On Monday I celebrated Martin Luther King Day with others from this Fellowship at two local events. In the morning, we attended the CommUNITY Peace Brunch at Central Michigan University which featured three student speakers reflecting on the meaning of the day. In the afternoon, we carried our UUFCM banner in the march from the university campus to downtown. We finished the day by warming up with hot chocolate in the UU building, sharing our take-aways from the day’s events.
My take-away was one of the student speeches from the morning brunch. He spoke about anti-Asian prejudice and violence, and his leadership on campus in the Asian-American community. As I was sharing this over hot chocolate after the march, I heard for the first time about the stabbing attack in Indiana last week. Looking up the news, I saw the horrific details: a 57 year old white woman stabbed an 18 year old Asian American college student on a city bus. A bystander followed the attacker off the bus and alerted the police to her whereabouts, leading to her arrest.
The most chilling aspect of the story is what the attacker said about her motivation. Here is the reporting from NPR:
The suspect told police she stabbed the victim because the victim was “Chinese,” adding that it “would be one less person to blow up our country,” according to an affidavit shared with NPR.
On Martin Luther King Day, we rightly reflect on the civil rights era, on anti-Black racism as it was manifest in those days, and on the nonviolent civil disobedience that Dr. King used to respond to that racism. And, on this occasion we should always reflect on what is happening in today’s world and how we can respond. For me, the student’s speech in the morning and the current events I became aware of in the afternoon reminded me of the presence of Asian hate in my country today. It inspires me to recommit myself to addressing all forms of hatred: anti-Black racism, Asian hate, antisemitism. These things and more are part of life today. Just as Dr. King responded in his day, I must do what I can in my time to stop hate and to spread love. This includes using my voice to denounce racism and violence whenever I can.
Living spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr., be with us now. May your words and intentions breathe through our living souls. May we be inspired to speak and act for justice, to confront the words and actions and policies of racism—and to awaken well-meaning but passive liberals to the urgency of this work.
In the name and faith of all people of good conscience,
Rev. Andrew Frantz
Rev. Andrew Frantz
Drew's office hours are suspended until further notice. However, he is reachable at any time via email, phone, or text.
Day off: Monday
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