“The violence of recent nights is self-destructive and self-defeating,” Archbishop José Gomez said May 31, as a wave of violent protests swept Los Angeles and other American cities for several straight nights, following the killing of an unarmed black man by a white police officer in Minneapolis.
“The killing of George Floyd was senseless and brutal, a sin that cries out to heaven for justice,” said Gomez, who is president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
“How is it possible that in America, a black man’s life can be taken from him while calls for help are not answered and his killing is recorded as it happens?”
….In Los Angeles, three nights of protests, looting of businesses, and violence against police officers prompted Mayor Eric Garcetti to order a citywide curfew Saturday night. It led Gov. Gavin Newsom to declare a state of emergency, resulting in the deployment of the California National Guard onto the city’s streets overnight.
In his statement, Gomez said the protests reflected “the justified frustration and anger of millions of our brothers and sisters who even today experience humiliation, indignity, and unequal opportunity only because of their race or the color of their skin.
“It is true what Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, that riots are the language of the unheard,” Gomez continued. “We should be doing a lot of listening right now. This time, we should not fail to hear what people are saying through their pain. We need to finally root out the racial injustice that still infects too many areas of American society.”
While saying he shared their “outrage,” Gomez urged protesters to remain peaceful, and not allow their cause to be “exploited by persons who have different values and agendas.”
“Burning and looting communities, ruining the livelihoods of our neighbors, does not advance the cause of racial equality and human dignity.”
In an apparent reference to the violence in many cities directed at police, Gomez said the actions of the white police officers in Minneapolis “does not reflect on the majority of good men and women in law enforcement, who carry out their duties with honor….”
The above comes from a May 31 story in Angelus News.