By The Very Rev. Kelly Brown Douglas
Easter morning makes clear that God will not tolerate crucifying realities that deny the sacred dignity and life of any human being.
Laquan McDonald, by three years old, was a ward of the state. Passed around through various foster and relative’s homes, he was emotionally and physically abused. On October 20, 2014, he was murdered by a Chicago police officer.
Jakelin Amei Rosmery Caal Maquín was Q’eqchi’-Maya, from Raxruhá, Guatemala. Driven from their land and caught in the “crosshairs” of drug wars Q’eqchi’ people are among the “poorest of the poor” in Guatemala. On December 8, 2018, Jakelin died in the custody of the US Border Patrol as a refugee seeking asylum with her father.
Ashanti Carmon at 16 was “rejected by her family” because she was a transgender woman. Homeless, she slept on friend’s couches and in budget motels. She picked up jobs wherever she could, relying sometimes on sex work. On March 30, 2019—the day before Transgender Visibility Day—she was killed by multiple gunshots at the northeast border between Washington D.C. and Maryland.
Laquan, Jakelin and Ashanti were victimized by crucifying systems, structures and cultures of neglect, poverty, and transphobia. The resurrection of Jesus is God’s definitive response to such crucifying realities.
The Easter resurrection firmly establishes that God does not in any way sanction the unjust suffering of human beings. It reveals the essential character of God’s love— a love that is justice and hence values life. It makes plain the “sinfulness” of crucifixions. Jesus’ resurrection