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El año pasado, un asaltante me puso la mano en la boca, me tiró al suelo y me inmovilizó. Grité: "¡No puedo respirar!" Después de unos 30 largos segundos, finalmente me dejó ir.

Al reflexionar sobre la imagen desgarradora y fatal del policía de Minneapolis que presionó su rodilla en el cuello de George Floyd durante casi nueve minutos extremadamente largos, y recordar mi angustioso encuentro, me da una pequeña pero devastadora sensación del miedo que Floyd debió sentir cuando gritó "¡No puedo respirar!"

Como informó Democracy Now, los amigos de Floyd lo describieron como un mentor de jóvenes afroamericanos en Houston, donde creció. Predicó "paz, amor, Dios, unidad, y abogó contra la violencia de las armas", dijo Corey Paul, un artista de hip-hop de Houston que realizó su apostolado con Floyd (https://bit.ly/3cKmvCB).

El Domingo de Pentecostés participé con unos 150 negros, blancos, jóvenes y ancianos en dos protestas pacíficas en el condado de Dorchester, Maryland, donde nació y fue esclavizada Harriet Tubman, líder famosa del "Ferrocarril Subterráneo" (https://www.nps.gov/hatu/index.htm).    

Aunque la mayoría de las otras protestas en los Estados Unidos y en el mundo también fueron pacíficas, varias fueron violentas, causando trágicamente más muertes inocentes y la destrucción de muchos pequeños negocios.

La violencia, en todas sus muchas formas malignas, incluyendo los disturbios, es siempre dañina e hiriente. ¡La violencia nunca es la respuesta!

El Papa Francisco dijo: "La violencia de las últimas noches es autodestructiva y contraproducente. Con la violencia nada se gana, y se pierde mucho".

Pero para acabar con la violencia, debemos investigar seriamente sus causas. Y con ese fin, el Santo Padre añadió: "Amigos míos, no podemos tolerar o hacernos la vista gorda ante el racismo y la exclusión en ninguna de sus formas, pero afirmar que defendemos el carácter sagrado de toda vida humana" (véase: https://bit.ly/308Hxbl).

Joe Pierre, M.D. escribe en su artículo "The Psychology of Rioting: The Language of the Unheard" (La Psicología de los Disturbios: El Lenguaje de Quienes No Son Escuchados), en Psychology Today: "Denunciar los síntomas de la enfermedad sin tratar la causa de fondo es mala medicina. ... En este caso, la causa de origen es el racismo sistémico".

Es indiscutible que desde 1619, cuando por primera vez se llevaron africanos secuestrados a lo que más tarde se convertiría en los Estados Unidos, hasta la brutal muerte de George Floyd, innumerables afroamericanos han sido y siguen siendo víctimas del racismo sistémico.

El Reverendo Martin Luther King, Jr., que predicó y vivió constantemente la no violencia del Evangelio, expresó en su discurso de 1967, "The Other America" (Los Otros Estados Unidos): "Siempre seguiré diciendo que los disturbios son socialmente destructivos y contraproducentes. Sigo convencido de que la no violencia es el arma más potente de que disponen los oprimidos en su lucha por la libertad y la justicia...

"Es tan necesario para mí ser tan enérgico en condenar las condiciones que hacen sentir a las personas que deben participar en actividades de disturbios, como lo es para mí condenar los disturbios. Creo que Estados Unidos debe ver que los disturbios no se desarrollan de la nada. ... Pero en el análisis final, un disturbio es el lenguaje de quienes no han sido escuchados.

"Estados Unidos ha fracasado en escuchar que grandes segmentos de la sociedad blanca están más preocupados por la calma y el statu quo que por la justicia, la igualdad y la humanidad... La justicia social y el progreso son los garantes absolutos para la prevención de los disturbios". (https://bit.ly/3eVqJZv)

Por favor, vean también "Race Matters: America in Crisis", https://to.pbs.org/3f1jlvL.

Y tengan la amabilidad de considerar en oración la lectura de la Carta Pastoral Contra el Racismo, emitida por los obispos católicos de los Estados Unidos de América en 2018, "Open Wide Our Hearts: The Enduring Call to Love" ("Abramos Nuestros Corazones: El Incesante Llamado al Amor"), https://bit.ly/37dCCaD.

Al comienzo de la misma, los obispos citan de las Escrituras la Primera Carta de Juan: "Miren cuánto amor nos ha tenido el Padre, pues no sólo nos llamamos hijos de Dios, sino que lo somos".

Padre amoroso, ¡abre nuestros corazones para que podamos conocer y vivir esta verdad!

