Catholics in the United States are calling the killing of George Floyd yet another example of a continuing blind spot toward the racism that has plagued the country since its founding. Source: Crux.
Mr Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died on Monday after police officers violently pinned him down in Minneapolis in response to a call about a man suspected of forgery.
A video of him pleading with police officers while saying “I can’t breathe” has gone viral, sparking protests in the Minnesota state capital over the last 48 hours. Mr Floyd can be seen in the video requesting help and not resisting arrest as onlookers implored the police to back down. On Tuesday, the Minneapolis Police Chief announced that four responding officers have been fired and that an FBI investigation has commenced.
Gloria Purvis, host of radio show Morning Glory, said Mr Floyd’s death - and the commentary around it - shows a “blindspot” among white American Catholics, as well as a double standard among pro-life Catholics who fail to see that combatting racism should be an integral part of their pro-life witness.
“I’m really seeing a block,” Ms Purvis said, lamenting that for her fellow pro-life advocates, “the pro-life argument seems to be lost on the black person outside of the womb.”
She said that she was particularly frustrated that when it comes to police brutality against black individuals, there “seems to be an effort to take the focal point off the victim,” often by either making excuses for the police officers or an “impulse to imply that there’s guilt” on the part of the victim.
In another statement, issued on Wednesday, Archbishop Bernard Hebda of Saint Paul-Minneapolis called the events “gut-wrenching” and “deeply disturbing.”
“The sadness and pain are intense,” said Archbishop Hebda. “Let us pray for comfort for his grieving family and friends, peace for a hurting community and prudence while the process moves forward. We need a full investigation that results in rightful accountability and veritable justice.”