April 22, 2021
It is long past time our nation and our church confront white supremacy
Washington, D.C. – The Franciscan Action Network welcomes this week’s verdict in the Derek Chauvin case as a long-overdue milestone in police accountability. This decision does not and cannot erase the pain caused by these acts of violence, and while it is a step forward for the United States, we echo President Biden who said, “it is not enough.” As we acknowledge this, we cry out for justice as we mourn the killing of 20-year-old Daunte Wright, 13-year-old Adam Toledo, and 16-year old Ma’Khia Bryant at the hands of the police.
People of color in the United States still fear for their lives on a regular basis. Structural racism and white supremacy are the root causes of this fear. The sins of racism and white supremacy scar every American institution, including our church and our police forces. They must be addressed, confronted, challenged, and dismantled — and Franciscan Action Network commits to standing shoulder-to-shoulder with those in that struggle and work with them to build a more just and equitable society.
We recognize our privilege as an all-white staff and the need to continue to speak out for justice as people of faith and as fellow citizens. After the death of George Floyd, Pope Francis said that addressing the sin of racism is a life issue and that people of faith should not ignore it. Far too many people, including ourselves, have ignored it for too long. Franciscans and Franciscan-hearted people cannot be silent.
Together, we must work to make our nation and our church anti-racist and to advocate for justice for Daunte Wright, Adam Toledo, Ma’Khia Bryant, and all people of color whose lives have been lost and remain at risk from police misconduct. And while we advocate for institutional change, we also recognize that we must begin this work within ourselves and our own white communities.