BY GARY HOGUE
On Friday, June 5th, with my wife Jean, my daughter Sarah, and I joined with the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, St. John’s Episcopal church, and many other churches from the diocese in providing support to the many visionaries for justice on 16th Street at St. John’s Church, LaFayette Square. We accompanied many other volunteers from throughout the diocese, and gave out water and snacks to anyone in need on that very hot day. We brought all of the water that we could safely transport on the subway, and joined that with other donations brought in by suitcase, bags, and carts by many other volunteers.
The crowds on the street have been characterized in many ways - protesters, terrorists, or as I saw them: Visionaries for Justice. No matter how one characterizes the people, they were all polite, friendly, and with purpose. The environment, the street, and the people were all highly charged with the goals to ensure that all who observed the events, whether in person or via some means of mass communication, understood that the life and death of George Floyd, and all of the others, would not be in vain, and to strengthen the message that Black Lives Matter. The people there were black and white and brown, gay and straight, Muslims and Jews, veterans and non-veterans, and people from everywhere around the world - all with the goal to change and improve our society.
There were many signs and methods of communication that were carried or worn by these visionaries. Some such as “white silence is violence,” or those pertaining to someone being characterized as a “Privileged White Person” were harder for me to see, but completely understood. I’ll take those messages to heart. All of the messages were meant for change that eliminates police brutality, improves the lives of all people of color, and promotes equality for all. My hope is that the goals will not be lost and that we will move closer to true social justice in our times.