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Racism and Violence Must Stop

August 14, 2017

The Sisters of Mercy of the Americas join with all who are suffering with grief, anger and utter bewilderment at the display of racism, white supremacy and violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, this past weekend. Our hearts and prayers go out to the families and friends affected by the deaths of Heather Heyer and two police officers, Lieutenant H. Jay Cullen and Trooper-Pilot Berke M. Bates, and the many injured.

Tragedies like this one continue to spotlight our society's institutionalized structural racism. While this latest incident has caught the attention of our nation, we know that every day people of color in this country feel threatened by its impact. Our ongoing failure to see ourselves and all of creation as one perpetuates our separation; our sense of “we” and “they” only serves to diminish all of us.

As Sisters of Mercy, we believe that racism is an evil affecting us all. We continue to call ourselves to pray and be present with others working to recognize and systemically dismantle racism and build a culture of nonviolence. We stand in solidarity with all who speak out to proclaim the power of our Gospel of love and the values and principles of dignity consistent with Catholic Social Teaching.

This bold display of hateful rhetoric and action impels us to call on elected leaders, and all people, to explicitly and publicly condemn white supremacy and racism and the organizations that embolden and encourage the movement.

May this grieving time call us to search our hearts and ask, what are the ways in which we perpetuate this culture of violence and fear? What actions will we take in response? What truths will we speak to contribute to dialogue that brings unity, peace and comfort to those who are afraid?

We must continue to act.

PHOTO: August 13, 2017 - Vigil for Charlottesville, Virginia held outside the White House.

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