Friday, August 28, 2020

The Shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Protests, and “Patriot militia” killings—The Statement of Tree of Life UU Congregation Social Justice Team

Community peace maker Jacob Blake was shot in the back seven times while his sons witnessed the atrocity from the back seats of his van.

This is the statement of the Tree of Life UU Congregation Social Justice Team posted to church members.
We were saddened and angered, but not shocked when Jacob Blake was shot seven times in the back in nearby Kenosha, Wisconsin in front of his three sons. Blake had broken up a fight between two white women but when police arrived they ignored them and went after the respected neighborhood peacemaker.

We were not shocked because it is the continuing story of unabated racist policing despite a summer of protests that Black Lives Matter. When outrage erupted on the streets peaceful protesters and those filled with rage mingled. Fires burned, including one next door to the Bradford Community Church, UU whose illuminated sign reading Black Lives Matter also burned. In a brave statement the minister and board said: 
Despite the fact that we cannot condone violent response to injustice, we understand and appreciate the anger and frustration that fueled the events of last night. While we are relieved that our church home mostly survived the inferno in the lot next door, we affirm that we would rather lose 100 buildings than one more life to police violence.

The next night a teen from Antioch, a police fan-boy, Trump supporter, and militia recruit went to Kenosha and killed two protesters and wounded another with an assault rifle he carried openly all night. He and other militia members had been welcomed by the police as allies. They made no attempt to disarm them. And after the shooting they allowed the boy to walk unmolested through their line despite screams that he had just killed people. He was finally arrested the next day in Illinois. Tucker Carlson on Fox news declared him a hero.

The victims of White Nationalist militia violence in Kenosha.  Joseph Rosenbaum, was a 36 year old Kenosha father of a 2 year old daughter was shot in the head.  Jason Huber of near-by Silver lake was a 23 year old who chased and tried to disarm the assailant with his skateboard. He was shot in the stomach in the struggle.  26 year old Gaige Grosskreutz was a volunteer street medic who was wounded in the arm.
We stand with Jacob Blake’s family and community, with the families of those killed by the teen wanabe Rambo, and affirm our commitment to Black Lives Matter and to combat systematic racism. We will follow the young people of McHenry County who planned and staged peaceful BLM protests earlier this summer who will be planning measured local responses. The Social Justice Team stands ready to follow their leadership. We will keep you informed of local actions.

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