CLINIC stands against anti-black racism
SILVER SPRING, Maryland — CLINIC Executive Director Anna Gallagher issued the following statement, June 4, 2020.
|CLINIC stands against anti-black racism
We at CLINIC join a brokenhearted world in its cries of outrage and condemn the murder of George Floyd and so many other black people throughout the history of the United States. These last two weeks have brought us — as individuals and as a nation — face-to-face with an ugly truth too long ignored or downplayed: anti-black racism is indeed woven through the fabric of our country.
This isn’t news to black people. The outcry about George Floyd and so many other victims has shown that all of us bear responsibility — as individuals, as employers, as institutions, as cities, neighborhoods and communities of faith. CLINIC stands with our colleagues and partners, supporters, and affiliates against these acts of violence, which dehumanize, denigrate and disempower black people. We grieve with the victims of anti-black violence and we are in solidarity with those protesting and demanding change.
Founded on the instruction of Catholic social teaching to care for each other, CLINIC’s network of advocates for immigrant rights serves people from around the world who also suffer from racism and exclusion. They face many of the same systemic problems: over-reliance on arrest and detention in dehumanizing conditions; insurmountable government fees and lack of access to due process and legal counsel; underfunding of health, housing and educational services.
Theologian Father Bryan Massingale keenly observed this week, “It's easy to be overwhelmed by the magnitude of the problem, by the immense weight of centuries of accumulated fear, resentment, privilege and righteous anger.” However, he offered a way forward to guide us.
We will only begin to atone for our national sin of racism, he said, when we take some uncomfortable steps. We must sit in the discomfort this hard truth brings, admit our ignorance and finally do something about it.
As an organization we are closing today, June 4, to honor and remember George Floyd and the thousands like him who have suffered and died because racism is so integrated and accepted into the fabric of our nation.
White silence equals violence.
We will focus on what we can do internally to better understand how racism manifests in our organization and what steps we will take towards positive change. And we will consider how we as a social justice organization will recognize our role in failing to truly challenge a system that excludes our black brothers and sisters.