#BlackLivesMatter. Black Lives Matter. On Twitter, on streets, in the News. The very phrase makes temperatures rise. And it should. To be clear, Black Lives Matter does not mean no other lives matter. It means that black lives have never “mattered” and still don’t matter in the United States (and other countries), and they should. Intentionally marginalized economically, socially, spiritually by Catholic White America — the predominant demographic of the Vincentian Family in the United States — it’s time Black Lives Matter -ed to the Family in a public, political way. Let’s think about Missouri — the United States’s Vincentian “Berceau.”
In the September 20th edition of the New York Times, Nicole D. Nelson wrote,
On Aug. 9, 2014, Mike Brown was killed by Darren Wilson, a police officer in the St. Louis suburb Ferguson, Mo. What followed were months of overwhelmingly nonviolent protests that were policed by law enforcement officers who wore riot gear, shook their batons at protesters and took joy-rides in heavily armored military vehicles. In November 2014, a grand jury decided not to indict Mr. Wilson, and a few months later federal investigators cleared him of any wrongdoing.
Three years later, change the names to Anthony Lamar Smith and Jason Stockley, and here we are again.
You can’t yet say # Black Lives Matter in St. Louis. Where is the Vincentian Family in this? Are we standing along side the poor and the marginalized? Does the seething anger frighten us? Does someone know if we are involved and how?
Nelson comments and questions:
All of this is exhausting. The insensitivity. The mockery of real struggle and pain. The disregard. The arrogance.
When will Black Lives Matter in St. Louis? Which local leaders will finally step up and stop the government from continuing its long, complicated and devastating history of racism?
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