No Safe Way to Protest

The Reverend David Nui, pastor Nevada City United Methodist Church

(Regarding whether we should hold a demonstration for racial justice after violent white supremacists attacked a previous one.)

This is a challenging time and we cannot allow the injustices and the violence to dominate our lives and our community. Fear is what the counter-peace protestors want to instill in anyone who wants to voice their grievances regarding the systemic racism that has taken over everything; from politics to the economy, to education and, yes, unfortunately, even Christianity.

For any action to have the impact that is called for, TIMING is everything. Action is needed when everyone perks up and takes notice. To wait until it is safe is a figment of one’s imagination. Was there ever a peaceful protest not met with violence? Was there ever a peaceful protest welcomed by those whose hearts are filled with hatred and racism? There is no safe way to protest. There is no right way to protest. There has not been one in the past and there will be none in the future. That is just the nature of protesting. If one wants to have safe actions, it would be best to have that action in one’s own backyard or living room. One must accept the risks of going against the grain. Many of the rights that we are taking for granted today were fought for with blood, sweat, and tears. That is the kind of risk that one has to take if a real change is demanded. Otherwise, the safest place is home where the change needed will never come by.

“True peace is not merely the absence of tension: it is the presence of justice.” MLK Jr.

“Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord, your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9.

Pastor Dave Niu

Nevada City United Methodist Church