22 Oct, 2020
JERUSALEM WEATHER

The people took to complaining bitterly before Hashem. Hashem heard and was incensed: a fire of Hashem broke out against them, ravaging the outskirts of the camp. Numbers 11:1

Racially motivated riots broke out in Kenosha, Wisconsin on Tuesday night. Among the several buildings burned was a church which had a marquee expressing support for Black Lives Matter.

On Sunday, Kenosha police were sent with a warrant to arrest Jacob Blake, a  29-year-old black man. When they arrived, he was in the middle of a domestic dispute. Blake had a history of assaulting police. He also has past charges for domestic abuse & a sex crime.  In the incident on Sunday, Blake was tased and scuffled briefly with officers. A bystander who recorded a video of the incident heard police yelling “drop the knife.” He was shot after he opened his car door, attempting to remove something from inside the car. His children were in the backseat. Blake is currently in serious condition at Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee. Doctors reported that he was paralyzed from the waist down but do not know if the injury will be permanent.

Wisconsin authorities are still investigating the shooting to see if there was any misconduct by any of the officers involved.

Ensuing riots attributed to the BLM movement broke out almost immediately at the scene of the shooting.  A state of emergency was declared for the county starting at 10:15 p.m., with the city lining up garbage trucks in front of the streets surrounding Civic Center Park to stunt civil unrest. Starting at 11:05 p.m., police began using tear gas and rubber bullets in an attempt to disperse crowds, which lasted throughout the night. Near midnight, the rioters set alight fires in front of the windows of the Kenosha County Courthouse and at least three garbage trucks and a trolley car were lit on fire. More than 100 cars were set on fire.  Businesses in the western portion of downtown suffered from arson and burglar. A police officer was struck in the head with a brick, knocking him unconscious.

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers activated the Wisconsin National Guard to protect firefighters and critical infrastructure in Kenosha, a move that was vocally condemned by left-wing organizations including the ACLU. Fire crews worked into Tuesday morning but ultimately failed to extinguish the blazes.Fire crews worked into Tuesday morning but ultimately failed to extinguish the blazes. Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth asserted that most of the damage was from individuals with no intent to protest and who were not from Kenosha County.

Some of the protesters were armed. 

 

Many media outlets are describing the events as “protests.” 

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported that at around 3 a.m., the fire spread to the Bradford Community Church, the marquee of which had read Black Lives Matter before being incinerated.Rev. Erik David Carlson released a statement in the wake of the attack on his church. 

We, the members and clergy of Bradford Community Church Unitarian Universalist, are outraged at the violence perpetuated in the name of law enforcement on our people of color throughout our nation’s history and yesterday in Kenosha in the case of Jacob Blake for whose life we now pray.

Despite the fact that we cannot condone violent response to injustice, we understand and appreciate the anger and frustration that fueled the events of last night.  While we are relieved that our church home mostly survived the inferno in the lot next door, we affirm that we would rather lose 100 buildings than one more life to police violence.

Some folks have already commented that our decision to display “Black Lives Matter” on our road sign in some way contributed to the fire or that our support of the BLM movement is hypocritical or “un-Christian.”  Indeed, all lives do matter to us (that’s what “Universalist” means), but given the overwhelming and disproportionate injustice suffered by Americans of color we are compelled by our faith to speak up and affirm that Black Lives Matter too.

If this is not your faith, so be it, but it is most certainly ours and we ask that all folks be respectful in honoring our sacred calling to speak truth to power, protect the innocent, empower the disenfranchised and promote equity and compassion in human relations. 

It is important to note that in June, 

It is important to note that in June, Shaun King, a controversial leader in the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, called for expanding the destruction of statues of historical figures to include churches and the Christian figure of Jesus, who the New Testament describes as being a Jew from Bethlehem but King described as a “European.” In a tweet, King called for the destruction of stained glass windows, murals, and other parts of churches and buildings that depict Biblical figures as white. I

 

King is a writer, civil rights activist, and co-founder of the left-wing Real Justice PAC. After college, he worked as a high school teacher and later pastored at a church he founded in Atlanta called Courageous Church.