As the Resource Center for Nonviolence we pay attention to violence. Some of our antiracism book circles read Resmaa Menakem’s My Grandmother’s Hands, and consider the impact of violence and racialized trauma on our bodies, hearts, and minds.
Resmaa’s first encouragement is for each of us to stop, pay attention to our breathing, attend to each place in our bodies where violent impacts reside. Find a comforting place, then allow the news of violence to enter and notice where it enters, and notice our body’s response to this impact. And learn, patiently, with much practice, to choose the response we want.
Recent murders in Boulder, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Stockton, and many other places impact each of us and our society, even though they repeat past tragedies.
The nation Dr. Martin Luther King called “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world” has not come to terms with its violence, waged abroad and in the United States. “Returning violence for violence multiplies violence” warned Dr. King.
In this season when federal taxes are due, the War Resisters League reminds us that half our tax dollars fund the military. This wealthy nation should fund social care, embrace alienated young men, elevate Asian, Black, Brown, Indigenous, Middle Eastern people, remove weapons, end the death penalty, remove poverty, build strong physical and mental health services accessible to everybody, and restore multiracial community.
We extend sympathy to families and victims of violence, and ask ourselves to focus our lives on building nonviolent and antiracist culture and community.