Life + Culture

Don’t Habituate.

Faces of the many people of color who have been killed by policeDon't habituate.


Don't get used to it.


Don't become accustomed to the next hashtag, the next memorial, the next video.

#MeaganHockaday, #MyaHall,

It's just too much. It's easy to become immune. It's easy to want to ignore the pain.


But don't ignore it. Don't habituate.

The scale of our crisis is even more daunting when we remember that deaths at the hands of the authorities have continued for years, decades, centuries. This is not a new phenomenon, just one that only recently was so easy captured and disseminated. How many have been forgotten? How many hundreds have gone unnoticed, unprotected, un memorialized?

We have seen videos and have believed, but "blessed are those who have not seen, yet believe."

Rodney King and Eric Garner
Video isn't always enough

And in reality, these recording might not even make that much difference. Too many times we've seen injustice served up fresh in the face of damning video evidence. As long as there are systems are in place to maintain the status quo, no amount of "proof" will sway the tide.

Indeed, as the flood of evidence accumulates, we are at risk of habituating to them, losing them in the swirl of a fast-paced world. We will continue to uncover more videos, more testimonies. But they will do no good it they don't propel us to greater systemic change.

And how many will it take? How many before we will connect the dots? How many until we expand our view from looking at a single drop of water, to stepping back to see the entire ocean of institutionalized injustice that is before us?

And even should the mountain of evidence grow to compel an arrest, a trial, a sentencing, it is a small comfort until we can affect the sort of change that will prevent these deaths from ever happening in the first place. Because an indictment still leaves an empty seat at the dinner table, and a conviction won't bring loved ones back.

Black man holding sign: "How many more????"

As we've experienced this flood of testimonies, we quickly become numb. We've tried to tune it out, to move on. And we've habituated. We've habituated to death.

But we can't afford to do that. We cannot afford to turn our backs. As the Body of Christ, we cannot afford to lose one more limb, one more essential member.


Don't let these names become meaningless. Instead, bear witness to the toll it takes on your soul.
Yes, it's overwhelming. Yes, it exhausting. Yes, it becomes too much to bear.

That's the point. 

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