A Catholic response to racism

Racism is learned behavior, and Catholics can play a significant role in breaking down the walls of racism by taking a “hands on” approach to creating pillars of mutual respect and understanding built on the firm foundation of covenant relationship.

People in Tulsa, Okla., talk during a racial injustice protest June 20, 2020. (CNS photo/Shannon Stapleton, Reuters)

“Sooner or later, all the people of the world will have to discover a way to live together in peace, and thereby transform this pending cosmic elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood.”  The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke these eloquent words almost fifty-six years ago when he accepted the Nobel Peace Prize. He went on to say that if peace and racial equality are to be achieved, “man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression, and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.” Dr. King is speaking of a love rooted in faith, a faith that acknowledges that “God is love, and he who lives in love, lives in God and God lives in him” (Jn 4:16). Racial injustice and prejudice are antithetical to love, truth, freedom, and peace.

In order to adequately address issues of race, it is important to define our terms. Prejudice, with regard to race, is a preconceived notion about someone that is not based on any factual or objective experience, and often leads to stereotyping. Racism is prejudice or discrimination directed toward someone of a different race rooted in the belief that one race is superior to another. For example, during the course of a conversation I was having with an acquaintance, they learned that I am from the Newark, NJ area. The person assumed, therefore, that I grew up poor and surrounded by gangs. This individual clearly expressed a prejudicial opinion based in ignorance, but the sentiment itself is not necessarily racist. Organizations like the Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacist groups, however, would most certainly be racist.

All of us, to some extent, harbor some level of prejudice. If I am speaking to someone from the South, for example, I often assume they like to eat shrimp and grits. This assumption is not based in fact but simply anecdotal on my part. Since I know lots of Southerners who enjoy shrimp and grits, I ignorantly assumed that all Southerners like it as well. Many of our prejudices or ideas of racial superiority are learned. We consume images and soundbites from television, movies, and social media that inundate us with caricatures of various races that are often belittling and derisive and, even if only subliminally, plant seeds of half-truths in the minds and hearts of the viewer or listener. When you see, for example, images of black people as slaves, domestics, and gang members day after day and year after year, these portrayals work their way into our psyche and unintentionally become, to some extent, “true” or “the way it is.”

Prejudiced and racist attitudes of individuals also infiltrate institutional structures and organizations, thus forming the foundation for systemic racism. Slavery, Jim Crow laws, apartheid, and the Dred Scott v. John F. Sanford Supreme Court decision are clear examples of this. Even in the history of the Church, Catholic leaders and organizations chose to follow civil law rather than the law of God by owning slaves, implementing segregation in the churches, and excluding minorities from participation in the life of the Church. The residual effects of these attitudes are still felt by many Catholics of color today.

That said, we must be careful with the term “institutional racism.” In order to factually claim that an institution is racist, you must show that the institution actively promotes racism through official or unofficial policies, procedures, directives, etc. that enshrine the belief that one race is superior to another. Institutional racism must be distinguished from individuals within institutions who continue to hold prejudiced and racist attitudes. The Church herself, founded by Jesus Christ, is not racist, but there are undoubtedly individuals within the Church (both clergy and laity) who are racists. Likewise, law enforcement agencies, in and of themselves, are not racist, but there are unquestionably individuals within those agencies who exhibit prejudice or are blatantly racist. We must recognize the fact that we are all sinners in need of God’s mercy and that we are still dealing with the effects of original sin.

If we are honest, it must acknowledged that the Church in the United States has been slow to respond to racism. It has only been in the last sixty years that racism has been addressed in any significant way. In their pastoral letter Brothers and Sisters to Us, published in 1979, the bishops stated:

Racism is an evil which endures in our society and in our Church. Despite apparent advances and even significant changes in the last two decades, the reality of racism remains. In large part, it is only external appearances which have changed. In 1958, we spoke out against the blatant forms of racism that divided people through discriminatory laws and enforced segregation. We pointed out the moral evil that denied human persons their dignity as children of God and their God-given rights. A decade later in a second pastoral letter we again underscored the continuing scandal of racism and called for decisive action to eradicate it from our society. We recognize and applaud the readiness of many Americans to make new strides forward in reducing and eliminating prejudice against minorities. We are convinced that the majority of Americans realize that racial discrimination is both unjust and unworthy of this nation.

Racism is a sin: a sin that divides the human family, blots out the image of God among specific members of that family, and violates the fundamental human dignity of those called to be children of the same Father. Racism is the sin that says some human beings are inherently superior and others essentially inferior because of race. It is the sin that makes racial characteristics the determining factor for the exercise of human rights. It mocks the words of Jesus: “Treat the others the way you would have them treat you.” Indeed, racism is more than a disregard for these words of Jesus; it is a denial of the truth of the dignity of each human being revealed by the mystery of the Incarnation. 

On September 9, 1984, the feast of St. Peter Claver, the ten black bishops of the United States at that time issued a ground-breaking document on evangelization and the black Catholic community called What We Have Seen and Heard. In that letter, the bishops wrote:

Black people know what freedom is because we remember the dehumanizing force of slavery, racist prejudice, and oppression. No one can understand so well the meaning of the proclamation that Christ has set us free than those who have experienced the denial of freedom. For us, therefore, freedom is a cherished gift. For its preservation, no sacrifice is too great. Hence, freedom brings responsibility. It must never be abused, equated with license, nor taken for granted. Freedom is God’s gift, and we are accountable to Him for our loss of it. And we are accountable for the gift of freedom in the lives of others. We oppose all oppression and all injustice, for unless all are free none are free.

In recent years, individual bishops have also spoken openly about the issue of race. In 2015, in a response to a series of incidents involving African American men and law enforcement officials that sparked national outcry and protests, Louisville Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz said:

We mourn those tragic events in which African Americans and others have lost their lives in altercations with law enforcement officials. . . . In every in-stance, our prayer for every community is that of our Lord in St. John’s Gospel, “that they all may be one.” . . . We join our voices with civic and religious leaders in pledging to work for healing and reconciliation. Our efforts must address root causes of these conflicts. A violent, sorrowful history of racial injustice, accompanied by a lack of educational, employment and housing opportunities, has destroyed communities and broken down families, especially those who live in distressed urban communities. 

Bishop Edward K. Braxton, shepherd of the Diocese of Bellville and an outspoken prelate on racism, stated in a lecture given at the Catholic University of America in 2017:

We Catholics, like other Christians, sometimes have only a superficial cultural commitment to our faith. We do not experience our faith in Jesus Christ and his command to love at the deepest levels of our being. Only this deep existential commitment to follow Jesus as the Way, the Truth and the Life, will impel us to truly live the Catholic faith we profess in all of the complex and difficult situations of our lives, including those which will require us to oppose anyone and anything that serves to maintain the racial divide.

