The death of Mr. George Floyd is tragic.  The murder of Mr. George Floyd is wrong.  Those who committed the murder are wrong, either by acts of omission or acts of commission.  To say that we should all be treated and treat others equally and respectfully goes without saying.  We live in a society where racism still exists.  The protests following the death of Mr. Floyd bring glaring attention to these points.  Racism is neither a reason nor justification for bad behavior, regardless the actor.

As parishioners of the Church of the Immaculate Conception, we strive tirelessly to overcome social disparities every day for our sisters and brothers.  How do we do this?  In many subtle yet demonstrative ways.  We set the example by how we live, seeing the face of Christ in others.  We clothe the naked, giving to our St. Vincent de Paul clothing drive; we feed the hungry, serving a meal at Our Daily Bread every first Sunday of the month since 1981; and we give refreshment to the thirsty by our strong support of the Assistance Center of Towson Churches  – this is how we work to overcome disparities.  We publicly speak out for the dignity of life, especially by our faithful witness to the March for Life every January since its inception in 1974.  We show respect for humanity, one person at a time in simple ordinary acts and gestures.  Our acts are not individual, they are collective – it is not you or me, it is we.  We are united in our work of Christian charity.

The protests are not as straight forward as they appear, and this is distressing. The message of racism, unfairness, and injustice is being lost to acts of violence.  Violence is neither the answer nor the solution and makes the situation worse. 

The peaceful protesters are announcing loudly and boldly that racism is wrong, and that dignity of the human person is an inherent right of all people.

Fr. Joe Barr