Stop Saying “the arc of the universe bends towards justice” (#BlackLivesMatter)

So, tonight, the grand jury looking into the Sandra Bland case has decided that there will be no major charges against  anybody who works for the jail. (there are still some minor charges they are looking at) That is just the latest display in the showing of how much black lives don’t matter.

UUs and other social justice activists love to say the MLK Jr. bastardization of Theodore Parker’s quote, “the arc of the universe is long but it bends towards justice.” I am going to make a simple request…STOP!

For the longest time I have made the caveat when I make this request, “unless you are going to do the full, original Parker quote, don’t say it,” but as of tonight, that caveat no longer holds. Really, I beg of you, just don’t say it.

It has now become just another meaningless platitude said to those who are oppressed to get them to continue taking it in the chin in the vain hope that, in the end, something resembling justice might appear. It is said not to actually move things forward, but to make the person saying it feel better.  It’s time to stop.

Sandra Bland should be alive today. She should be working at her alma mater, Prairie View A&M. She should be thinking about how she was going to get home to Chicago for Christmas.

Do not tell me that the arc of the universe bends towards justice. It might for some. But it hasn’t for Sandra Bland. Or Tamir Rice (nearing 400 days and still nothing). Or the 5 women who Daniel Holtzclaw raped and brutalized (how many of you know about that case?) but don’t seem to have been believed. Or Rekia Boyd. Or the lead poisoned children of Flint, Michigan. The arc of the universe might bend towards  justice for some. But it hasn’t for them and so many others; too many to name.

So until black lives matter, stop saying that the arc of the universe bends towards justice. Until then, those are empty words, meaning nothing.

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