Peace & Justice Updates

The assumptions of white privilege and what we can do about it

Amy Cooper knew exactly what she was doing. And that’s the problem. Click here to read a commentary by Bryan N. Massingale published on the National Catholic Reporter.

NATIONAL GUN VIOLENCE AWARENESS DAY #WEARORANGE

Next Friday, June 5, 2020 is National Gun Violence Awareness Day—also known as Wear Orange—a day when gun violence prevention advocates across the country wear orange to honor the victims of gun violence and show support for the gun safety movement.

Wear Orange was started in 2013 after 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton was shot and killed in Chicago just one week after she performed at President Obama’s second inauguration. Her friends and family chose to wear orange—Hadiya’s favorite color and the color hunters wear to protect themselves from gunfire—to honor her life and the tens of thousands of lives lost to gun violence every year. Since then, the gun violence prevention movement has carried on their efforts by wearing orange the first Friday in June.

So we’re asking you to join us in wearing orange on Friday, June 5th in solidarity with the victims and survivors of gun violence. Here’s what you can do:

  1. Wear something orange!
  2. Take a photo of yourself and any family or household members in your orange attire.
  3. Share the photo on social media with a sentence about why you #WearOrange. Ex: I #WearOrange because I believe that gun violence is preventable.
  4. Use the hashtag #WearOrange and tag @wagunresponsib on Twitter or @AllianceforGunResponsibility on Facebook and Instagram.
  5. If you don’t have social media accounts, you can email a photo to press@wagunresponsibility.org and we will share them from our accounts.

SUPPORT ORGANIZATIONS LEADING THE FIGHT AGAINST RACISM AND WHITE SUPREMACY

For generations, Black and brown communities have been dying at the hands of all forms of racism and white supremacy, and have also been the disproportionate victims of gun violence – including by the police. The racist and senseless murders we’ve seen across the country are horrific and inexcusable, as are the President’s reckless, racist, and incendiary calls for additional violence.

Our mission to end gun violence is linked to a crisis that is centuries older – systemic racism. Black lives matter, and we must do everything in our power to dismantle anti-Black racism and white supremacy. We are learning from and listening to Black and brown led organizations across the country. We are supporting organizations – particularly those led by Black people and other people of color – committed to ending gun violence and the impact of racial injustice.

In solidarity with the organizations leading the fight against racism and white supremacy, we ask, if you are able, to support groups that are working locally at the intersection of racial justice and gun violence prevention. Our volunteers across the country are raising money to support many of these groups in their communities, and Everytown will match all donations made to these organizations dollar for dollar.

A Reflection by Associate Theresa Kempker, OPA

My heart is breaking over yet more lynchings of people of color.  I pray Rosaries for the children of friends and of people I don’t know, who are protesting.  I beg Mary to wrap these children in her love.  And listening to the Mass for the Solemnity of Pentecost, God spoke to me through the Gospel.

First, many of us feel that we don’t know what to do.  Are we hiding from those in power, just as the disciples were hiding from the people in power at the time?

Next, Jesus said that the sins we retain are retained.  Is it not time that the sin of racial injustice be called out, brought to light, and stopped?  This sin can no longer be forgiven as the failing of one or two people at a time.  Racism, and all the injustices that are intertwined with it, such as health disparities, food insecurity, or poor schools; whether personal or systemic; must be stopped.

Finally, we shake our heads when far-right white groups protest at the Ohio Capitol, banging on doors and disrupting news conferences, and we never think to ask for riot police.  What should we do when riot police are brought in for peaceful protests by people of color?  Again in the Gospel, Jesus tells us.  Don’t hide, don’t be afraid.  “As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”  Where are we sent?  What will we do?  Letters, calls, emails, educating ourselves and others, and maybe even marching in the protests.  But Jesus made it clear that we cannot sit in our rooms and hide.

Posted in News, Peace & Justice Weekly Updates

5 responses to “Peace & Justice Updates

  1. As an OPA and the mother of a police officer called to riot duty all week I ask for prayers for my son’s safety! As a friend and neighbor of people of color I am doing what I can? What are you doing??

  2. Thank you, Theresa, for your thoughtful blog. It certainly is time to address the sin of racial injustice. We can do this without marching of which many of us are incapable. We can be aware of organizations that address this issue and support them if we are interested. Thanks for your encouragement.

    1. Thank you, Theresa, for your insightful, challenging and truthful blog. I hope we rise to the challenge.

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