Tat-siong Benny Liew
Professor, New Testament, College of the Holy Cross
Good grief: Mourning as Remembrance and Protest
Starting with the bushfires in Australia, the year 2020 has been difficult for many around the world. Things are made even more difficult in the USA under the incompetent but impetuous and imperialistic Trumpian regime. Trump’s lassitude toward the Coronavirus crisis lays bare that he values the economy over humanity, while his response to the protests for black lives against police brutality in Washington D.C., Portland, Chicago, and Seattle demonstrates that he would not hesitate to use not only violence or even the military but also religion to safeguard and (r)e(i)n-force his business-first policies. In this time of many deaths and much dread, with many feeling what Du Bois calls “not hopelessness but unhopeful,” this paper argues that our continual grief and mourning are much more than psychologically cathartic, but can function as a productive force to insist that things could have been different.