December 11, 2014
We are encouraged by the rise of our Nation’s conscience in the protests that have and are taking place across the United States. It is our prayer that the final days of racism are here. The systematic racism that has infected our society and culture must be eradicated by the pursuit of justice and fairness in every aspect of our way of life.
We must ensure our educational programs confront the issues of slavery so as to not compromise the human dignity of all peoples especially people of color. We must help our students realize the horrific nature of slavery and the embedded racism it fostered.
Politicians must be confronted when they idealize the plantation system which divided our Nation and injured those whose dignity and freedom was denied.
We must confront the dehumanization of people of color. We especially abhor the attacks on men and boys of color. This situation calls for immediate action by all agencies of justice. The politicization of this issue and irresponsible media analysis has resulted in the destruction of too many people.
While all of us long and hope for peaceful protests, we must understand the frustration and anger that underlies the violence that sometimes erupts in the midst of protest. Responsible analysis will identify that frustration and help the general public understand the issues and respond accordingly.
Interfaith Councils and agencies must review whether or not they are responding to the systematic racism that threatens the well-being and lives of so many people who constitute the so-called minority population. In fact, Interfaith leadership groups must make sure they have adequate representation from “minority” faith communities. The presence of people of color on Interfaith Boards fosters the solidarity needed to redress the issues that have emerged in the latest surge of violence against black men and boys. Racism is an interfaith concern demanding an interfaith response challenging the leaders of our society to ensure the rights of all peoples especially people of color who have suffered long enough.
The Interfaith Peace Project stands in solidarity this Sunday, December 14, 2014, as our wearing of black proclaims the mantra of justice: “BLACK LIVES MATTER!” Please see the letter by Bishop Lawrence Reddick here. Consider standing in solidarity with our black brothers and sisters as united we stand for what is right and just.
Rev. Thomas P. Bonacci, C.P.
With The Interfaith Peace Project
Board of Directors