The Josephites look with horror and disbelief at the killing once more of a black man by the police in Minneapolis this week. This is but another tragic and sad reminder of the legacy of America’s original sin of slavery and its aftermath, the continued violence against people of color.
The words of the Lord directed toward Cain in Genesis 4:10, “The voice of your brother’s blood cries out to Me from the ground!” applies here. George Floyd’s blood cries out to America from the sidewalk of Minneapolis.
In the midst of the scourge of this horrible pandemic, America has to cease turning just another blind eye to this event. As well as to others, such as the recent killing of a black jogger, Ahmaud Arbery in a south Georgia neighborhood on February 23rd. That continual legacy of the enslavement of people of African descent, with the lynching of the 1900s and the murder of Emmitt Till in Mississippi in 1955, and numerous others like it, which cause pain and suffering and lead to death.
We must not slack in our vigilance to address the neglect of American society toward African Americans, which is glaringly evident during this pandemic in the differences in healthcare, employment, housing and education.
For over a century, the Society of St. Joseph of the Sacred Heart has dedicated itself toward the needs of African Americans, especially to those of the spirit and the soul, deeply wounded by racism and racial prejudice and to shoulder with them in procuring justice and solidarity and will continue to do so until this land lives up its creed that all are created free.
The Josephites have been ministering in the African-American community since 1871. They currently serve in 43 parishes throughout the United States. You can learn more about the Josephites at www.josephites.org.