Most recently, in 2018, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a pastoral letter against racism called Open Wide our Hearts: The Enduring Call to Love.  The document focuses on the sin of racism in society and the Church, and the urgent need for all of us to come together to find solutions.

The cumulative effects of personal sins of racism have led to social structures of injustice and violence that makes us all accomplices in racism.

We read the headlines that report the killing of unarmed African Americans by law enforcement officials. In our prisons, the number of inmates of color, notably those who are brown and black, is grossly disproportionate. Despite the great blessings of liberty that this country offers, we must admit the plain truth that for many of our fellow citizens, who have done nothing wrong, interactions with the police are often fraught with fear and even danger. At the same time, we reject harsh rhetoric that belittles and dehumanizes law enforcement personnel who labor to keep our communities safe. We also condemn violent attacks against police.

Conversion is a long road to travel for the individual. Moving our nation to a full realization of the promise of liberty, equality, and justice for all is even more challenging. However, in Christ we can find the strength and the grace necessary to make that journey.

Love compels each of us to resist racism courageously. It requires us to reach out generously to the victims of this evil, to assist the conversion needed in those who still harbor racism, and to begin to change policies and structures that allow racism to persist. Overcoming racism is a demand of justice, but because Christian love transcends justice, the end of racism will mean that our community will bear fruit beyond simply the fair treatment of all.

Like all of you, I am sickened by the events of the past weeks, months, and years. The solution to what we are seeing and experiencing in this country is not rioting, looting, and vandalism.  Racism is learned behavior, and Catholics can play a significant role in breaking down the walls of racism by taking a “hands on” approach to creating pillars of mutual respect and understanding built on the firm foundation of covenant relationship.

We need to see past stereotypes and see people. Racist ideologies create images that leave negative impressions on susceptible and vulnerable minds and hearts, especially those of children. We need to recognize our own prejudices and racist attitudes, acknowledge them, then work hard to crucify this way of thinking and, instead, see the image and likeness of God in each other. We should stop supporting media outlets, individuals, and organizations that create, encourage, and perpetuate racist stereotypes, or who propose violence and anarchy as solutions.

Appreciate the gift of cultural diversity. Host and attend cultural events in the parish or diocese where the customs and traditions of other races can be appreciated and celebrated, not feared and caricatured. This includes cross-pollination within parishes where the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass includes authentic and reverent cultural expressions that acknowledge the unique gifts we all bring to the Body of Christ.

Make a serious effort to promote conversation and dialogue. Back in 2016, rappers Snoop Dogg (Calvin Broadus) and The Game (Jayceon Terrell Taylor) organized a summit where they met with the Los Angeles police chief and mayor. The purpose was to facilitate effective change through dialogue and understanding. Efforts like this need to be applauded and multiplied, where communication barriers are shattered and respectful dialogue is opened between those in power and the disenfranchised. Deep-seeded commitments to building integrity, sharing wisdom, and imparting knowledge can lead to reciprocity of love and change. Reaching out with compassion to those of different races and hearing their stories, responding with empathy, and working through differences with humble, contrite hearts can create a harmonic of love that will reverberate in our hearts and throughout our land. 

Law enforcement use-of-force practices need to be reevaluated. During my twenty-three-year public safety career, I served in various leadership positions in a number of organizations, including the Western Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators, the Association of Threat Assessment Professionals, and the Protection Specialist Association. I’ve received training through the National School Safety Center, the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, the Crisis Prevention Institute, and the National Association of School Safety and Law Enforcement Officers.

From 2002-2008, I had the honor and privilege of serving on the Board of the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training for the State of Oregon. This agency provides the training and resources public safety officers and agencies need to maintain the highest level of skill, and facilitate excellent service to Oregon’s communities and citizens. I am very familiar with how law enforcement officers are trained and I will be the first to admit that, given the frequent incidents of police brutality over the last several years, there needs to be reform. This sentiment is shared by many front-line officers, including members of the Minneapolis Police Department who have condemned the actions of Officer Chauvin in the death of George Floyd, and “stand ready to listen and embrace the calls for change, reform and rebuilding.”

Reform and rebuilding, yes. Defunding, no. The idea of defunding police departments is a far-reaching overreaction, short-sighted, and irresponsible. In this regard, I wholeheartedly agree with former Officer Brandon Tatum who observes that

[t]here are dangerous, evil people in this world, and when that person comes to your front door and endangers your family who are you going to call? Politicians? Activists? No. You’re going to call a man or woman who took an oath to uphold the law and give their life, if necessary, to protect you and your family. The police officer is not going to turn away from you because of your race, your religion, or your past mistakes.

And what, exactly, are you going to cut? Homicide investigations? Sex crimes and human trafficking? Identity theft? Elder abuse? Drugs and gang intervention? Policing is a vocation, a calling from God. Jesus himself says, “Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). Most police are excellent, and work hard every day to serve and protect—and to give their lives, if necessary, for—the people in their care.

If serial arsonists kill dozens of people and it is discovered that they are firefighters, no one would think to defund fire departments because of the actions of a few rogue fireman. No one is calling for defunding physicians because some doctors perform abortions and euthanize their patients. Police are not trained to kneel on people’s necks or shoot people in the back. No one is more angry about what’s been going on than good cops, just like good priests are angry about those few priests who abuse children. So what can be done?

    • Go on a ride-a-long. See what police officers do on a daily basis, then make an informed decision on how to move forward.
    • Implement better psychological testing/screening to identify bias and prejudice.
    • Implement more effective scenario-based training.
    • Have police departments follow the recommendation of the Police Executive Research Forum to assist officers recognizing the inherent dignity of every human person. This should be part of the required curriculum at every police academy.
    • On-going, mandatory cultural diversity training for all officers. 
    • Work with police unions to toughen accountability regarding moral turpitude and officer discipline investigations, and implement tougher sanctions.

Put God back in society. When we remove God from the public square, we make room for the devil. We have stopped seeing each other as made in God’s image and likeness, and are instead trying to remake God in our image and likeness in fulfillment of Satan’s lie, “You will be like God” (Genesis 3:5). The lawlessness, pejorative rhetoric, and the constant assault on religious liberty and freedom rampant in our culture are signs of this.

