There is much I could say about the cases in Ferguson and NYC in which cops were not indicted for killing black men. There is much I could say that has been said already, and what I say is simply more of the same outrage and sorrow – an outrage that, due to my white skin, is merely that. (I may protest and speak up as an ally, but an ally must also know that there are things we simply cannot comprehend, and we must remember that we are called allies because we support, not replace, the people affected by racism and violence and hatred. Solidarity, not white savior complexes.) But in keeping silent, especially here, may give the impression that I do not care, or that the Other People should not care about such social injustice, and I want to make it clear that is not the case.
Regardless of whether you think our gods care about social injustice or not (though I personally believe they do), the Other People do care, and it is my firm belief that our religion should be more than a comfort but a challenge. We should, in our religiousness and piety, challenge the structures of racism and oppression. We cannot sit idly by while injustice takes place. We must act, in the ways we can. We must work for justice, we must work for the horrors of our society to be brought to light and challenged until justice prevails. We may call upon our gods for help and aid, but at the end of the day we need to do this work because to do anything less is to condone violence and murder.
Rather than say anything more, I will link to a number of pieces written about these issues, and a few statements from Pagan groups.
An Open Letter to White America (includes more links)
White America has a problem, and that problem is ourselves.
Our myopia, our lack of empathy, our inability to see the ways in which we live in arrogance, is literally killing people in the streets.
In short, you expect the oppressed, struggling, grieving, violated people to behave like saints and martyrs while fighting to survive. Resistance against violent oppression is grand and inspiring – so long as it’s genteel.