August 27, 2014 – Excerpted from “Put Out Into the Deep,” Bishop DiMarzio’s column in The Tablet:
The events of the last several weeks in Staten Island and Missouri give evidence to the deep racial divide that still exists in our country. In too many circumstances, it is the police, who are on the front lines of our society, who encounter difficulties and become surrogates for our own unrequited racism.
I, myself, cannot help but remember the days of the race riots in my native city of Newark, N.J., during the 1960s. The explosion of violence following the death of Martin Luther King Jr., who was the greatest proponent of nonviolent revolution, remains deep in my memory. As we look back to the 1960s, have we learned any lessons from that time when the racial divide seemed to be so great?
Like you, I had hoped our Nation had moved beyond race. Clearly, our Nation has matured. In many areas, race seems to have ceased being a deterrent to advancement. We have elected our first African-American President. Also, here in our own city, we have elected a mayor who has a biracial family. We have eliminated much of the discrimination based on race that still plagues our society. More opportunities have been given to racial minorities to achieve scholastically and economically. Most would agree, however, that our society is not yet color-blind. What is the path that will allow us to recognize all people as God’s children and treat each with equality?
Read the full text of the Bishop’s column on The Tablet website.