As faithful Catholics, we can no longer allow secular culture and ideology—with its promulgation of subjective, relativistic truth—to displace the objective, absolute truth of Catholic doctrine and principles. In order to defeat racism, there must be further introspection and a deeper examination of conscience in order to arrive at the root cause of the disunity and divisiveness within humanity that leads to sinful actions; where we see ourselves and worldly principles as the autonomous center of all truth.

We all live with the reality of human frailty and weakness, both within ourselves and in those we love.  We must recognize and acknowledge the reality of sin; that it affects us and speaks to us within the depths of our being.  Yet, we cannot allow the pain of sin and the suffering it causes to take root in our hearts.  We cannot allow sin to control us, or its anguish to overwhelm us.  Conquering sin in our lives begins with personal transformation; with an interior conversion that reveals the fundamental truth of our being and existence. “God is love,” stated Pope John Paul II in Familiaris Consortio, “and in himself he lives a mystery of personal loving communion. Creating the human race in His own image and keeping it in being, God inscribed in the humanity of man and woman the vocation, and thus the capacity and responsibility, of love and communion” (par 11).

Walk by faith not be sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). Throughout history, sin has been a major obstacle to achieving true human freedom lived in God’s image and likeness. “So often we try to deny this fact. …”, wrote Reverend King in his 1959 book The Measure of a Man [1], “We know how to love, and yet we hate. We take the precious lives that God has given us and throw them away. We are unfaithful to those to whom we should be faithful. We are disloyal to those ideals to which we should be loyal. ‘We are like sheep that have gone astray.”

The Venerable Father Augustus Tolton was raised in an environment in which it was a common belief that “white people were superior to blacks and for that reason whites had the right or even the duty to dominate and control them and ‘keep them in their place’.” [2] He and his family endured a lifetime of hatred and oppression both within and outside of the Church.

Despite the fact that “from the time he was a small boy he learned, from an association with the white race, to accept the fact that degradation and contempt were the common lot of God’s black children,” [3] Tolton never retaliated or sought revenge. Though he was upset by the circumstances of his time, his heart was never filled with animosity or vitriol. Instead, Augustus Tolton responded with love, patience, and understanding.

What is striking about Father Tolton is that he remained a Catholic despite enduring a lifetime of racial animosity and prejudice.  In the face of such bigotry and hatred, why didn’t Father Augustus Tolton leave the Church?  Father Tolton was able to discern what many fail to perceive and do not fully appreciate: that what the Catholic Church actually teaches is true, good, and beautiful despite the hypocrisy and contradiction of Church members who do not actually live the faith they profess. Father Tolton always acknowledged the great gift of his Catholic faith and recognized that personal sin and human weakness are not greater or more powerful than the strength of objective truth found in Catholicism. Father Tolton was a visionary who saw far beyond issues of race and politics, looking inward—into the heart of the Church herself. “The Catholic Church,” Father Tolton once said, “deplores a double slavery—that of the mind and that of the body.  She endeavors to free us of both. […] In this Church we don’t have to fight for our rights because we are black. The Church is broad and liberal [i.e., generous]. She is the Church for our people.” [4]

Pray constantly (1 Thessalonian 5:17). Our saying “yes” to God’s holy will provides the road map that leads us into a life of prayer.  Even during those times when we forget about God for a while, the living and true God tirelessly calls each person to that mysterious encounter known as prayer. In prayer, God’s initiative of love always comes first; our own first step is always a response. As God gradually reveals Himself; as He makes a complete gift of Himself to us in love, “prayer becomes a reciprocal call” (CCC 2567), an acceptance of God’s invitation to covenant relationship: an acceptance of His invitation to intimate, personal, loving, and life-giving communion. 

Prayer is both a gift of grace and a response that takes effort on our part.  In order for us to walk humbly before our God in the obedience of faith, we must appreciate the fact that we cannot do this all on our own; that we need God’s help every step of the way, especially during the turbulent and troubling times we are facing today. Anyone who truly believes in God’s infinite love will abandon themselves totally to Him in prayer and, in that complete self-gift, we will find the courage to defeat the scourge of racism, and discover the peace and certainty for which our hearts long. I recommend:

  • Praying before Jesus who is truly, fully, and substantially present in the Most Blessed Sacrament in Eucharistic Adoration for personal conversion, as well as the strength and commitment to be a voice and advocate for real change.
  • Uniting the “Life and Dignity of the Human Person,” “Rights and Responsibilities,” and “Solidarity” principles of Catholic teaching with the Beatitudes so that faith becomes not simply “what we do” but “who we are.”
  • Asking the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary. “In God’s eternal plan, woman is the one in whom the order of love in the created world of persons takes first root. The order of love belongs to the intimate life of God himself, the life of the Trinity. … Through the Spirit, love becomes a gift for created persons. […] The dignity of woman is measured by the order of love, which is essentially the order of justice and charity” (Pope John Paul II, Mulieris Dignitatem, no.29 [emphasis in the original]).

A parable parallel: The Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37). The Samaritan, in the eyes of the Jews, was an alien, an unwanted foreigner.  There was strong hostility between the two neighboring peoples. Jews and Samaritans were ethnically related and shared some of the Jewish beliefs, but the Samaritans were seen as heretics. 

Yet, this despised outsider—presumed to have nothing of the spirit of God’s mercy and compassion—gives the Jewish man lying on the ground the attention that the clergyman refused to give. In fact, the Samaritan went to extraordinary lengths to take care of the injured man, sparing no expense. What’s more, the priest and Levite didn’t make any humanitarian effort to help the man all; they could have at least called for help or let someone else know what happened. 

What would you have done in that situation?  It’s easy to say, in retrospect,  “I would help the guy.” But what if the almost dead man was one of the police officers involved in the George Floyd killing? As we walk by the officer on the side of the road, the anger and hatred we feel would burn like a fire in our hearts, and would we want—more than anything—for that person to suffer greatly, even to the point of death.  We would want to leave him lying there and say, “You deserve it!” and not give him a second thought. 

Yet, our Lord tells us that we must be Good Samaritans. “The Samaritan exemplifies a new standard of holiness, where God no longer requires his people to separate from others, but calls them to extend mercy to everyone in need and to exclude no one on the grounds of prejudice” [5] or hatred. Our Lord gives us no other options and makes no exceptions. If we are to defeat the evil of racial injustice, we must always lead with love. We must be the Samaritan.

The truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). Despite the efforts of Dr. King and the countless others who gave their hearts, souls, and lives to the cause of justice, peace, and equality, racism remains an evil that endures to this day. It’s not because Dr. King failed, not by a long shot! Racism persists in our world because of the existence of evil and sin.

