Letter from the Nisut (AUS) on Racism, Police Violence, and the Current Moment
Em hotep to the children of the Netjeru!
I wish to send a letter of solidarity and love to all our Black family, wherever you are, as we continue here in the USA and also in some other places in the world, to speak out against ongoing police brutality and the murders of Black people by those police. I am hopeful that you are staying safe, and whatever you need, I am here for you in any way that is appropriate. I’m sending you all my love and strength as we continue to fight for an end to this ceaseless assault on Black lives. As an Indigenous person I am intimately familiar with the ongoing trauma of colonial and carceral violence; I cannot speak for you and will not, but I will declare myself an ally and will do my best to help educate and direct other allies in our shared goals to end the killing and tear down those white supremacist systems that encourage it.
For my non-Black family in Kemetic Orthodoxy or for any potential members who might be considering our religion: EGYPT IS IN AFRICA. Our deities, the mighty, beloved, and incredible Netjeru of Kemet, are African gods. It is imperative for anyone who honors deities from a sacred land on the African continent to have a concern for all living people from Africa or whose ancestors are from Africa. Black people are African people. Their ancestors come from the same world the Kemetic ancestors (Akhu) we honor in every single Kemetic Orthodox ceremony came from. If you are not Black and you think it’s okay to remove the Blackness from Kemetic religion, I think you need to have a long and hard talk with Ma’at about that. While Kemetic Orthodoxy is open to all people regardless of their ethnic backgrounds, we affirm that Kemet is African, that Kemetic deities are African, and that it is impossible to remove Kemet from Africa, theologically or mentally. Racism and anti-Black sentiments are an abomination to Ma'at and have no place in our religion or our temple communities.
Black lives matter. Black people should not be murdered by the police in the United States or any other country. Kemetic people, the people of Ma’at, should not disagree with either of those statements. What will you say before Ma’at at the end of your lives, if you had this opportunity to come out in favor of life and justice - and did nothing? There are things that you can to do help Black people right now. It doesn’t necessarily take money, and not everybody has to go to a protest to help out. (I recommend that you do not if you don’t think you can handle it. When we can’t do that kind of work there is always something else we can do.) There are many pressing needs in the movement to hold police accountable for systematic racism and violence. At absolute minimum, you can pray. I find that the lines in the Sekhmet prayer I gave you for COVID-19 (see http://www.nisut.org/2020/03/a-prayer-to-sekhmet-for-our-times.html ) , about “evil contamination,” certainly apply to the behavior of the police in the murder of George Floyd, and the failure so far of the Minneapolis Police Department to bring all of the officers involved to justice
More links for education and help: https://tinyurl.com/yd5r9ke8
The only way out is through, and the only way through is together. Let our Black family and friends lead the way, and don’t leave them in the midst of it. To be an ally is to walk with the people you’re protecting, not over them or without them. Continue to speak up against racism and violence wherever you encounter it. Let us do Ma’at together, in order that more Ma’at will be done.
Rev. Dr. Tamara L. Siuda