THE SOUTH SHALL RISE ANEW
The lowering of the Confederate Battle flag on Friday, July 10, 2015, marks a significant time in the moral conscience of our Nation. One can only hope that this monumental victory is not perceived as the end of the struggle against prejudice and racism. The quest for racial equality, fair housing, voters rights, judicial reform, and employment opportunities is very much part of our contemporary agenda as a people and a Nation. The lowering of the flag that came to symbolize prejudice and injustice is a powerful turning point urging us to continue the pursuit of what is right and just. People of Color have suffered long enough.
It was a deeply emotional moment when the honor guard, who so solemnly presided over the slain body of Rev. Clementa Pinckney, also formally removed the flag that symbolized oppression and intolerance. The Interfaith Peace Project stands in solidarity with the people of South Carolina whose quest for justice challenges the Nation to confront racial injustice and discrimination. We continue to hold the victims of the brutal murders and their families in our hearts. We pray that no more people will need to die for justice and peace to prevail.
We believe this is a turning point in our National consciousness. As people of all races, classes, creeds, and age stood together as the flag was lowered for the last time, the Nation was born anew in the light of a future in which intolerance could be transformed into mutual respect for all peoples. We applaud the State legislators of South Carolina and the courageous response of Governor Nikki Haley to do what was right transcending the traditional political expediencies. What seemed impossible a few weeks ago now gives us hope as powerful people and faithful citizens embraced their common humanity and stood in solidarity against every form of hatred and injustice.
Let us pause to offer a prayer of gratitude for what has been accomplished. Let us beg for the grace to do what needs to be done to truly become one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
Thomas P. Bonacci, C.P.
With The Interfaith Peace Project
Board of Directors