Some people will tell you that “because the courts have eliminated statutory racial discrimination and Congress has enacted civil rights legislation, and because some minority people have achieved some measure of success, that racism is no longer a problem in American life.” [6] However, when we look beneath the surface, the continuing existence of racism becomes readily apparent.  Racism is alive and well, and is intricately woven into the fabric of American life and culture.

Dr. King and Father Tolton understood that racism is a distortion rooted in the very heart of human nature. “Racism is not merely one sin among many; it is a radical evil that divides the human family and denies the new creation of a redeemed world. To struggle against it demands an equally radical transformation, in our own minds and hearts as well as in the structure of our society.” [7] “The ultimate remedy against evils such as [racism] will not come solely from human effort. What is needed is the recreation of the human being according to the image revealed in Jesus Christ, for he revealed in himself what each human being can and must become.” [8] We must not be afraid to live out our baptismal call to holiness with fervor and enthusiasm! We must not be afraid to stand up for truth, justice, and peace! Let us lovingly accept our Lord’s invitation to “go and do likewise” as living signs and witnesses of God’s tender love and mercy, so that the world may see the good that we do and give glory to God.

Endnotes:

[1] The Measure of a Man (Philadelphia: Christian Education Press, 1959), 10, 12.

[2] Caroline Hemesath, S.S.F., From Slave to Priest: A Biography of the Reverend Augustine Tolton (1854–1897), First Black American Priest of the United States (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2006), 20.

[3] Hemesath, Slave to Priest, 48.

[4] Hemesath, Slave to Priest,185. 

[5] U.S. Catholic Bishops Pastoral Letter on Racism, Brothers and Sisters to Us, 1979.

[6] U.S. Catholic Bishops Pastoral Letter on Racism, Brothers and Sisters to Us, 1979.

[7] U.S. Catholic Bishops Pastoral Letter on Racism, Brothers and Sisters to Us, 1979.

[8] U.S. Catholic Bishops Pastoral Letter on Racism, Brothers and Sisters to Us, 1979.


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About Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers 4 Articles
Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers is a Catholic speaker and evangelist and the founder and director of DynamicDeacon.com. He is the author of The Mass in Sacred Scripture and Behold the Man: A Catholic Vision of Male Spirituality, a frequent EWTN contributor ("Behold the Man: Spirituality for Men"), and co-host of EWTN's "Morning Glory" radio program.

59 Comments

    • In one of the quoted letters was the statement, “In our prisons, the number of inmates of color, notably those who are brown and black, is grossly disproportionate.” That statement implies racism. But is that true? Consider this. Per 100,000 persons incarcerated in the US, 126 are women and 1352 are men. It’s shameful how SEXIST society is against men! Men, unite! It’s high time to riot, loot, murder and vandalize with impunity at the unjust and discriminatory way in which men have been treated by the justice system! Oh, wait; maybe there are considerably more men incarcerated than women because considerably more men than women commit serious crimes. Yeah, maybe that’s why! Hint, hint. Oh, just one dare. Give me ONE SOLID ITEM OF PROOF that the Officer who killed the convicted felon, George, did so out of racism. Just one irrefutable item of proof.

        • “Per 100,000 persons incarcerated in the US, 126 are women and 1352 are men”

          Okay, somehow the math there needs fixing.

          • Well said, and for someone to post something like that tends to detract from whatever point the author was trying to make.

          • Upon re-reading I think perhaps it’s supposed to mean that women’s incarceration rates are 126 per 100,000 women in the population, and men’s are 1352 per 100,000 men in the population.

  1. A good reflection upon the reality of Racism in our society. Acknowledging the problem allows us the opportunity to change society, to cut through those barriers that keep meaningful change from taking place. The most fundamental change should be in our children’s education, especially faith education, especially Catholic Education. Where else should we be planting the heart of Jesus Christ than into our children. Get rid of the Blaine Amendment – still existing in the constitution of 38 states. This will allow parents to choose the school of their choice and it will be paid for by our taxes. Why should people of faith have to pay twice for educating their children, because of the most bigoted law in the land – just get rid of it. Scholarships are not the answer – this is not a gift, but a necessity. It was black mothers who rose up in Florida to fight the Teachers union to protect the scholarships of over 80,000 black children. It is disgraceful that we still allow these discriminatory laws on our books.

  2. Thank you for this excellent article, Deacon Burke-Sievers.We all have to work at doing our part to end racism. We are made in God’s image, it is time for people to acknowledge God does indeed exist and Satan is evil and must be fought.

  3. God Bless you and thank you so much for being a clear objective voice of truth in this current and old situation. I am so grateful for your wisdom guidance and walk in the faith to share with us in much need of clarity of truth instead of emotion and division. I have made copies of this complete article to share with anyone willing to read objectivity in Gods truth on this subject and state of our country. From the bottom of my heart thank you

  4. The quotes from MLK Jr. and from the African-American bishops from 1984 struck me as particularly pertinent. Bottom line, as with all sin, the fundamental evil of racism, as with all forms of hatred, is that it is a sin. The Church should be forthright in calling all souls to repentance and in accepting Christ our Lord and leaving our ways of sin. Political goals and objectives will only get us so far, and there is no shortage of people, some good intentioned some not, who will exploit societal divisions to further an ideological objective. Christians should stand apart and remind all that we are sinners, called to repentance, and in need to God’s mercy. No one else will bring that message to the world. The Church needs to offer more than just another set of political goals. Much more. We need to offer God almighty Himself.

  5. Is racism the only evil we should be dealing with or is the devil using it so all others sins are neglected?

    • Thank you! Exactly. Racism is an evil …adultery is an evil…stealing is an evil… abortion is an evil. My third grade teacher, Sister Phillips would have smacked me off the back of my head should I disparage my fellow creation of God in anyway! Amen!

  6. This is an important piece that deserves to be thoughtfully studied. Deacon Harold is a true inspiration in living the faith, and he brings the full force of his wisdom to this major topic. Thank you, Deacon!

  7. Thank you for a well written letter of what is going on. Only thing to add is only way to have love of all is the consecration of Russia as our Mother Mary has asked. All Bishops want this love need to be part of solution which is to say consecration as asked then we will have peace and love as Mary has said. What we are now facing is the times of evil, before Mary’s LOVE.

  8. Thank you too , on this Feast Day of Sts Peter and Paul , for the call reminding us all as to which Family we all belong to ,are meant to belong to and as the Fatima prayer echoes , to ‘lead all souls to heaven , esp. those most in need ‘ .
    Thank God too that we live in times , when The Church acknowledges the nature and sources of the wounds in every life , the sources and spirits behind such too .
    Heard on a prayer site how the ‘greatest enemy ‘of the soul is ‘ the self ‘ , the carnal self which try to spend all , on efforts to be seductively appealing , using every means given by the enemy for same .
    Thus , envy towards others , who would be seen as competing , the desire to amass more wealth for the same deep desires and all else that come with same .

