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How Long, O Lord?

UCC racial justice minister speaks out after Rittenhouse verdict by Velda Love | published on Nov 19, 2021

The Rev. Velda Love, UCC minister of racial justice, issued this statement after the verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse case.

Today, a predominately white jury in Kenosha, Wisc., acquitted 18-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse of all charges. Rittenhouse, a former police youth cadet who is also white, murdered two unarmed and innocent men marching in solidarity with other protestors in Kenosha after the shooting of Jacob Blake in 2020. The jurors chose to protect and free a white supremacist over preserving the rights and safety of black bodies and racial justice.

This kind of injustice is violent and tortures the soul. Rittenhouse used a semi-automatic assault rifle and purposely killed two innocent human beings and wounded another, who wanted to protest police violence.

“O Lord, how long shall I cry for help, and you will not listen? Or cry to you “Violence!” and you will not save? Why do you make me see wrongdoing and look at trouble? Destruction and violence are before me; strife and contention arise. The law becomes slack, and justice never prevails. The wicked surround the righteous—therefore judgment comes forth perverted. Look at the nations and see! Be astonished! Be astonished! For a work is being done in your days that you would not believe if you were told.” Habakkuk 1:1-5, 2:1-3

The cry of the prophet Habakkuk has been the cry of those who have undergone tremendous suffering, lived through acts of terrorism and trauma, viewed bullet-ridden bodies in the morgue, and buried family members lynched with knotted ropes, forced to the ground, and choked to death with a knee on their neck, and shot during peaceful protest. The judicial system is broken. The powerful are corrupt; judges pervert the system; and white supremacy acquitted a guilty man. How long oh Lord, how long?

Responsive litany for use in worship