No More Zimmermans, Prayers and Quotes


I can not trust a system that is not willing to protect people of color.  – From a friend and organizing colleague in Portland, Oregon

My communities of pastors, human rights activists and neighbors are reeling from the news this evening that Zimmerman was found not guilty for the killing of young teenager Travyon Martin in Florida.  A culture clash of values at work, wrapped in a racialized media blanket and a desensitized American public that persistently dehumanizes people of color while fueling fear and militant individualism.  Why we need to keep coming together.  From those I love —

…SHOCKED and STUNNED! United States of America as a nation that prides itself on the fairness and equality this is yet another wake up call. Outcomes like this “NOT GUILTY” verdict is YET another reminder of the wounds people of color are asked to heal every minute and every day of their life in America. Do you understand why we question each and every interaction? The justice system has yet to prove to be fair? Do you see the division? HOW in GOD’s name is this a NOT GUILTY case. Post racial America is a myth – despite the outcome I KNOW and believe WITHOUT a doubt that the life of a young Black man in America is priceless. I refuse to accept the injustice you choose to present as a reality! Holding on to these words by Dr. Martin Luther King “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” My heart, prayers and unyielding love are with your family/friends -but especially your mother/father/siblings! We are FOREVER united and connected – the bond has been sealed – The Trayvon Martin Foundation Trayvon Martin your spirit lives one – the world knows your name and have bared witness to this injustice! We must continue to fight for all the Trayvon Martin’s of the world.
– Charlene McGee Past Chair, African Womens Coalition

May we send Trayvon’s family & friends love and compassion.
May we send Zimmerman and his legal team & family love and compassion, and some hope of eventual redemption.
May we remember that white supremacy is so much bigger than this one case that shines such a bright light on the racism of our judicial system.
May we find ways to expand love over hate and fear.
May we rededicate ourselves to eradicating white supremacy from our lives and our systems and our communities everywhere.
May we find the strength to do that work with love.
May it be so.
– Rev. Cathy Rion Starr, All Souls Church DC

Also, no the system is not broken. No there should not be patience. This is what the system does and how it works. Patience only leads to more death of people of color, more colonization of land, more cages built and more wars. We need impatience with this system and we need stronger organizing to fight.
– Rev. Jason Lydon, Black and Pink

My heart breaks…. No! My heart is broken.
Something is seriously wrong with this picture.
I wish that the Jury would follow the route of the Civil Rights Movement to better understand what just happened. This is an updated version of Emmett Till’s story. Shame. Shame. Shame.
-Rev. Hope Johnson, UU Congregation of Central Nassau

Who will cry for the little boy?
Lost and all alone.
Who will cry for the little boy?
Abandoned without his own?
-Jerome Brooks, Former Urban League Organizer

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3 responses to “No More Zimmermans, Prayers and Quotes

  1. A prayer for all of us whose hearts are on fire tonight…
    A prayer from Rev. Meg Riley, CLFUU

    Spirit of love and justice,
    Tonight I am angry.
    May my anger burn cleanly,
    Joining the light of so many hearts on fire.
    May we know anger as a source of strength,
    Anger that seeks to purify,
    Anger that has as its fuel the power of truth,
    Anger grounded in love,
    May I live my life so that Trayvon Martin did not die in vain.

    May my anger give me strength to take action,
    To stand my own ground, the ground of compassion,
    The ground of justice which dwells beyond courts of law and its technicalities,
    The ground of worth and dignity of every human being.

    May we live our lives so that Trayvon Martin did not die in vain,
    So that African American youth are not seen as threatening merely because they exist.
    May we take steps to bring such a world into vision.
    Concrete steps, particular steps, in our own communities.

    Anger used well is energy for life.
    Anger turned inward saps the strength,
    Anger turned to rage severs real connection.
    May I use this holy anger well,
    Use my privilege well, use my voice and my strength and my power.

    May we draw on the strength of those who have turned anger to love through the generations,
    those who have made a way out of no way,
    those who have burned but not been consumed by this holy fire.

    May we remember the strength of our connections to the generations,
    The ancestors and those yet to be born,
    The strength of our connection to the fighters and the lovers,

    May I live my life so that Trayvon Martin did not die in vain.
    May we live our lives so that Trayvon Martin did not die in vain.
    May he live forever in our deeds, in our commitment to a justice
    Which can never be found in any court of law.

    (Poem by Marge Piercy and available at

  2. Thanks for lifting this up, Joseph. But to be clear: I wrote a prayer which is not an adaptation of a Marge Piercy poem. It’s a prayer. On my facebook page, I used a quote from Marge Piercy’s poem in a graphic to go with my prayer. People are writing me with some confusion about this!

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