    The one who fell victim to the robbers , once recovered , would have hopefully
    gone into the ministry of deliverance , against the robbers and all who thought of their need to preserve ritual purity , thus could not see the sacredness in the wounded as being true love, in efforts to discern same and to help heal .
    Our Holy Father often reminding us to see that oneness and use the means which are abundant in our times , in The Church , to help heal even the wounds in the peoples and fathers of the movement itself that MLK emulated .

    AS noted in the article , The Church has been blessed with many such healers in all races who have been warriors in that holiness and all else that comes with it .
    Their help for our times too , to sever the unholy soul ties to carnal spirits and the rampant evils in the related realms that we see manifesting ..
    Good to hear of the exorcism done in relation to the ‘act of blasphemy ‘ , in San Francisco ..
    millions of related acts , in our times …condoned by the very same powers who seem blinded to see the connections .
    Looking with compassion at each other , taking all wounds unto The Lord , pleading for His Blood and Water – our holy Apostles ,in the midst of the evils and decadence of Rome , using the spiritual weapons with zeal , relishing its power , to thank The Lord , thus to bring help in our times as well.
    St.Paul , with his zealous words related to the ritual of circumcision , in the desire to want to speedily deal with issues …
    St.Peter too , with his good heart ,yet in his earthly eyes of earlier days , seeing self may be as the wiser older brother to The Lord
    ..thus that act of protective haste , to cut off the ear …

    until Lord giving him that occasion to hear his own Spirit led heart , in that threefold profession of fidelity –
    that he can see and and love The Lord , in His holiness, with the gentle , humble heart of a little lamb, that of a child towards a good Father

    and with that of a zealous servant towards a good and kind Master

    in the deep trust , like that of a prodigal brother , for whom the good older Brother gave up His very life ..

    both , in their last days in jail , most likely powerfully cherishing the power of wielding the weapons of The Kingdom , given freely by our Good Father for all who ask.. and ask …

  9. No, we do not need to import “cultural” liturgical practices into the mass in an artificial manner for the sake of “diversity”.

  10. This is one of the best, most clearly written articles on the subject of racism and prejudice. Thank you Deacon for helping us to see what our role is in ending this evil.

  11. “Institutional racism must be distinguished from individuals within institutions who continue to hold prejudiced and racist attitudes. The Church herself, founded by Jesus Christ, is not racist, but there are undoubtedly individuals within the Church (both clergy and laity) who are racists. Likewise, law enforcement agencies, in and of themselves, are not racist, but there are unquestionably individuals within those agencies who exhibit prejudice or are blatantly racist. We must recognize the fact that we are all sinners in need of God’s mercy and that we are still dealing with the effects of original sin. “

    Thank you for that.

    “When you see, for example, images of black people as slaves, domestics, and gang members day after day and year after year, these portrayals work their way into our psyche and unintentionally become, to some extent, “true” or “the way it is.””

    I think you’re lumping together things that don’t belong together.

    There is a difference between portrayals of black people as slaves in a particular historical setting during which most of them actually were slaves; as domestics at a time when many black people were domestics; and as gang members when only a very small proportion of them are gang members. The first was actually “the way it was” in a particular part of the past; the second was at least “the way it often was” at a particular part of the past. The third? Not even in the same league.

    In addition, black people who were slaves had absolutely no choice in the matter. Black people may have become domestics because of a lack of other options, but they were earning a living honestly. (I don’t consider traditionally female tasks such as cooking and cleaning and doing laundry and caring for children to be so terribly demeaning, in any case). Gang members have a choice.

    I know of no examples in pre-emancipation days in which slavery was glorified, in the sense that non-slaves wanted to dress the way slaves did, speak the way slaves did, act the way slaves did. I don’t know know of an examples of non-domestics of all races considering that the hip, trendy thing to do was to adopt the clothing that domestics wore. Contrast that to the glorification and imitation of gangs, with rap, clothing styles, language, and behavior.

    “In 2015, in a response to a series of incidents involving African American men and law enforcement officials that sparked national outcry and protests, Louisville Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz said: We mourn those tragic events in which African Americans and others have lost their lives in altercations with law enforcement officials. . . .”

    The “series of incidents” began when a man stole from a store, manhandled the much smaller clerk at the store, attempted violently to steal the weapon of the policeman who stopped him, and then charged toward the policeman. The “hands up, don’t shoot” slogan which is being repeated even today is a lie. Those “tragic events” cannot be assumed to be the fault of law enforcement officials.

    “A violent, sorrowful history of racial injustice, accompanied by a lack of educational, employment and housing opportunities, has destroyed communities and broken down families, especially those who live in distressed urban communities.”

    It has been pointed out that it is not the history of racial injustice and lack of opportunities that have broken down families. Black families were quite strong even through the years of slavery and for a century afterwards.
    Walter Williams is an economist. He wrote: “But is the weak black family a legacy of slavery? In 1960, just 22 percent of black children were raised in single-parent families. Fifty years later, more than 70 percent of black children were raised in single-parent families. Here’s my question: Was the increase in single-parent black families after 1960 a legacy of slavery, or might it be a legacy of the welfare state ushered in by the War on Poverty?”
    https://www.creators.com/read/walter-williams/09/17/the-welfare-states-legacy

    “Renowned economist Thomas Sowell explains, “The black family, which had survived centuries of slavery and discrimination, began rapidly disintegrating in the liberal welfare state that subsidized unwed pregnancy and changed welfare from an emergency rescue to a way of life.” https://thefederalist.com/2020/06/12/to-truly-reduce-racial-disparities-we-must-acknowledge-black-fathers-matter/

    Or here’s another article by Thomas Sowell: https://www.creators.com/read/thomas-sowell/11/14/a-legacy-of-liberalism.

    “The cumulative effects of personal sins of racism have led to social structures of injustice and violence that makes us all accomplices in racism.”

    I accept responsibility and guilt for my own sins. I refuse to pretend that I am an accomplice in racism.

    “We read the headlines that report the killing of unarmed African Americans by law enforcement officials.”

    It is not only unarmed African Americans who are killed by law enforcement officials, though I will grant that those cases are the ones that make the headlines. In ant case, unarmed doesn’t necessarily mean not a threat.

    “In our prisons, the number of inmates of color, notably those who are brown and black, is grossly disproportionate.”

