Reverend Billy's Thanksgiving Message

10410417_10152394671095974_5851512241122187438_n.jpgIn a St. Louis motel, 7 AM. Down in lobby, the TV on the wall: Macy’s Day Parade prep, super-sized Toy Soldiers, Captain America, SpongeBog SquarePants. Next up: Santa selling a big silver pickup truck. Next up: 12 yr old Tamir Rice on surveillance tape, playing shoot-em-up in a park, the cop car pulls up, the child shot immediately. 

It is official: Our cops can’t think. The policeman who killed John Crawford in the Wal-mart thought he was in Afghanistan. How did his idea of fighting for one’s country get so distorted? He had the impression that a black man was holding people hostage. In fact, John Crawford was buying a bb gun but then got call from his kid’s mom on the cell and stood there with the air-gun in his hand. The cop burst in, inside his parallel universe, inside his racist hallucination.

How do we step back from this mis-firing of the American mind? Finally, the pounding into our heads of thousands of media exposures – seems to be catching up to our ability to conduct everyday life. 

We need Thanksgiving to be a real holiday this year. Thanking your loved ones and giving back is not merely symbolism. Being thankful for your health, for your family, for your friends - it is crucially real. Giving thanks is the fastener of compassion. Giving thanks is what a prayer is. It stops being a creative personal action when it expresses the profit center of Consumerism and Militarism. Not this year!

Next up: Michael Brown’s mother, in our studio. Next up: Crowds waiting in the snow and ice for their door-buster sales! Next up: Ferguson ministers ask us not to shop.