Friday, June 19, 2020

Happy Juneteenth! White Silence is Violence. Silence Broken.

Today is Juneteenth and while the silence that it reminds will be an enduring pain, I am happy to join Americans who also call it Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, and/or Cel-Liberation Day, the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States.

I am also happy because it is an appropriate day to share Heather Thum-Gerber’s gift:  White Silence is Violence.  Silence is Broken (link is to the reflection and pictures in the ADL). Heather describes her experience on June 11, 2020, when she joined the protesters gathered with Louisville Showing Up for Racial Justice (LSURJ) to end white silence on the topic of racism. "Ironically, we chose to be silent to end the silence," she writes. The protestors all knelt silently on the ground for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, the same amount of time George Floyd’s neck was forced down by an officer’s knee. To understand the meaning of the white silence through the generations after African Americans were emancipated, Heather draws on the story of the silent centurion at the crucifixion of Jesus. She concludes that "white silence is violence," and her own "silence is broken" now. Heather will use her voice loudly in the movement for justice.

I asked Heather how her anti-racist voice and identity will play out, reminding her of the ADL definition: Anti-racism is some form of focused and sustained action, by a mix of people which includes inter-culturalinter-faith, multi-lingual and inter-abled communities with the intent to change a system or an institutional policypractice, or procedure which has racist effects.
Her answer: I am currently geared towards reforming [the system of] policing. Systemic racism is so ingrained in the American criminal justice system that it is far from bringing about justice.
In other news from the library. Thanks to all who attended the Bible software demos of Accordance and Logos. Below is a summary of the numerical portion of the surveys you completed after the demo. If you'd like to see the complete results, please let me know. 
Accordance = 374 points from all respondents (n=12) and 81 points from Bible faculty (n=2). 
Logos = 403 points from all respondents (n=12), and 71 points from Bible faculty (n=2). 

Besides ease of use, and tools, two other factors emerged as critical for our consideration and so the investigation continues: 1) Remote access 2) Vendor Social Justice. 
Accordance and Logos are available for you to try, along with excellent tutorials. Check it out and as always, feedback is welcome. Here are the links: Accordance | Logos

Rejoicing with hope in the One who is always with us,