The brilliant American writer and activist James Baldwin wrote,

“Please try to remember that what they believe,

as well as what they do and cause you to endure

does not testify to your inferiority

but to their inhumanity.”

James Baldwin - A Letter to My Nephew

Hate crimes against our Black neighbors are not new in this country.

They are the logical outcome of our nation's original sin(s) - slavery, racism. white supremacy and white nationalism.

Every time these crimes occur (hello, Buffalo) the wounds are ripped open, trauma relived, threats that live under the surface erupt in all their ugliness.

And it is too easy - way too easy - for white folk to stay silent.

To shake our heads.

Distance ourselves.

To offer thoughts and prayers.

And to go on with our lives.

We must not.

We must stop and attend to the wounds, the cries of pain and suffering, the anger, the weariness, the frustration.

We must listen. Listen to those among us with very different experiences of life in this country we call great.

And then we must act.

Call out racism whenever and wherever we see it.

Bridge divides.

Recognize and divest ourselves of the privilege awarded to us solely because of the color of our skin.

Fight for justice, equity, equality.

Vote. Change laws. Change systems.

And stop hiding behind our busy lives, while our neighbors, our friends, our brothers and sisters of faith are gunned down ...

at the grocery store ...

for being Black.

It reeks of inhumanity.