We at CCS are deeply saddened by the death of George Floyd. Our values of Love, Justice, Truth and Freedom call us not only to speak out against such injustice but to be diligent in pulling it up at the root in our personal and professional lives, listening to the voices of those who would be silenced, and welcoming their influence on our work and actions.
We have reflected on and wish to share the words of Archbishop Gomez:
George Floyd’s murder was senseless and brutal, a sin that cries out to heaven for justice. How is it possible that an African American man is killed in the United States of America until the calls for help are not answered and that his murder is recorded while it occurs?
I am praying for George Floyd and his loved ones, and on behalf of my brother bishops, I share the outrage of the African American community and those who are with them in Minneapolis, Los Angeles and across the country. The cruelty and violence he suffered does not reflect most of the good men and women who are part of the police forces, who carry out their duties with honor. We know. And we trust that the civil authorities are going to investigate this murder very carefully and are going to make sure that those who committed the crime are responsible.
We must all understand that the protests we are seeing in our cities reflect the justified frustration and anger of millions of our brothers and sisters, who even today experience humiliation and inequality just because of their race and skin color. This should not happen in the United States. Racism has long been tolerated as part of our way of life.
It is true what Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. said that protests are the language of those who are not heard. We must be listening carefully right now. At this time, we must not stop listening to what people are saying through their pain. We need, once and for all, to root out the racial injustice that still infects many areas of American society.
But the violence of recent nights is self-destructive and counterproductive. Nothing is gained by violence and much is lost. Let’s keep our eyes on the price of truth and lasting change. Legitimate protests should not be exploited by people with different values and agendas. Burning and plundering communities, destroying our neighbor’s daily livelihood does not allow us to advance in the cause of racial equality and human dignity.
We must not let it be said that George Floyd died in vain. We must honor the sacrifice of his life by removing racism and hatred from our hearts and renewing our commitment to fulfill the sacred promise of our nation, to be a beloved community of life, liberty and equality for all.