I think the most important thing that white people can do to help with the Black Lives Matter movement, is to listen to and amplify Black voices talking about their own experience. This isn’t about me. We shouldn’t be the center of attention. Obviously I’m a blogger and I get paid to talk, so I’ve been talking a lot about my experience. But right now, I just want you to listen to someone very important who can talk about this with much more authority than me.
This is a video of an interview with Father Bryan Massingale, a Black Catholic priest who is a professor of theology at Fordham University and the author of ““Racial Justice and the Catholic Church.” He recently sat down for an interview with America magazine, and the whole thing was posted to YouTube.
Please watch the whole thing:
“It made me realize, if I may be a theological geek for a moment, how many white Christians believe in the “immaculate conception.” Now we all know that the Immaculate Conception refers to the Catholic belief that that Mary was preserved from original sin and she was sinless throughout her life, and was not scarred by the sins of the culture around her. And what strikes me, is that many white Americans believe that they alone are among the privileged few who are unscathed, unscarred, unmarked by the racism that surrounds them– that somehow they are the exception. And to me, that’s what Amy Cooper shows. Amy Cooper was, by all accounts, a “good person.” Yet she knew, in a moment of crisis, what to say and what to do to capitalize on how race works in America. I think with many white people, that’s a realization they don’t want to face. “
O Mary, conceived without sin, Miriam of Nazareth who was herself a woman of color, a member of an oppressed race in an occupied country, Mary whose Son was lynched by European conquerors, help us to listen to what our brothers and sisters have to say. Help us to remember that we are not unscarred by the racism of our culture. Amen.
Please do listen to this whole interview and take it to heart!
Image via Pixabay
Mary Pezzulo is the author of Meditations on the Way of the Cross.
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