Pax Christi Michigan issues its own statement to accompany the national statement by Pax Christi USA: Statement on the Death of George Floyd and the racism that seeds terror, disfigures our humanity
Lansing, May 30, 2020 - In its statement of May 28, 2020, Pax Christi USA , the national affiliate of the autonomous, global Catholic peace movement, expresses outrage “over the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many others which reveal a complete disregard for the lives and dignity of People of Color in our nation. The racism that is at the heart of these incidents penetrates every aspect of life in the United States, seeding the terror that threatens communities of color and disfigures all our humanity.” Pax Christi Michigan also deplores this endless, brutal violence, a legacy of the racism that Jim Wallis has correctly identified as “America’s Original Sin.” 

In his extraordinary work, “Racial Justice and the Catholic Church,” Fr. Bryan Massingale reminds us that “Racism is not merely or primarily a sin of ignorance, but one of advantage and privilege.” This unwillingness to acknowledge, let alone definitively and urgently address the systemic and institutional barriers that perpetuate white privilege, shackles both our society and our church.

In 1967, Thomas Merton bluntly assessed our deep-seated problem, “{African Americans} cannot be integrated into white society without revolutionizing that society. But that society is not willing to be revolutionized." We have been waiting for that society to be "willing" long enough. Pax Christi Michigan stands with our black and brown sisters and brothers as they demand that the change start now.

Martin Luther King, Jr. concludes his essay “Nonviolence: The Only Road to Freedom” with the following reflection on our enduring challenge, “There is no easy way to create a world where men and women can live together, where each has {their} own job and house and where all children receive as much education as their minds can absorb. But if such a world can be created in our lifetime, it will be done in the United States by {African Americans} and white people of good will. It will be accomplished by persons who have the courage to put an end to suffering by willingly suffering themselves rather than inflict suffering on others. It will be done by rejecting the racism, materialism and violence that has characterized Western civilization, and especially by working toward a world of {brotherhood and sisterhood}, cooperation and peace.”

About Pax Christi Michigan
Pax Christi Michigan - a region of Pax Christi USA and Pax Christi International - is the recognized Catholic (catholic) voice for peace and justice. We work to bring about peace locally, nationally and globally through prayer, study and action. We are rooted in spirituality, dedicated to studying issues of justice from the vantage point of all those involved, and espouse working for peace with justice through nonviolent conflict transformation.

Media Contacts:

Robert Podzikowski
State Council Chair

Mary L. Hanna
State Coordinator