We are in a time of expansive attacks requiring vigilant and growing resistance—a time when we are each called to take a side.
Last Tuesday, a young Black boy, Antwon Rose, was murdered by East Pittsburgh police, and despite recent developments, we know there is no guarantee for justice when police murder young Black and brown people.
Yesterday, The Supreme Court sided with Trump’s white supremacist agenda as it upheld the Muslim Ban.
And over the weekend, UUA General Assembly (GA) delegates overwhelmingly approved an Action of Immediate Witness (AIW) to “End Family Separation and Detention of Asylum Seekers and Abolish ICE.” Just three years prior, GA delegates approved an AIW expressing support for the Black Lives Matter movement and calling for the abolition of prisons.
As a mother, I know we must end the separation and detention of children and families and resist the criminalization of Black and brown people and migrant communities. As a white person, I must harness my power and resources to reckon with the racist immigration system from which my ancestors and I have benefited.
As a Unitarian Universalist, I know our collective courage and the call of our faith is to love one another, despite growing rhetoric of fear and the normalization of dehumanizing practices. We are called to deepen our collective understanding of safety, security and justice while escalating our action in support of and under the leadership of those most impacted by systems of oppression.
We know that these interconnected systems of oppression and white supremacy also require interconnected solutions.
The abolition of ICE is consistent with our principles as Unitarian Universalists. We believe in the inherent human dignity of all persons. Since its creation in 2003 ICE has terrorized our communities—ripping children from parents and neighbors from congregations. The Trump Administration has now positioned ICE to expand the militarized treatment of all migrants with the establishment of internment camps for children and families on military bases. This is a humanitarian crisis that must be vigorously opposed. ICE must urgently be defunded and dismantled and we must show that we have zero tolerance for these crimes against our communities. As Unitarian Universalists, we celebrate the sacred interconnectedness of the human family and commit to action in defense of that sacredness.
Partner movement organizations—led by Mijente—have succinctly articulated how we, today, can work to Abolish ICE:
Suspend all deportations.
End all forms of immigrant detention.
Defund and dismantle the agency—permanently.
Next Monday, UUs will answer the call and join movement organizations—led by Latinx organizers and groups—in San Diego on July 2, 2018. View more, follow along and join us—supporting remotely or by coming in person. Find more information here.
Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray
President, Unitarian Universalist Association