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Freedom Fighters,

I have the esteemed privilege of [offering this faith reflection].  I will not say I’m nervous because the push for freedom and justice is spurring me on.  Very briefly, very briefly I want to speak directly to your souls about justice and our beautiful advocate, Jesus Christ the righteous.  

What is justice? See, my husband is an idealist and I’m fighting to NOT be Cynical Suzy.

So I will begin by saying that ideally, justice is …

Justice is not ever needing any Lily Ledbetters to make a case for equal pay, equal work.

Not ever needing a Civil Rights or a Voting Rights Act because folk just want equality for everybody because it just feels right.  

Justice is your White daughter and my Black daughter getting the same urgency of an Amber alert should both of them go missing…

Not the supposition that mine  ran off with a fast boy and yours is in grave danger.

Justice is dignity in Radnor and the Richard Allen projects.  Justice is no such thing as a prison industrial complex, the need for bail reform or police arbitration.

Justice is walking, driving, flying with confidence that my person will not be subject to varying civil rights violations from unreasonable searches and seizures all the way up to the ultimate civil rights violation – murder with malicious intent.

Justice is every mother feeling nothing but excitement about the future of her children and not perpetual angst that they won’t live to see their 21st birthday!!!!

Justice isn’t striving for a color-blind society but seeing people as they are, in all of their multi-faceted beauty and advocating for them.  

Justice is what God says it is: What does He say it is:

Proverbs 21:15 When justice is done, a righteous person is delighted,but troublemakers are terrified.

Amos 5:24  It rolls down like a mighty stream, the ever-flowing stream of righteousness.  

I want a better America and I know I can’t get it sitting on my butt or even staying on my knees.  I have to put the faith in my feet and get to walking while I talk.  It takes quiet courage, sometimes…it takes the quiet courage of a dear friend of mine who dared to be confrontational when applying for an apartment in West Philly also known by as the bottom.  My friend, who is White, was waiting to hear if he was approved for an apartment. He shared the waiting area with another White gentleman.  This gentlemen wanted to know if he should go through with his application because he’d heard that there were a lot of Black people in the neighborhood. My dear friend, whom I affectionately call “quiet storm” just flat out asked:  “Are you afraid of Black people?”  Oh boy, did this make him uncomfortable. It made my friend uncomfortable also to step outside of his comfort zone.  So, tonight, I, whom no one has EVER referred to as a quiet storm, dare to invite you to be uncomfortable!  Unless you’re comfortable with knowing that we live in two separate worlds.  One for White, one for Black; one for men and one for women; one for Christians and another for sinners (which we all are, by the way)!! In case no one ever told the perfect ones…we are just sinners saved by grace.  One for gay, one for straight, one for rich, one for poor;

If you’re comfortable with that, I am opening up my big, beautiful mouth to shake your apple tree, because someone just might be hanging on it. I don’t want to be stopped and I don’t want to be FRISKED! I don’t want to be Sandra Blanded or Trayvon Martined.  I want to live and I want everyone else to live and LIVE FREE!  I’m daring you to do something for someone other than yourself and those who belong to you.

I’m daring you to help recreate a world that you’ll be proud to have history record that you fought for.

Justice is Just Integrity, Courage and Enthusiasm! Let’s fight to live free together!

Justice and Love,
Darlene SIstrunk