    The number is disproportionate to the percentage of the total population. Is it disproportionate to the percentage of those committing crimes?

    “Appreciate the gift of cultural diversity. Host and attend cultural events in the parish or diocese where the customs and traditions of other races can be appreciated and celebrated, not feared and caricatured.”

    Food is always a good place to start. It sounds flippant, but it’s true: food is an important part of culture, and acts as a good introduction. But why only other races? Why not simply other cultures?

    “This includes cross-pollination within parishes where the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass includes authentic and reverent cultural expressions that acknowledge the unique gifts we all bring to the Body of Christ.”

    Are you applying this only to other races? Or to other cultures, as well? Just as there are Polish, German, Irish, Spanish, etc. “authentic and cultural expressions,” presumably there are many different ones from the various areas of Africa as well, and from the countries from which black immigrants come directly (e.g. various Caribbean nations). Or are we aiming only for a generic “African American” culture? I don’t like any of the inclusion of contemporary culture of any sort in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. That’s how we got stuck with silly happy-clappy, hippy-dippy modernist tripe as so many of our hymns. And are you wanting every parish to do this cross-pollination no matter what the ethnic or cultural makeup of the parish?

    Tell you what: how about if I accept the reverent cultural expressions displayed by Cardinal Sarah as he celebrates Mass?

    “I am very familiar with how law enforcement officers are trained and I will be the first to admit that, given the frequent incidents of police brutality over the last several years, there needs to be reform.”

    It is good to hear from someone who was actually in law enforcement.

    “On-going, mandatory cultural diversity training for all officers. “

    The problem with that is the content of the training, and who decides on it. I remember in elementary school we had cultural diversity training, though it wasn’t called that back when dinosaurs roamed the earth, and the teacher doing the training informed us that putting chocolate on the bottom and vanilla on the top in a double-dip ice cream cone was prejudiced (this was before “racist” became the term). It remains one of the silliest statements I’ve ever heard. She did allow that perhaps, if you preferred chocolate and wanted to finish with that, it might be okay. She ignored any other possibility, such as, for example, that dark objects look heavier than light objects, and that chocolate-on-the-bottom looks more balanced. Or that if one is putting chocolate on the bottom one is choosing it first, surely not an indication of prejudice against darker colors.

    “However, when we look beneath the surface, the continuing existence of racism becomes readily apparent. Racism is alive and well, and is intricately woven into the fabric of American life and culture.”

    You made this statement, but provided no supporting examples.

  12. Just one comment about “Catholics often held slaves etc”. In all the cases I am aware of, this is not really true. Usually, the Catholic church bought slaves in order to get them away from harsh masters, to educate them, to better their station, to teach them the Gospel, or to otherwise ameliorate the harsh effects of slavery. I am not aware of any instance in which Catholics simply bought and used slaves just like plantation owners did. In Baltimore, they started a school for slaves, and they started teaching them to read. The school was attacked by a mob and burnt down. Often, we get a half view of what went on in the past, and we assume the worst.

    • There were plenty of Catholic plantation owners who had slaves where I live. Some were Creole people of color and quite wealthy.
      There were Jews who owned slaves and ex-slaves who owned slaves. Spanish and French Creole Catholics owned slaves. Every group and ethnicity was involved with slavery in some fashion from the beginning of the colonial era. And numerous American Indians were enslaved or practiced slavery themselves.
      It’s a part of American history and virtually all human history.

  13. This excellent essay demonstrates why I miss seeing Deacon Burke-Sivers at Catholic men’s conferences. I can only hope that all of the impediments to such events can be removed so that we can see more of him. This sort of message needs to be shouted from the mountaintops (and the Dynamic Deacon is great at that sort of thing).

  14. It is not, and never was, the mission of the church to eliminate sin in the world and to make the world a better place. This is a false gospel, but one that has been promoted endlessly by the leadership of the churches in modern times. That’s why they are dying.

  15. Thank you Deacon for your words. It has been bothering me terribly to see further division and hatred rise up in the midst of these events. One thing that would be helpful to me is for people to share their personal experiences of what is called systemic racism. It’s very hard to know what people are specifically experiencing and what they are talking about without hearing concrete examples. Obviously we realize when talking about the police brutality and use of force apparent in recent examples, we have concrete examples. But it seems like people are trying to say that this is a deeper and more pervasive reality throughout the culture and while I’m open to hearing about this, it is often written about and discussed in abstract ways, with open hostility towards “white” people, and a view to the past, (ie. chattel slavery, Jim Crow, etc.) It would be really helpful to me to hear experiences of what people feel represents systemic racism happening in today’s world, and to hear them explain how it is affecting them today.

  16. Very thoughtful reflexion, Deacon.

    There is just one point that doesn’t seem convincing, however, on light on the frequent abuses this idea has led to:
    “This includes cross-pollination within parishes where the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass includes authentic and reverent cultural expressions that acknowledge the unique gifts we all bring to the Body of Christ”

    More often than not, I fear, “cultural expressions” during the Holy Sacrifice meant tribal dances, pagan statues exposed to the faithful cult and other stunts more apt at turning away the faithful from the true cult rather than bringing them closer to the faith.

    • Thanks, Luigi. By “authentic and reverent”, I do not advocate, at all, the implementation of “tribal dances” or “pagan statues” that have no place at Mass. In my parish, for example, we have a vibrant Vietnamese community and the singing is absolutely beautiful. The life of the parish in enriched by them and there are no violations of the liturgical norms.

  17. Thank you Deacon for your words of wisdom and guidance for action. You have articulated what so many of us would like to say if we had your gift of communication. I will share this with my children and others. God bless you in your ministry and in all things.

  18. I do not believe in systemic racism. How come Barack Obama was elected twice. I did meet a few real racists in my life but the majority of all Americans are not. It seems to me we -black and white – were living and working peacefully side by side for decades. I had more black co-workers and we got along great, and I encouraged several to go back to school and college. Racism was almost forgotten when Ferguson happened and Al Sharpton came and preached from the PULPIT hate and violence, no Justice no Peace, and they went to burn down the town. I am convinced that the resurgence cry of racism is a organized political tool with evil intentions; unfortunately too many people fall for it and today we can see the collateral damage throughout the nation.
    Deacon, I am a great fan of yours, God bless you.

  19. Can we please address real problems within (and without) the Church, like neo-paganism, general loss of faith, infanticide, unnatural lifestyles (to put it politely), etc? Commenters have already cited lack of evidence for shadowy claims of injustice that seem more like contrived Marxist divisional tactics.

