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Anti-Black Racism & Our Moral Responsibility

Anti-Black Racism | Munshots on Unsplash
Anti-Black Racism | Munshots on Unsplash

Last week also saw yet another example of fatal anti-Black racism come to light with the murder of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis. Meanwhile, in Toronto, we mourn the passing of 29-year-old Regis Korchinski-Paquet, who fell to her death after police were called to help her.

Racism and racist violence continue to cut short Black lives with unbearable frequency. George Floyd’s death can only be understood as a result of historical and persistent discrimination, oppression, and prejudice that are deeply embedded in our societal structures.

We reach out to Black community members, fellow congregants, friends and neighbours who are in pain, frightened or angry to offer support and to demonstrate our presence. We join in solidarity with those protesting the murder of George Floyd and those calling for a full and impartial investigation of the events surrounding the death of Regis Korchinski-Paquet. We join our hearts and conscience with all People of Colour who have died from racism and hate, and pledge to do all within our power to foster a more equitable and just society.

We know that Black Canadians experience racism here in Canada and we have our own long history of racism, which continues particularly to impact First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples. We still have much work to do to engage in meaningful reconciliation.

As people of all faiths, let us demonstrate our solidarity with Black and racialized Canadians by:

  • Reaching out to Black communities to listen to their needs and offer support
  • Acting in partnership and solidarity with organizations like the Canadian Caribbean Association of Halton
  • Advocating that our congregations and faith institutions speak out against acts of racism whenever they occur
  • Following up with action to change policies that perpetuate systemic racism;
  • Stressing the importance of community policing by the Halton Regional Police Services and its impact on justice within Halton’s most vulnerable communities

The events of the past week have focused our collective attention on the work we must do to counter anti-Black racism. Let us honour the memories of all those who have been persecuted because of the colour of their skin by committing to meaningful action.   Together may we engage in a deep and meaningful healing and build a better world founded on deep respect for all human beings created in the image of God.

Written on behalf of the Interfaith Council of Halton.