Helicopters in the air
Triggering my fears What's next comes the rubber bullets Piercing my body like they pierced Jesus Crying out for momma to behold thy son I can't breathe They don't even need guns
Castrate our bodies from the lynching trees
Cut off my lungs 10 minutes with his knees Crying out for momma I can't breathe
Hands in his pockets with a grin on his face
Resentment for my race as my life slips away
Cameras recording America don't care Black Lives Don't Matter Even when our murders are broadcast on air
Evidence before the judge and no convictions to be seen
Yellow tapes, chalk stains on the crime scenes
Blood stains cry out from these Trumpanian streets
Profit over people We don't care if they die Fuck COVID-19 Let the fittest survive Translate that to mean wealthy and the 1%
They say they cut us them checks Black and Brown folks still can't pay rent In the Food Bank line trying to make ends meet
Trying to make it to work but the curfew ends at nine
Can't catch the bus because Lori shut down the lines
Martin says a riot is the language of the unheard
This Pentecost Holy Ghost fire came down and cities burned
Maybe this is the new birth of the Church we wish to see
To get us out of them pews and into the streets
A nightmare of hashtags trending haunting me
Kendrick Lamar won't you sing for me Hear that base drop and I start to believe We gonna be alright even if we must die Claude McKay said let it be nobly done Fighting back For the generations to come
Lamentations Lift every voice to a rising sun
James Weldon Johnson declared victory is won
Cut off my lungs 10 minutes with his knees Crying out for momma I can't breathe...
Credit: Rev. Dr. Waltrina N. Middleton
Audio: Click here to listen to Rev. Dr. Middleton's reading of Pentecost: Prayers and Protest.
Holy, Holy, Holy God, God of power and might, God who gathers your people
and holds them to her bosom as a hen gathers her chicks; that God: Hear our prayers.
Hear the prayers of the protesters in Portland:
As they push back against camouflaged non-police, non-military,
non-identified brutes-in-a-uniform swinging batons at Navy veterans
who simply stand at attention.
Hear the prayers of the mothers locking arms on Portland’s front lines.
They chant: "Leave our kids alone!" And every word is prayer.
Hear our prayers for the officers who actually want to do right and are caught in between;
give them courage to face down evil impulses, to subvert unjust pathologies as they join their comrades who shaped the Task Force Recommendations on 21st Century Policing
and sound the trumpet for a new day in America.
And hear our prayers God for the 4 million plus...
Elders, Mothers, Fathers and Grandfathers, Children and Grandchildren, Homeless and Homed, Rich and Poor people, the 4 million images of God for whom it has hurt to breathe:
Come close, Lord. Save them, Lord. Save us, Lord.
Remove the ones whose folly blocks justice and life, and liberty, and happiness.
And, Holy, Holy, Holy God, be with the movement makers now:
Sit with them, heal their broken hearts,
make them community to each other, beloved community;
and give them eyes to see next steps and next paths and next bends,
and the Next America! Help them see it, so all can see it!
Come close now, Brown Jesus: We need you, O we need you; Every hour we need you.
Oh, bless us now, Brown Jesus; We come to you. Amen.
Credit: Lisa Sharon Harper
God of Eternal Flourishing, in whom the vastness of all time exists: Disrupt the forces of evil in this present age, that we might be drawn into your just future. Overturn the idolatry of public safety in this land and the unjust structures that manufacture it; relinquish also our death grip on systems of brutality, that all might know your abundant life. Grant us enough imagination to envision a reality beyond the subjugation of bodies, and the courage to live into a way of common flourishing whereby policing is abolished. Amen.
Credit: David F. Potter