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Bill Sinkford: USA! USA! USA! May 5, 2011

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By Reverend Bill Sinkford | http://www.firstunitarianportland.org/our-church/ministers-a-staff/rev-sinkford-blog

After almost 10 years, our nation was finally able to locate and kill one man, Osama bin Laden. Celebrations erupted spontaneously. American flags were waved, and crowds shouted “USA! USA! USA!” It was, I suppose, a victory of a sort. My reaction may well not be yours, but I found myself saddened rather than exultant.

Bin Laden was responsible for horrible acts of violence, the deaths of thousands of American citizens. If anyone deserved punishment, he did. If retribution was ever justified, it was here. But I take no pleasure in his death, especially if it becomes only the latest in a spiral of violence whose final outcome will endanger us all.

‎Martin Luther King, Jr., decades before 9/11, wrote:

“I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

The news media has been filled with little else this week. The images of 9/11 have been replayed. The bravery and training of the Navy Seals who executed the raid have been lauded. Images of the compound near the Pakistani capital where bin Laden hid “in plain sight” for six years have been aired. Descriptions of the raid have been repeated again and again, with some interesting changes to the initial narrative. No, bin Laden did not use his youngest wife as a human shield. No one in the compound fired on the attackers. Obama’s decision not to release photographs of the dead body is the latest chapter in this drama. (more…)

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Bill Sinkford: Show Me Your Papers May 2, 2011

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By Reverand Bill Sinkford

http://www.firstunitarianportland.org/our-church/ministers-a-staff/rev-sinkford-blog

Thursday, April 28 2011 11:06

Show Me Your Papers

The first African American President of the United States, duly and overwhelmingly elected, finally submitted to the demand to “show me your papers.” I am angry,  sad and deeply troubled about the politics of race in our nation.

In South Africa, under Apartheid, Blacks had to produce “pass cards” when challenged by white authorities to prove that they were authorized to be in white areas. There was a time, here in the US, when Blacks had to carry papers proving that they were allowed off the land of their owners.

Those Americans who look or sound “Hispanic” know that they can confront the same demand today. “Show me your papers.” (more…)