Cardinal Cupich, Bishop Horace E. Smith author Chicago Tribune op-ed on systemic racism

By Chicago Catholic
Wednesday, October 7, 2020

The following is an excerpt of an opinion piece that appeared in the Sept. 25 edition of the Chicago Tribune written by Cardinal Cupich and Bishop Horace E. Smith, MD, titled “Systemic racism is real, and all Americans play a role in addressing it.”

Readers can access the full piece here.

It has been a summer of anguish for Black Americans. Six months after Breonna Taylor was shot to death by Louisville police officers in a botched drug raid, the nation is once again seized by grief, anger and despair over the spectacle of another young Black person killed by police — and no one has been indicted for her killing. After three days of deliberation, a Kentucky grand jury has charged one now-former police officer with recklessly endangering Taylor’s neighbors, even though she was the one who ended up dead.

We write on behalf of a group of pastors that also includes the Rev. Ira J. Acree, senior pastor of Greater St. John Bible Church; the Rev. Chris Harris, pastor of Bright Star Church Chicago; the Rev. Marshall Hatch, senior pastor of New Mount Pilgrim Baptist Church; and the Rev. Otis Moss III, senior pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ.

As pastors who minister to Black families, brown families, Asian families and white families, we find ourselves once again faced with the horrifying question: Why does this keep happening, and what can we do about it? After we do our part to bind up the deep psychic wounds of our parishioners, neighbors, friends and family members, we are left asking, what now? Pray for peace, march for peace, work for peace — yes, peace. This is what Christians are supposed to be for, believing as we do in the Prince of Peace. And who could argue against it? In the face of wanton violence, we are called to take responsibility for building a culture of nonviolence.

But while peace may be necessary to the cause, it is insufficient, for creating a culture of peace requires something that ensures its endurance. That something is what we call justice.


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