  20. I will move forward and read the entire article but at the outset I do not agree with the definition being used for “prejudice”. Do we really want to proceed with prejudice being “a preconceived notion about someone that is not based on any factual or objective experience”. In the comparison the Deacon makes with the “Southerner” he may be able to show that the assumption about liking shrimp and grits may be non-objective and an ignorant opinion. However, it may also be an honest misconception that perhaps some Southerners have of other Southerners who live in the same region; are they prejudiced if they make this assumption about each other? Perhaps. If a Black Creole person runs into another Black Creole person who once lived in the same area that he did and assumes that he must also like Creole music, is this a prejudicial act? Perhaps if he first put it as a question then he would not be prejudiced (or prejudicial which also has a varied meaning)? If prejudice is going to be reduced to any ignorant subjective opinion that is not intentionally or obviously harmful or detrimental (or mean-spirited) then we just gave the thought-police a few extra free throws.

  21. There are some decent insights in the deacon’s post, but perhaps somewhat ironically, there are also plenty of false stereotypes and jumping to false conclusions which contain racist elements that do not pass the smell test of actual facts and data. Also, which person in America today has personally experienced slavery as suggested by the deacon? Answer:nobody, nor can they channel the lives of slaves and other similar nonsense. If they can do this, then all Christians of today should be able to channel the lives of early Christians persecuted and torn apart by lions to entertain some ancient Romans and their guests. Rubbish.

    I will suggest many fine resources to those who wish to more fully educate themselves, but before doing so, it needs to also be pointed out that racism is not monopolized by one race over another as many people wrongly believe. It is indeed a sin that afflicts many people. Racism of white people directed toward blacks and others is sinful and wrong, and so, too, is racism of blacks toward whites and others. This includes the largely bogus charges of ongoing systemic racism, the nonsense of “white privilege,” and the evil of the anti-family, pro-abortion racist organization known as Black Lives Matter. In addition, the slogan “black lives matter” is also racist in its assumption that such has to be emphasized because the underlying interpretation insisted upon by bigots who push their specific interpretation is that white people do not care about black lives that are abused, etc. Interestingly, any person of any color who opposes abortion and murder of any kind (like those involving gang murder) has a greater respect for black lives than many black people and other people of other races who support the destruction of innocent children in the womb and do not protest gang violence. Try telling such a “woke” person that black fetal lives matter and all lives matter, and you will be condemned as a racist by this person simply because you don’t drink the poisonous Kool-Aid that insists on the false narrative behind the “black lives matter” slogan that is indeed racist in its declaration toward all others.

    Now for some factual material and insights from others that demonstrate many flaws in the deacon’s incomplete and at times misleading proclamations.

    First, visit the Prager U website or perhaps check YouTube if they have not taken such things down in favor of PC bigotry. Check very short video presentations available for free from very wise people, including Larry Elder: “The Ferguson Lie,” and “Is America Racist?”;…”How to End White Privilege” by Brandon Tatum;…”Are the Police Racist?” by Heather MacDonald;…”The Top Five Issues Facing Black Americans” by Taleeb Starkes.

    And if you really want to gain some beautiful insights from a very wise young lady, check out an 18 minute video by Candace Owens entitled “I DO NOT support George Floyd!” & Here’s Why! This is still available on YouTube.

    Of course, if the good people of Catholic World Report are afraid of the truth as presented in these intelligently produced videos that contain facts that can be checked to confirm their accuracy, they may not allow this post to stand based on a bogus claim of being “needlessly combative or inflammatory,” but let us hope and pray that they will be properly motivated by the truth to let the post remain so people can learn much needed facts. As good Catholics, we know that it is the Truth that sets everyone free, so to help all in our culture, seek first the complete truth and spread truth wherever you can. Never shy away from sharing the truth no matter how much some might be offended by it.

    God bless.

    • “Of course, if the good people of Catholic World Report are afraid of the truth as presented in these intelligently produced videos that contain facts that can be checked to confirm their accuracy,…”

      Oh, seriously, please stop.

      • Oh really, Carl? Who judges on your site what constitutes “needlessly combative or inflammatory”? And please don’t tell me that comments such as mine are always welcome when they call out some serious flaws in a featured author. I am pleased you have permitted these important comments. Will you allow me to actually include the websites of the videos I set forth?

        • Who judges on your site what constitutes “needlessly combative or inflammatory”?

          The editorial team. That’s the nature of such things.

          Your dramatic sense of things is, well, duly noted.

          • Thanks, Carl. Can I post the websites of the videos? Not too much drama in this. And if you have not viewed them, I cordially invite you to do so, and please extend this invitation to members of your staff, family members, and so on and so on. They contain necessary details and data that many do not know, including, it seems, the good deacon in presenting some of the conclusions he does that do not square with the available data and objective facts that you can easily confirm.

      • Leslie, you were doing just fine until you posted that utterly silly response about the last paragraph. That’s the way to focus on what is most important.

        • As you seem slow to comprehend, I was agreeing with the things you posted, up to your ridiculous last paragraph in which you attacked CWR quite needlessly, thus taking the focus away from what is most important.

          • Try again, Leslie. I did not attack CWR as you now falsely claim that I did. This is simply your false projection of what I did. I expressed a hope that the good people of CWR would not pull my post because of possibly being afraid of the truth that is set forth in the videos because they might be wrongly judged to be “needlessly combative or inflammatory.” Many social websites (good and bad) have a policy of not permitting video references, even in the manner I have mentioned them in my primary post, and hence my legitimate appeal to welcoming the truth set forth in the videos and not pull my post because of them. Newsflash: Some of the videos can be deemed to be combative, so when it comes to “needlessly combative,” how was I supposed to know how CWR would view or consider them? Thankfully, Carl et al. have not pulled my post. Also note that I have asked Carl for permission to set forth the actual websites, which would make it easier for people to access the videos. No response from him yet at this time, but hope springs eternal.

            And my last paragraph from my original post takes nothing away from the previous paragraphs, but some unfortunate people might believe such if they permit a few lines to distract them. Your position is tantamount to claiming that it does not matter if what I set forth is 95% on target. ‘I, Leslie, hate the last 5%, and so I will take my focus off the 95% while claiming this is what DV has done,’ which is simply pure rubbish on your part. Tip: You have made your bogus objection known. Now, if you are able to muster enough energy and can regain your focus, re-check my original post and see if you can find the videos I reference. Then watch them to gain more insights. And if you still want to complain about me again instead of focusing on gaining the wisdom from the insights in the videos, knock yourself out.

