Facing the violence of systemic racism

Pax Christi USA, a national section of Pax Christi International, has published this statement (28 May) and this statement (1 June) in response to the horrific murder of George Floyd on 22 May at the hands of Minneapolis police officers. (The Catholic Nonviolence Initiative is a project of Pax Christi International.)

We also encourage you to read Chicago’s Cardinal Blase Cupich’s recent statement on the murder of George Floyd.

Pax Christi USA’s statement reminds us that, in order to be truly nonviolent, we first must recognize the violences that permeate our culture and way of life, such as racism and racist social structures, upon which the United States was built and continues to operate. Over and over again, we see the consequences of systemic and structural violence in, for example, poverty and inequality, vulnerability to Covid19, the abusive treatment of migrants and refugees, mass incarceration, as well as the abuse and killing of African Americans by police officers.

We are called to always value human life above property, and to help build powerful, creative, effective nonviolent strategies to end the scourge of racism and to dismantle racism social structures.

Photo credit, Geoff Livingston, via CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

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