Message from our Executive Director: “We cannot remain silent” on racism, systemic injustice

In response to the May 25 death of George Floyd and the resulting protests and unrest that have roiled America and New Jersey since, our Executive Director Marlene Laó-Collins offers the following statement:

It is difficult to put into words the pain and grief I am experiencing as I watch the anger erupting in our communities as result of the killing of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis Police. The video was difficult to watch without feeling a deep sense of remorse and anger. This blatant disregard for the life of another human being is deplorable and goes against my values, the values of Catholic Charities, Diocese of Trenton and Catholic Social Teaching.

Unfortunately, this is not the first time we have witnessed atrocities against people of color, especially black men. We cannot and should not remain silent in the face of racism and the systemic injustice that so many experience. The riots and destruction we are witnessing are disturbing, and I don’t condone these acts. But they are clearly a sign of a greater disease in our society, the disgrace that we as a society have become tone-deaf to the plight of African Americans and people of color. To quote the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.: “A riot is the language of the unheard.” He wasn’t condoning violence, but challenging us to vigorously condemn the conditions that drive people to riot.

People of good will must not let this time pass without joining in solidarity to condemn and actively work to change the social injustice that leaves a segment of our society disenfranchised. Let us join in prayer for the outpouring of Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with love for each other regardless of color or creed, and courage to condemn all forms of racism.

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For more information, contact Dana DiFilippo, Catholic Charities communications, at ddifilippo@cctrenton.org or (215) 756-6277 (cell).

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