Fr. Paddy’s Blog

We are seeing now in the cities throughout America, the kind of violence that comes after justice is denied, and after oppression has lived in a land and amongst a people for far too long.

What you see on American streets now is a cry from the oppressed. It’s a cry from those who have been left out and looked over far too long. They are exercising their 1st Amendment rights. We don’t condone rioting. We don’t condone burning. We don’t condone looting. And we don’t condone irresponsible lawlessness. But neither can we condone racism and injustice, which has been in this American community for over 400 years, starting even before it became a nation in 1776.

America’s national sin is injustice. America’s national sin is systemic racism. America’s national sin is the denial to give opportunity to those who have been oppressed, left out, locked out, and given almost nothing to survive on for over 400 years in their nation.

What we’re seeing in America, is a new brand of   activism. Young blacks, young whites, young browns, college students who are out of school now because of COVID-19. They are now fed up and tired, and they’re standing tall. They’re standing toe-to-toe with authorities asking for denied justice.

Dr. Martin Luther King said that protest is simply the voice of the unheard. People like George Floyd, who suffered by a brutal murder, have been unheard too long. Millions across the Globe are standing now to demand justice. What you’re seeing now is simply America being called upon to pay the taxes for the racism and injustice that’s gone on far too long. If society want to stop paying the taxes for the wrong, then it also has to sit down and hammer out a new agenda where everybody’s included.

Racism is a virus that is not contained just in the U.S. but in every community across our planet. Here in Ireland in recent days I have listened to many testimonies regarding how people are judged and prejudiced because of the colour of their skin and unique ethnicity. The scandal of Direct    Provision System in this Republic will be lamented by future generations. It’s tolerated by the establishment because of the toxic silence of xenophobia on the ground.

Coronavirus has given us all an incredible opportunity to experience something of the vulnerability that so many of our brothers and sisters of humanity have lived with always.

With newly opened eyes, we should be meeting each other with compassion and empathy and accountability. And yet, hate and polarization dig in, and we squander the life-giving wisdom we could gain!

We are threatened by infection on the rise from not only one pandemic but two. There is COVID-19 and there is the deadly virus of white supremacy. Each have their super spreaders.

Science has guided us in flattening the curve of one. Let us pray that Holy Spirit, She who dwells in all people and creates unity across diversity, will offer the vaccine and cure for the other.

Matthew 25:35-40 

For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’  Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’  And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’