As a body is one though it has many parts, and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body, so also Christ… if one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it; if one part is honored, all the parts share its joy. – 1Corinthians 12:12, 26
We, the National Association of Black Catholic Administrators, raise our collective voices in solidarity with our Haitian brothers and sisters. It has been quite difficult and gut-wrenching to watch, hear, and read about how the Haitians are being treated as they attempt to enter the United States through our southern borders.
We believe that every person is more important than things, that we are “God’s temple”, so the horrific photos of the United States Department of Homeland Security using horse whips on refugees is appalling. We, as a country, call on other nations to act humanely, and yet, this is how we treat people from Haiti seeking aid. This contradicts our convictions on the value of the human person.
We could cite statistics of the natural disasters Haiti has experienced. We could cite historical documents to reveal the marginalization of Haiti since the 19th century. We could cite the current double standards towards Haitian migrants and refugees. And we could cite the turmoil experienced daily by the Haitian people, including kidnappings, extreme poverty, insecurity, hunger, and death.
The Haitian immigrants’ case begs for an urgent humanitarian response. The dignity of the human person and the quality of life for Haitians are just as important as the Afghan, Latino, and Burmese… We do not begrudge the compassion and respect offered to our brothers and sisters from Afghanistan, Burma, Korea, Latin America, Poland, Ukraine, Vietnam… We ask that Haitians be given the same level of care and respect, and an equal fight for justice.
Please do not allow yourself to be numb to the continued gross injustice and gross misuse of power. Do not sit by and allow this gross level of racial inequality to unfold without raising one voice, one hand, one leap of faith.
We cry out for our Catholic leaders to do something, to say something. Urgency is of the essence.
We cry out for our current administration in Washington, D.C., to act with justice and compassion. The double standards and racial injustices have reached the point of unbearable.
We cry out to people everywhere to hear the cry of the poor, the oppressed, and the abused. When one part suffers, all parts suffer for the sake of the one.
We cry out…
May God of the oppressed and afflicted continue to protect our people. And May God of justice and love empower the church to go the distance and stay the course.
Mother of Africa, pray for us.
Venerable Pierre Toussaint, pray for us.