Free at Last . . .

My heart is heavy today with the weight of what occurred in Charlottesville yesterday and with the knowledge that this act of hate is not an isolated event—not today and not over the long span of history.  At moments, this knowledge has felt like something I can no longer carry, much less fight against. 

And yet fight we must.  Today we grieve for those killed and injured in Charlottesville and around the world who battle injustice in its many forms. 

And tomorrow we take back up the banner and reaffirm our solidarity with our brothers and sisters—all those who are dispossessed, hungry, and poor.  We reaffirm our unity with all peoples—no matter their color, gender, or religion.  I do not care if they have papers or are undocumented.  They are my brothers and my sisters, and I will defend them. 

Most of you are familiar with the words of Martin Luther King’s speech where he said that “he had a dream that one day . . . the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave-owners would be able to sit down at the table of brotherhood together” and while that dream may still be unfulfilled, we have moved closer to its reality.  Do not despair but rather let us get back to work. 

Freedom is a constant struggle but it is the right of all peoples.  Let us join hands together andfight together until we are all able to sing out, “free at last, free at last, great God-almighty, we are free at last.”