Comments from readers

Claudette Hinds - 06/26/2020 10:24 AM
I was most pleasantly surprised by this and several other articles on your website that show us the biblical view of race relations. As a person of color, it was encouraging to see the Church BE the Church - that City on a Hill to which the world can look for spiritual guidance and godly direction. Thank you for restoring my faith in the faith community.
Bernardo R Garcia-Granda - 06/22/2020 08:17 PM
Racism and slavery has always existed in our world. The Asians, the Egyptians, Arabs, Greeks, Romans, Africans, Mayas and Aztecs in the Americas all had slaves. Even today, slavery is much alive in the form of human trafficking. Nevertheless, I believe that we have made significant progress in racial issues since I came to this country in 1961 from Cuba. I recall those times of complete segregation when Blacks could not drink from the same public water fountain or use the same restrooms as Whites. Sin is the root cause of all evil and more than ever we need God in our hearts. Let us not waist more time in pointing fingers at each other creating more divisions in our society. Let us work together for the common good of the only important race: the human race.
Valli Leone - 06/22/2020 02:53 PM
Thank you for the true and thoughtful article that speaks to my heart during these difficult times. As Catholics, I do not understand how we can support the racist beliefs and policies that seem to be prevalent so much in our government’s present administration. It takes strength, love and wisdom to be doers of the Word and not just hearers. The racist blind spots and the selective amnesia among so many Christians is beyond my belief and understanding. In my opinion, the entire Body of Christ is gasping for a change! Love never fails. Jesus, take the wheel! ❤️
Beatriz Bezos - 06/22/2020 01:16 PM
Mr. Magliano, Respectfully, may I remind you that Americans twice proudly elected an African-American as President. We also have a balanced Supreme Court, among other government positions. You should have explained the concept of "Systemic Racism". Many just repeat it, without understanding what is being implied. And - Yes, it is wrong, but racism exist among and against all skin colors. I noticed you took us back to 1619 when Africans were kidnapped. I would have appreciated if you have taken your time to explain the respect, equality and tranquility we all should be able to enjoy. Please, review the deaths in the City of Chicago, of what is generally called "black-on-black crime". Also, missing is the need to strengthen families of all colors, as one of the biggest gaps today is the lack of positive male roles, specially in African-American families. Burning down the livelihood of minorities in the name of equality is truly irresponsible and just representative of an unruly mob. Thanks,
Jose Ignacio Jimenez - 06/22/2020 12:17 PM
We still have work to do to remove racism from society, but we must analyze the situation honestly so decisions about how to move forward are based on truth and facts. Part of the responsibility for the mass hysteria resulting in the rioting, looting, and deaths of the past few weeks must be placed at the feet of the media and politicians that have parroted the biased messages of organizations like Antifa and Black Lives Matter that make a business out of using the pain of those who feel oppressed and marginalized to further their political agenda. As Catholics we must always search for the truth to discern and respond with compassion. Instead too often many get caught-up in the politically charged climate and support racially charged knee-jerk solutions to problems that are not at the root of the problems experienced by many in the black community. St. Pope John Paul II called us to change the culture of society. We must question what is happening to our culture that results in high crime rates, high poverty rates. lack of respect for the rights of others (human rights, property rights, civil rights), lack of compassion to defend the dignity of God's children (born and unborn), and lack of faith in the future (in this life and the next). So if a riot is the language of the unheard, who and what are we listening to? The biased media? The forces that seek to destroy our culture? We must listen to those working to rescue the souls of the oppressed and the oppressors, and to the facts about the problems we are trying to solve. The rest of the noise is for the most part divisive. There are forces we should not be listening to.
STEVE ABRIL - 06/22/2020 09:42 AM
In the Church, the bishops were again given a pass by brain-dead, zombie Catholics (after just a few bad days in the press). Abortions continue unabated. Your article is a "RED HERRING" The Catholic Church needs to go back to speaking of the Sacraments , stop injecting liberation theology policies and protesting with masses that have MOB influences mixed in to spread class struggle Marxism who in essence hates the Catholic Church regardless of how you try to appease then. It's all about P O W E R. Watch the EWTN DVD: " A WOLF IN SHEEP'S CLOTHING." "wOKE" HAS DUPED THE cATHOLIC cHURCH.
Hope Sadowski - 06/22/2020 09:13 AM
Very nice article. What happened to Mr. Floyd is unconscionable, disgusting and totally unacceptable especially coming form the police that are supposed to protect us not kill. Having said that "Riots a Language of the Unheard" is inexcusable destroying the property of innocent people does not give them the right to destroy. Years go by, different politicians of different colors and ethnicity and nothing gets done. Why? because getting elected is more important and they tell you what is "popular" at the moment. Riots are not the answer.
Max - 06/22/2020 09:08 AM
The root cause of the latest riots are lies about racism from media. The media didn't show the other two officers with a knee on Floyd until well after inciting mobs... Racism would be dead in America if the democrats stopped calling people racist when they are not. The only racism I have seen in America over the last 30 years has been coming from democrats. The Black Lives Matter group is not an anti-racism group, they are a hate group. They hate traditional families and police. See their "What we believe" section on their website under their "About Us". The founder is a friend of Nickolas Maduro, the Venezuelan dictator... when she visited him, she said it was great being surrounded by people with the same political beliefs... We, as Catholics, must always preach the truth and expose the lies propagated by the evil one.

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