On July 26, the Dominican Sisters Conference issued a public statement on eradicacting race-based violence, calling for “personal and national soul-searching” as a step toward eradicating the racist systems that wound our nation. Here is the text:
We are deeply pained and outraged at the increase in the number of police killings of innocent African American citizens – an alarming indicator of the way Black people are being dehumanized, marginalized and devalued. We cry out with our Black brothers and sisters that #BlackLivesMatter – the epidemic killings must stop!
We also deplore the horrifying sniper killings of police officers that took place in Dallas as well as the shootings of police officers in other cities. As Rev. Martin Luther King said, “Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.”
The race-based violence in our country is, as President Obama said, “an American issue” that confronts every one of us, individually and systemically. We pray for all victims of violence and their grieving families. And we call on all of us to engage in personal and national soul-searching on the evils of our socialization in racist systems and the steps we must take to detoxify our hearts and the heart of our nation. We may again draw on Rev. King and his Christ-inspired words for guidance: “Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”