On January 1, 1972 Pope Paul VI said, “If you want peace, work for justice.” This wisdom is visible on signs at every protest all across the US. San Antonio Region Justice For Our Neighbors sole mission is to provide justice for immigrants so that they may enjoy a life of peace.
No matter the color of our skin or our country of origin, God created all of us in the divine image—which is the source of our dignity—and in responding to that inherent dignity we are called upon to treat our neighbors as we would want to be treated.
What happened to George Floyd fell far short of this calling. What is happening to the most vulnerable at our southern border falls far short of this calling. What is happening to our immigrant neighbors in our own communities falls far short of this calling. Violations of human dignity like these are the tangible expressions of what Dr. King described when he said injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
With this in mind, we encourage everyone to use their voices to call on elected officials to demand change. We encourage everyone to make choices informed by faith and values in the voting booth. We encourage everyone to raise your children to be loving, compassionate and appreciative of the tapestry of diverse cultures that alone makes America great. Lastly, we encourage everyone to help keep peaceful public pressure on officials until those responsible—and we know who they are—for the horrific violence against a defenseless man are brought to justice.
May the pain our country is experiencing today be a catalyst for dialogue that seeks understanding and transformation of the broken institutions that promote the violence they tolerate. Authentic dialogue that gains this understanding will have the potential to heal broken systems in all directions. To keep the conversation focused on life-giving systemic change; we must protest peacefully, stand together in solidarity and resoundingly reject all activities that can derail the message that we must have justice in order to enjoy peace.