I Can’t Breathe! Posted May 29, 2020 by admin@interfaith


Notice During the Covid-19 Outbreak
In solidarity, we at the Interfaith Peace Project stand together in these times of heart break and upset. Some of you may have lost friends or family members. Some of you may have lost your job and your income; some may be working overtime to help with the crisis. Some of you may be home and alone and some may be trying to figure out a new way to live. Please let us know how we can help. If you would like a phone appointment with any of us, give us a call.You may call or email Tom at:
Tom Bonacci
[email protected]
925-787- 9279

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May 29, 2020
Dear Friends,
The murdering of George Floyd by the police on the streets of Minnesota reveals, in a most horrific way, the systemic racism that has infected our Nation from its inception. This is not an isolated incident but the latest eruption of a festering disease that demands treatment. Each and every person living in this Country must take account of themselves and repent for any racism or bigotry they may harbor in their hearts. Otherwise, countless others will cry out, “I can’t breathe!”
In this time of pandemic, we must become more and more aware of how Covid-19 has affected people of poverty and those denied the full resources of healthcare. We suspect that once certain powerful people became aware that the pandemic was afflicting minorities at an alarming rate, the sense of urgency was compromised for the sake of “saving the economy” at the expense of the poor and underprivileged. The lives of “the essential” became dispensable. No wonder so many are crying out, “I can’t breathe!”
How much longer will People of Color need to prepare their children for the day they might become the object of suspicion and scorn on sidewalks, stores, or everyday commerce simply because of the color of their skin? Not a few live in terror that a jog in the park might end in the grave. No wonder they live in the anxiety that soon they too might cry out, “I can’t breathe!”
It is impossible, if not immoral, for authentic religious institutions and leaders to see this epidemic of hatred and racism and not respond. The priorities of any faith group must be based on the right of each and every person to live and to live in peace. If the faith communities do not cry out for justice and hear the cry of the oppressed, will it be any wonder that so many will continue to be murdered as they cry out, “I can’t breathe!”
How is it possible that those in the highest offices of government can be so self-serving and self-concerned while our fellow citizens are languishing in the streets? Underpaid workers only seem to be “essential” when their underpaid labor is desired by a corporate empire that demands welfare for its profits and profiteers. If we do not protest against such injustice, then, no wonder so many will be condemned to cry out, “I can’t breathe!”        
Imagine if we lived in a Nation where the outrage of murdering young black men and boys equaled the outrage at looting and protesting in the streets. No one condones the destruction of property, but common sense demands that we feel the pulse of the anger born of years of oppression and institutionalized racism. Too many innocent people have been murdered by a system that not only denies human rights to minorities but refuses to acknowledge the full humanity of each person they deem as less than human. No wonder, “I can’t breathe!”  
Confrontation and protest can be the greatest expression of love and concern. As a loving parent might correct a child and guide them in the ways of doing what is right and just, so we who raise our voices in protest, do so for the sake of what is right and just. We must hear the cry of the oppressed and work for a Nation reborn in its ideals of “justice and liberty for all.” We must stand up with our sisters and brothers in the streets demanding what rightfully belongs to any human being because they are a human being, so no one will ever need to cry out again, “I can’t breathe!”

Thomas P. Bonacci, C.P. with the Board of Directors
The Interfaith Peace Project