Ponderings of our Spiritual Life Director 4-21-21

Justice or accountability?

From dictionary.com:

Justice is the quality of being just; righteousness, equitableness, or moral rightness


the moral principle determining just conduct


the administering of deserved punishment or reward.

From dictionary.cambridge.org:

fairness in the way people are dealt with.

From yourdictionary.com:

The definition of accountability is taking or being assigned responsibility for something that you have done or something you are supposed to do.

The events of the past few days leave us with much to process:

Derek Chauvin was found guilty of all 3 charges, and I believe, justly so. He must be made accountable for taking a man’s life. But real justice will not occur until the entire system is reimagined (which, I believe, means dismantling it and building something out of the roots of equity and the recognition of the inherent worth and dignity of all people, instead of the roots of white supremacy culture).

And not long after Chauvin was found guilty, cops in Ohio killed a teenage girl who called them for help. They shot her 4 times in the chest. My god. I feel sick. And helpless. What is happening?

I am the daughter of a now retired cop. In the 27 years that he worked in a county outside of Chicago, he did not ever use his gun, or kneel on anybody’s neck, etc., in so far as I am aware (and yes, I have asked him). My dad and I have some vastly different political views, but he brought me up in a liberal Christian tradition that taught that God is Love. I remember him telling me that if someone was potentially a danger to him, that he would shoot them in the leg first, but not kill them. I realize that he was a cop in the same seriously flawed system of policing that we still have today and I also recognize that injustices were occurring and we weren’t hearing about them like we are today on social media. But knowing my dad- the way he thinks and the ways of his heart- and trying to understand all the killings by police today, has me attempting to wrap my mind around and process something that seems incomprehensible. There has been a serious distortion of power. The seeds of fear have been grown in a soil of hatred and planted in the hearts of so many. Power and fear are a deadly combination. There will not be justice for all until this is rooted out and the soil is turned and nourished with love. We must learn how to grow from love. Until then, every officer that acts from this place of hatred must be held accountable. Love won’t find it’s way until we stop making a way for hate to show up so casually, and so pervasively.

I will be attending the UUA Vigil tonight. I need help processing. I need to know what to do. Please join me. Together we are better and together we can grow love.