All Lives Do Not Matter Unless Black Lives Matter

Jun 14, 2020   •  

The Rev. Michele Morgan June 14th, 2020  Pentecost 2

Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and curing every disease and every sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” Then Jesus summoned his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to cure every disease and every sickness. These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon, also known as Peter, and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed him. These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Go nowhere among the Gentiles, and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. As you go, proclaim the good news, ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. You received without payment; give without payment. Matthew 9:35-10:8

We are taught to we should just be really good at what’s already possible and to leave the impossible alone. Adrienne Maree Brown

Pentecost is here, 2nd Pentecost, some call it ordinary time. We are done with Holy Week, Easter, 50 days of Easter; we have done Trinity Sunday and First Pentecost. All the church festivals are done and the church nerd festivals too. I mean Trinity Sunday; there is a party eh?

Anyway, we are here and we have 26 weeks of Pentecost. It is the real world now, we are in the slog of the work, there is not anywhere or anything that is fancy to hang onto, we are in for a long summer of trying to figure out what is next for us, for Jesus, the disciples, and for this community.

Matthew is telling us of Jesus looking out over the crowd and his heartbreaking, as Eugene Peterson paraphrases the Bible, the Message says, “He taught in their meeting places, reported kingdom news, and healed their diseased bodies, healed their bruised and hurt lives. When he looked out over the crowds, his heart broke. So confused and aimless they were, like sheep with no shepherd. ‘What a huge harvest!’ he said to his disciples. ‘How few workers! On your knees and pray for harvest hands!’”

Life feels rather sloggy right now, we are still arguing over the phrase, Black lives matter. Let me be clear on this, All lives will never matter until Black Lives Matter!

Two Black trans women—Riah Milton in Ohio and Dominique “Rem’Mie” Fells in Pennsylvania—were killed earlier this week, amid an increasing outcry from activists to protect Black trans people and as the Trump administration reversed protections for transgender people in the U.S. health care system.

And 22 other women murdered in 2019

All lives will never matter until Black Trans Lives Matter.

We are taught that we should just be really good at what’s already possible and to leave the impossible alone Adrienne Maree Brown

The slog continues the DC city budget, the mayors budget is calling for Reject the proposed $18.5 million increase to the police budget, including the $2.5 million dedicated to putting more police in schools.

If we but more mental health workers, more community violence interrupters, more social workers, some money so kids have some food in their stomachs so they can learn, that will change the world.

Maybe that is possible, and we view it as impossible.

SE DC has the most shootings and does not have a trauma hospital; most babies are born in an area of the city where there is not a neonatal ICU. These are funding choices.

I am recording testimony for the city council about the inequities of the budget. We need to and must continue to spend out money where our hearts are we are people who say things about God; God loves, God is present, God wants us to stand with the people on the Margins. God tells us that where we have our treasurers there is where our heart will be.   Our city budget should reflect our values.

We need more workers in the harvest making connections and being peacemakers.

My heart is heavy that four years ago 50 people died in the Orlando Pulse Night club.

We are three days away from the 5th anniversary of the shooting at Mother Emmanuel Church where nine souls were lost at Bible study.

The killer at mother Emanuel was arrested without incident.

Brionna Taylor was murdered in her bed, asleep, and was shot 8 times by police officers with a no-knock warrant.

Is it impossible to believe that we can change a world that a white man who killed 9 POC in their bible study was captured without a shot fired.

Is it possible to change a world where an honored EMT was murdered in her bed?

The slog continues and Jesus is praying for more hands to help out. We are praying for more hands in the harvest, they are hands with guns in them, they are us changing the world.

Those who died in Orlando Pulse Night Club

  • Stanley Almodovar III, 23
  • Amanda Alvear, 25
  • Oscar A. Aracena-Montero, 26
  • Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, 33
  • Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21
  • Martin Benitez Torres, 33
  • Antonio D. Brown, 30
  • Darryl R. Burt II, 29
  • Jonathan A. Camuy Vega, 24
  • Angel L. Candelario-Padro, 28
  • Simon A. Carrillo Fernandez, 31
  • Juan Chevez-Martinez, 25
  • Luis D. Conde, 39
  • Cory J. Connell, 21
  • Tevin E. Crosby, 25
  • Franky J. Dejesus Velazquez, 50
  • Deonka D. Drayton, 32
  • Mercedez M. Flores, 26
  • Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22
  • Juan R. Guerrero, 22
  • Paul T. Henry, 41
  • Frank Hernandez, 27
  • Miguel A. Honorato, 30
  • Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40
  • Jason B. Josaphat, 19
  • Eddie J. Justice, 30
  • Anthony L. Laureano Disla, 25
  • Christopher A. Leinonen, 32
  • Brenda L. Marquez McCool, 49
  • Jean C. Mendez Perez, 35
  • Akyra Monet Murray, 18
  • Kimberly Morris, 37
  • Jean C. Nieves Rodriguez, 27
  • Luis O. Ocasio-Capo, 20
  • Geraldo A. Ortiz-Jimenez, 25
  • Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36
  • Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32
  • Enrique L. Rios Jr., 25
  • Juan P. Rivera Velazquez, 37
  • Yilmary Rodriguez Solivan, 24
  • Christopher J. Sanfeliz, 24
  • Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, 35
  • Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, 25
  • Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34
  • Shane E. Tomlinson, 33
  • Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25
  • Luis S. Vielma, 22
  • Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37
  • Jerald A. Wright, 31

The Emmanuel 9

Clementa C. Pinckney (41) – the church’s pastor and a South Carolina state senator.

Cynthia Marie Graham Hurd (54) – a Bible study member and manager for the Charleston County Public Library system; sister of former state senator Malcolm Graham.

Susie Jackson (87) – a Bible study and church choir member. She was the oldest victim of the shooting.

Ethel Lee Lance (70) – the church’s sexton.

Depayne Middleton-Doctor (49) – a pastor who was also employed as a school administrator and admissions coordinator at Southern Wesleyan University.

Tywanza Sanders (26) – a Bible study member; grandnephew of victim Susie Jackson. He was the youngest victim.

Daniel L. Simmons (74) – a pastor who also served at Greater Zion AME Church in Awendaw.

Sharonda Coleman-Singleton (45) – a pastor; also a speech therapist and track coach at Goose Creek High School;

Myra Thompson (59) – a Bible study teacher.

People of Color who died in Police Custody in the District 

2019 Jamaal Byrd, age 33, died in custody in October

2018 Marqueese Alston, age 22, shot to death by MPD in May

2018 Jeffrey Price, age 22, chased and run down by MPD in June

2018 D’Quan Young, age 24, shot to death by an off-duty MPD officer in May

2017 Bijan Ghaisar, age 25, chased down and shot by US Park Police in November

2016 Terrence Sterling, age 31, chased down, cornered and shot to death by MPD in September

2016 Korryn Gaines, age 23, killed by Baltimore Police Department in August

2015 Natasha McKenna, age 37, tasered to death by Fairfax County deputies in February

2015 Freddie Gray, age 25, died after being beaten and given a ‘rough ride’ by Baltimore police in April

2015 Alonzo Smith, age 27, choked, assaulted, and killed by Marbury Plaza Special Police in November

2014 Amir Brooks, age 17, chased and run down by MPD

2013 Miriam Carey, age 34, shot and killed by Secret Service and Capitol Police in October

2011 Raphael Brisco, age 18, shot to death by MPD in April

2009 Trey Joyner, age 25, shot to death by U.S. Park Police

1999 Gary Hopkins, Jr., age 19, gunned down by Prince George’s County police

1993 Archie Elliot, age 24, shot and killed by Prince George’s County police