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God Damn these Hate Crimes and the Institutions that Fail to Act to Prevent Them

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Just a few months ago, trans woman of color Shade Schuler was murdered in this community. Shade’s body was in a field over in the Medical District so long that it was difficult for the police to identify her when someone cutting grass found her. We forgot about Shade. When I heard about the horror of it all, I didn’t want to forget again. I decided to organize a vigil and communion at the exact spot where Shade was found. To my surprise, when we walked up to the spot…you could see the black outline of Shade’s body. When I bent down to touch the place, you could feel the stickiness of rotted human flesh. As I lifted up the wine and bread to the heavens, I declared with all my might that this was the body and blood of Shade Schuler. When we drank and ate that night, I believe we were filled with the spirit of Shade. You see, I don’t believe in death without resurrection. I am out here tonight in the exact same robe and stole I had on then to lift up the spirit of Shade. I believe she is here with us. When you march for light and against hate tonight, may you feel the resurrected spirit of Shade Schuler in a mighty and powerful way.

 

Even more than being the Executive Director of Hope for Peace & Justice, I am an old Baptist preacher. I still believe in fire and damnation…I just don’t believe we have directed it in the proper direction. With so many hate crimes having taken place in this community over the last few months, I want to bring a little fire and damnation down to Oak Lawn… I pray that God will damn all the businesses in this community that continue to step over the bodies of marginalized and oppressed peoples to make a buck. I pray that God will damn those churches that step over the bodies of marginalized and oppressed peoples to conduct their services. I pray that God will damn any and all institutions that step over the bodies of marginalized and oppressed peoples to conduct their business. Oh God damn these hate crimes and all the institutions that fail to act to prevent them. No more will we sit back and allow this community to be brutalized. No more will we act like nothing is going on. No more will we stand aside as the least of these are brutalized. God we pray that you will send fire down into our hearts to bolster us in a powerful way…then can you please send a little bit of fire down beneath our asses to keep us marching for justice. Hallelujah! Hallelujah! and…

 

Amen.

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