    • DV,
      I realize you are probably referring to the type of slavery found in America in past centuries but there are definitely folks in the US today who have experienced slavery from other regions of the world. Haiti comes to mind. Restavek children have been brought here and either been discovered and freed by the authorities or have run away from the families they were indentured to.
      Ive read about similar situations in the US with other nationalities.

      • My comment was indeed based on the kind of racism referenced by the deacon…unless you can show me he was referring to the example you provided or some other similar example. Assuming you cannot, and to make it crystal clear just for you, there is no black person living today who has experienced the slavery referenced by the deacon.

        As for slavery in general today, of course it exists elsewhere (duh!), with a great deal of it in Africa where some Muslims hold slaves and black ancestors of black slave owners own slaves and many others hold slaves as well.

        • DV,
          Of course you are correct, no one alive today was living 150 plus years ago but I was just mentioning that folks who have experienced modern day forms of slavery: Haitians, Filipinos, etc, do live in the USA. And occasionally they continue to live under that bondage in America until they’re discovered & freed or they come to realize it’s illegal here.
          I’ve read of several instances where restavek children were brought to the States & continued to sleep under the kitchen table of the family they’d been sold to in Haiti & work as unpaid servants.
          You probably know that early on, slavery had no connection to race. The slave trade was an equal opportunity employer. Virtually every race & religion was involved.Over a million Christian Europeans were captured & sold into slavery by Muslim North Africans. American Indians were enslaved by Christian Europeans & Indians themselves had a long history of enslaving other tribes. And as you point out, Africa had a massive amount of slavery & it’s still an issue there.
          It’s appropriate to address our nation’s more recent history with slavery but folks forget it’s been a part of the global human condition from the beginning & for the most part slavery was color blind. We have very impressive plantations nearby that had many slaves & were owned by wealthy people of color. History’s complicated.
          God bless!

          • mrscracker:

            You write “It’s appropriate to address our nation’s more recent history with slavery…”

            Why? Especially since this is part of the narrative behind the false narratives of “white privilege,” “white supremacy,” and so on. Dishonest people bring up the past slavery to falsely claim that we still suffer from remnants of it on the part of white people en masse, which is nonsense and racist in and of itself. Check the videos I reference in my original post.

  22. DV,
    I think it’s appropriate to address and actually understand the history of slavery and similar issues in our own nation because they’re an important part of our history. But our history’s much more complicated than what’s being promoted in the media.
    If we don’t know the real facts about our past we’re much more likely to be set up for false narratives, such as we see today.

    • We have reached some agreement, mrsc…. It is indeed appropriate to teach the true history of slavery, but it is also inappropriate to let others bring up any history to make false claims about white people today that include the bigoted declaration that the slavery of the past is still being imposed on black people today in another form via “white privilege,” “systemic racism,” and so on. This coincides with your last statement about the false narrative accepted by too many gullible people today.

      • DV,
        We’re probably in agreement that there’s much orchestration going on behind the scenes in an election year.
        I was having a conversation about the current unrest with a liberal friend and they helpfully explained to me that “the world has changed.” It felt like a verbal pat on the head.
        I think it’s more that special interests are trying to change the world for their own gain. And that’s nothing new in the history of civilization.

  23. I consider this piece as a “niceism”. Love, brotherhood, to see past stereotypes. This is nice, of course, but I doubt that it has any relevancy for real people born this year in broken families with George Floyd’s like future of drugs abuse, crimes and loafing, all of this intensified by perverted policies and strong interests of status quo pushed by people hating family, freedom, and, ultimately, man created in God’s image.

  24. The Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, may have gone overboard in his treatment of George Floyd. Chauvin certainly had had many complaints lodged against him. Nevertheless, the evidence shows that Floyd died of a fatal dose of fentanyl and was not killed by Chauvin.

  25. Stuart Stevens a Republican political consultant and the author of the forthcoming book “It Was All a Lie:
    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/29/opinion/trump-republican-party-racism.html
    What is most telling is that the Republican Party actively embraced, supported, defended and now enthusiastically identifies with a man who eagerly exploits the nation’s racial tensions. In our system, political parties should serve a circuit breaker function. The Republican Party never pulled the switch.

    Racism is the original sin of the modern Republican Party. While many Republicans today like to mourn the absence of an intellectual voice like William Buckley, it is often overlooked that Mr. Buckley began his career as a racist defending segregation.

    In the Richard Nixon White House, Pat Buchanan and Kevin Phillips wrote a re-election campaign memo headed “Dividing the Democrats” in which they outlined what would come to be known as the Southern Strategy. It assumes there is little Republicans can do to attract Black Americans and details a two-pronged strategy: Utilize Black support of Democrats to alienate white voters while trying to decrease that support by sowing dissension within the Democratic Party.

    • “Racism is the original sin of the modern Republican Party.”

      Hogwash. Anyone with basic knowledge of U.S. history knows that not only was the GOP founded to fight slavery in the mid 1800, it supported the 1964 Civil Rights Act more strongly than did the Dems:

      “While the landmark act received a majority of support from both parties, a greater percentage of Republicans voted in favor of the bill. Throughout the 1950s and ’60s, Republicans were generally more unified than Democrats in support of civil rights legislation, as many Southern Democrats voted in opposition. … The bill received 152 “yea” votes from Democrats, or 60 percent of their party, and 138 votes from Republicans, or 78 percent of their party.”

      Try again.

    • I was fortunate to be able hear William F. Buckley speak at an event years ago and also met Sen.Robert Byrd at the West VA state fair after listening to him play the fiddle. He was an accomplished fiddler.
      Sen. Byrd had been a Klan member decades earlier but that’s not what he’s remembered for.
      Christianity is about redemption and conversion. If we are always judged by who we once were rather than what we have become what’s the point?

    • I’m with Carl Olson on this one. Having failed in your misinformation campaign against Cardinal Pell over the last few months, I see you are now turning your attention to maligning Republicans. As I have indicated in previous posts, no one is buying what you are selling here, and you have little credibility at this point to be pointing fingers at others and trying to speak to these issues. A few points to keep in mind:

      1. If you are going to discuss history, at least do us all the courtesy of getting the facts straight before posting. A basic knowledge of American history reveals that the Republican Party was founded specifically in opposition to slavery and racism.

      2. The Democratic party you support has historically been deeply and unapologetically committed to racism and anti-semitism. So people who live in glasses houses (you) probably shouldn’t be throwing stones at this point.

      3. Lastly, keep in mind what God’s word says about false speech:

      “You love evil more than good, lying rather than speaking righteousness” (Psalm 52:3).

      “Let the lying lips be put to silence, which speak insolent things proudly and contemptuously against the righteous” (Psalm 31:18).

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