe from harm. At the hands of those that are meant to protect and serve. This does not take away from police that have the training and innate skills to protect and serve. However, these police that feel they have been given some other power; and freely use weapons and force with no consequence… it terrifies me.
I am seeing multitudes speaking up and acting in many different ways in response to the ongoing violence against black and brown people. I pray through the turmoil; that this time, there is movement toward systemic change.
Today The Chaplaincy Institute (ChI), the seminary where I am studying at right now, responded to the recent events and the murder or George Floyd. Our ChI CEO, REv. Ineda Adesanya, said in a press release entitled, “Interfaith Chaplains Training for the Work of Racial Justice”, that ChI “is committing to training student chaplains and equipping current chaplains with new tools for spiritual care of those harmed by injustice … working toward our vision: A just world that honors the sacred connection of all.”
There is so much injustice. My Mama Bear heart grieves deeply for my own children and the world. George Floyd called out to his mother in heaven to help him. Breonna Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, shared today in the Cut (thecut.com), her loss and her grief; along with memories of her “diva” daughter who had a bright aura around her. Breonna’s mother said about this day “We would have been out somewhere eating something fancy … We have a lot of family coming to celebrate her birthday from Michigan, Alabama, and Tennessee. She should definitely be here. What happened to her should never happen to anybody. We want justice.”
For my children, they were raised with the saying, “No Justice, No Peace.” Within our family, we are sharing our individual and collective ways we are working toward that… now more than ever.
My prayer this night is for all to find ways to work toward justice and peace for all. And prayers for the Mama Bears mourning their children; with hearts forever shattered.
This, from Sisters of the Movement, shares a few action items.
“Sisters of the movement squad, there is so much work to do here and we have barely scratched the surface. Here are some action items that you can start with today: ⠀
🗣post a photo of Breonna and use #dearBreonna to share kind words⠀
Donate directly to Breonna’s family “justice for Breonna Taylor” go fund me page: https://gf.me/u/x6ngqj⠀
🗣Send a birthday card and/or letter in Breonna’s honor insisting that the officers responsible for her death should be held accountable. (See Pink Image - NOTE: Police Chief Conrad has been fired since this image)
🗣Donate to the Louisville Community Bail fund so that the protesters can continue to protest to bring awareness and lend their voices to Breonna https://actionnetwork.org/…/louisville-community-bail-fund/⠀
We’re all we got and it is proven every day in America. Don’t let anything muddy your vision - we got a job to do ✊🏾⠀”