Message of Solidarity
Neighbours of the United States
It is not usual for a bishop in the Caribbean to address an issue or a happening in the United States of America or any of the metropolitan countries. However, the protest action in the United States which ensued from the brutal murder of the African American, George Floyd, in Minneapolis the last couple weeks, has triggered an outrage and social unrest of epic proportions. It has attracted support in every state in the United States of America and many other parts of the globe. It has done so for the simple reason that a great wrong has been done, not only to the black race but to the entire human race.
As president of the Antilles Bishops Conference, I feel compelled to make this short statement on behalf of all the English, French, and Dutch speaking bishops of the region, expressing our outrage and denunciation of this blatant injustice to George Floyd and to the African Americans in America.
As a part of the human community, we feel the pain of anyone who is discriminated against for reasons of colour, creed, class or religion. For us in the Caribbean, many of our people have their residence and relatives in the United States, and frequently travel to there for business or pleasure. We stand in solidarity with their pain over the injustice meted out to Mr. Floyd which led to his death. We stand in solidarity with the millions of people of all races all over the United States and all over the world who are incensed by such act of brutality towards a minority in his own country.
We stand with all our brothers and sisters in the United States begging that justice be served to the guilty law enforcement personnel. To overlook the seriousness of this crime is to perpetuate the long-standing disease of racism which cries for redress. A refusal to attend adequately and speedily to such a situation which has attracted universal attention is to overlook the initial accomplishments of the likes of Dr. Martin Luther King, jr. It is clear that the entire community of conscientious Black, Hispanic, Asian, Jewish and White people in the United States are saying clearly that enough is enough as regards racism in any of its forms.
We believe that the United States of America is at a significant crossroad regarding racism. A crossroad which provides a unique opportunity to do something different, significant, and to do it right once and for all.
While we lament the brutal homicide of George Floyd and express sincere condolences to his bereaved family, we are certain that, if his death is to mark a real turning point in the history of United States, then a real conversion would heal the long-standing wounds of racism, and his death would not be in vain. We sincerely pray for this grace for the sake of our children and their future. We pray for this grace for the entire human race.
I thank you.
Bishop Gabriel Malzaire