DignityUSA Condemns Racism, White Supremacy in Wake of Recent Killings of Black People
“It is not possible to be in favor of justice for some people and not be in favor of justice for all people.”
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
As a Catholic justice-seeking organization, DignityUSA is compelled to condemn the systemic racism that has resulted in the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery as well as the deaths of many other African-Americans at the hands of current and former police officers just this past year and going back many decades. And even more than these deaths, we recognize the oppression and inequality that our siblings of color have experienced for generations, most pointedly in the Black community. Our faith demands that we honor the dignity of every human being and work to dismantle structures that marginalize and oppress people, even when that work means renouncing our own comfort and privilege.
DignityUSA has fought for justice for LGBTQI people for over fifty years. We have stood for equality and respect in both our Church and in society. Over time, we have come to understand the intersectionality of all justice movements and have embraced the challenge to deepen understanding and re-align our mission and work. The recent death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and the resulting surge of deeply felt pain and anger in Black communities across our nation marks a true turning point for us and for our society. It is time for us to stand in solidarity with the Black community, and all communities of color in a more visible and intentional way.
As members of the Body of Christ, we share the pain of these wounded bodies, families and communities. We affirm that Black lives matter, we condemn police violence and we pledge to work in common cause with those organizations seeking to dismantle racist systems so we can be real agents of greater healing and reconciliation. Only by doing this can we help to bring about justice for all.
In these next days, we will be highlighting organizations, resources, and initiatives that support the work of dismantling racism and other forms of inequality. Our local Dignity Chapters and our allies will be asked to join with us in doing the hard work of addressing our own personal prejudices and listening to those who sit with us who have been harmed by racism. We challenge you and ourselves to learn more about the systems and institutions that sustain white privilege, and to identify what actions can be taken to call out injustices and respond clearly and consistently, bringing our best efforts and resources to join in this fight. As a first step, today DignityUSA’s leadership is calling on our members, partners, chapters and allies to read, pray about, and discuss “The assumptions of white privilege and what we can do about it,” by Rev. Bryan Massingale.
Let us be the worthy partners, supporters, healers and justice workers required of our calling as Christians and as siblings to all who are marginalized and harmed, especially in solidarity with the Black community.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES (List in development):
Books: Racial Justice and the Catholic Church, Rev. Bryan N. Massingale
Me and White Supremacy, Layla F. Saad