January 16, 2021 – Rev. Alba Onofrio
Hey there Soulforce fam,
It’s a tense and tender time, and a lot of us in the United States are on edge about what may come this weekend. I want to take a moment to center in who we are, and why, we as a people of love, work for justice.
There have been many waves of political upheaval and violence over these last four years. It can be so overwhelming to our spirits that we may feel simultaneously, both a desire for peace and for justice. In these times, calls for unity can feel comforting.
However, unity without accountability is cheap grace, and it is a primary strategy of White Christian Supremacy.
This idea that you can do whatever you want, harm whomever, and then fall on your knees and pray to Jesus and all is then forgiven and you are pure again — that’s cheap grace, and that’s not how grace works!
We cannot truly heal or find peace as a country without coming to terms with the origins of our nation, without acknowledging the Original Sin of White Christian Supremacy in what is now called these-here United States; without asking forgiveness, and even more importantly, making reparations for harm caused and changing the landscape for how we move forward together in community.
Unity implies that we are all equal, or at the very least have the conditions for the possibility of equality. This is not currently our reality. And though we all may be equal in the eyes of Creator God, here on Earth we still have a lot of work to do!
As says Frederick Douglass, “Power concedes nothing without a demand.” He says, “This struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, and it may be moral and physical, but it must be a struggle.”
Now, I’m sure that’s exactly what some people who participated in the failed coup of January 6th believed they were doing. And there are plenty of other people, perhaps as many as the 74 million who voted for white supremacist patriarchy in the most recent election, who believe those insurrectionists were demanding justice from power because something has been taken from them, something has been stolen, some great wrong done. Their language sounds similar to ours in that way, but let me be clear about what is different from my vantage point–
It is indeed true that “they” are losing their power:
Those who believe in the supremacy of the white man above all others, those who feel God gave them the Earth and its people to exploit and dominate for their personal gain-
Those who pray to a white man-god jesus to “wash away their sins”, rather than seek salvation from the Original Sin of White Supremacy through reconciliation and restitution-
White Christian Supremacist institutions and the people who identify with them are losing. They are losing the hearts and minds of this nation and the world every single day. And they are losing their power over our lives. I truly believe this… if we continue to do our work to live, to love, to hustle, and to push for change.
As we keep watch in these next few days, we may continue to witness the distressing death rattle of expiring theologies and ideologies. In this difficult moment, let me remind you of this, in case it is helpful to you… to your soul, Beloved. Let me remind you of who you are, Dear One, who we are:
We are a people of love. We love each other, and we act from love as we seek justice and equality for all of Creation.
We are a people who do not accept cheap grace and believe it to be our salvation.
We believe in honesty, compassion, accountability, dignity, love, respect, community, and action.
We believe that no one can flourish while White Christian Supremacy reigns. Even those with privilege suffer under toxic belief systems, in the degradation of their souls.
We create miracles from our love for each other. Even in this time of pandemic, we collectively have created change that, for many of us (myself included), blew our minds and expanded our hearts. Things I hadn’t been brave enough to hope for started happening at a new pace.
We took our love for the most vulnerable of us and organized community care in the form of mutual aid. Our people took our love for Black people and together we knocked down statues to white supremacy and confronted white supremacy in our systems, our communities, our churches. We took our love for each other and made sure we saw more marginalized people represented in our political systems than ever before.
We are working and winning in the legacy of love and hustle from Women, of People of Color, of Queers, of Southern organizers, all the organizers, and lovers, and families, and chosen families, and leaders, and everyday people. So let us understand that this hate-filled grasp for power is a response to our gains.
We are indeed a dangerous people to the systems that seek our submission and demise, for we are claiming souls for justice every day as more and more of us awaken and stand ready to make the changes needed to build a world we want, the world our young ones deserve, our elders and ancestors before us dreamed. As they continue to make the way before us, it is our duty, our honor to continue on the path to Freedom.
We hope that you will keep your people close these days, and check up on each other. Know that even though we are distanced from one another, you are never alone. You belong to a people. We are in this thing together. Please take good care of your body and your spirit, alongside your love and care for one another.
We here at Soulforce are sending you love, glimpses of freedom, and glitter sparkles of hope from our unicorn homes to yours.
With hearts ablaze and spirits unyielding,
Rev. Alba Onofrio