One of the reasons I love Guardian Angels is our parish commitment to living the Gospel of Jesus through serving others and working for social justice. One week ago George Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis Police officer while three other officers stood by and watched. The reaction to this injustice was swift and powerful with massive peaceful protests across the Twin Cities and other major cities in our country. Riots and looting followed and curfews and crackdown by police and National Guard forces ensued. How do we make sense of this past week? Where is the hope for healing race relations in our state and nation moving forward?
One thing my wife and I did to process this week was to go for a drive and talk with our children about racism. We talked about the original sin of our nation- slavery and the ugly and lasting impact it has on society today. We shared stories on how racism was passed along to us in families and in power systems. We talked about how we as white people need to listen to experience of African Americans to better understand their reality. We hope our children’s generation does a better job of creating a more equitable and just world than we have now.
Our parish Long Range Strategic Plan says, “We will act with justice to change systems and structures that stand in the way of human rights and dignity for all.” So today we stand in solidarity with our parishioners of color as we grieve for George Floyd, his family and friends, and for all those who are oppressed by racism in our world. Those of us who are white may find it difficult to know how to help. It starts with listening to the experience of the oppressed and organizations that are leading advocates in this area. I am also passing along a list of actions that I found helpful as a starting point to do some concrete actions to work toward racial justice.