'They have healed the wound of my people lightly, saying 'Peace, peace' when there is no peace."
That complaint by Jeremiah 2,600 years ago, when he walked a land torn with dissension and anguish, is as relevant today as when it was first uttered. We want peace in our society but not at the price of accepting brutality by police or decisions like the acquittals announced April 29 in the trial of the four Los Angeles policemen who beat Rodney King.
The racism that lies just below the surface in our society provokes good people to make bad decisions. The verdict in Simi Valley was just such a bad decision. It drives some people wild. The rioting and burning in Los Angeles was just such a response. It makes others of us cry out in anguish and anger to demand that our society awaken to the racism within it.
We call on our own people and those outside our religions to recognize the cancer of racism growing in our midst.
We will not be silent again when we see blacks beaten or consigned to ghettos. We will not keep still when we see Hispanics hounded by immigration officials or exploited by greedy employers.
We will not turn away when the next swastika is painted on a temple wall or a Jewish business person is driven out of business. We will not listen quietly when a friend or parishioner tells an ethnic joke or uses a racial slur.
We will not cry "Peace, Peace" when there is no peace.
Rev. RICHARD WESTON-JONES
Unitarian Universalist Church
Rabbi MICHAEL BERK
Temple Beth Torah