That was my first thought upon seeing countless posts on Twitter about a shooting in Chapel Hill. By now, many of you have heard about the shooting of Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23, his wife, Yusor Mohammad, 21, and her sister, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19, in North Carolina. Being a student at Wake Forest University, where we have seen our own share of Islamophobic acts toward our own Muslim community and Imam Khalid Griggs, this is close to home. Too close to home. There are no words. There is nothing to be said to make this okay. There is nothing I can say to the friends of mine at Carolina or here at Wake Forest who knew these three beautiful individuals. There are no words.
We search for love, we search for peace, we search for hope, but there is little light to be found in the all-consuming darkness. But, it is there. It can be found in solidarity. In coming together to unite in support of those who are hurting. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” As Baptists, we would be remiss in thinking that this shooting is a distant problem. The problems of the Islamic community are the problems of the Christian community. We are all one. There are no outsiders or others. We are all a part of the fabric of humanity which makes this world the beautiful place it is. When we stand together, stripping away our differences and standing as one, that is when we see the light. That is when we see some hope. There is neither Jew nor Greek, neither slave nor free, neither Muslim nor Christian, neither white nor black, we are all one.
And when we stand as one, we can reach a day when we no longer see hatred and violence everywhere we turn. We can work toward a day when we do not become numb to these kinds of stories from hearing them every day. We can work toward a day when we no longer have to say “Not again.” We can create a culture of peace, a culture of love, a culture of inclusivity where justice has triumphed over the forces of oppression. We can strive forward to the day when justice will roll down like waters, and righteousness like an everflowing stream, for all. We can reach that day, but we have to work for it. We have to unite. We have to stand and carry the refrain together: