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March 24, 2021
Jenny Choi, left, and Kristi You place flowers Wednesday at the entrance of Gold Spa, one of three locations where deadly shootings happened Tuesday in the Atlanta area. (Chris Aluka Berry for The Washington Post)
‘It’s race, class, and gender together’: Why the Atlanta killings aren’t just about one thing. - via The Washington Post
“As [Jesus] approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. ” - Luke 19:41-42 (NRSV)
"If you had only known on this day what would bring you peace."

Jesus’ words from Luke’s retelling of the entrance into Jerusalem seem to haunt our nation as we are still seeking answers and justice following the murder of eight people (six who were Asian women) in Georgia. 

We don’t know what will bring us peace and so instead, we gravitate toward easy, individualistic answers. That’s why I’m grateful for the thoughtful reflection of Monica Hesse in her piece, “‘It’s race, class, and gender together’: Why the Atlanta killings aren’t just about one thing.” Explaining the intersections of gender, class, and race in the recent murders, she writes: “[The killer] chose businesses where the employees were not just women but Asian women, not just Asian women but lower-wage Asian women in a fetishized profession.”

This insistence upon an intersectional analysis is not a new assertion, especially from women of color. As Audre Lorde wrote in her essay “Age, Race, Class, and Sex: Women Redefining Difference: “The future of our earth may depend upon the ability of all women to identify and develop new definitions of power and new patterns of relating across difference. The old definitions have not served us, nor the earth that supports us."

And so, as Christians, as we steady ourselves to stay near Jesus even when it is difficult in the holiest of weeks ahead. I pray that we also stay near those intersections, those uneasy, converging, disquieting answers. I pray that the spiritual practice of discomfort this Holy Week might teach us to be uncomfortable with singular explanations and strategies that divide and silence the beautiful, painful complexities of human lives.
Support Asian American and Pacific Islander communities as they advocate for themselves. Learn more and donate at
Holy One,
As we consider the intersections of two pieces of wood
Of holy life and human violence 
This week
Help us also to stay open
To the intersections of privilege and pain,
Opportunity and oppression
In each of our lives.
Gift us with uneasy answers
And patience for the ambiguity 
As we stay near Jesus,
Stay near the cross,
Stay near our siblings,
Mourning and afraid,
Waiting for more than three days.
Rev. Billy Kluttz (@bekluttz) works as Associate Pastor at Govans Presbyterian Church in Baltimore, Maryland.
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