Christians should assess prejudices lurking below surface - Catholic Courier
Baltimore Archbishop William E. Lori and the Rev. Eugene Sutton, Episcopal Bishop of Maryland, talk before an interfaith prayer vigil in Baltimore June 3, 2020, to pray for justice and peace. Baltimore Archbishop William E. Lori and the Rev. Eugene Sutton, Episcopal Bishop of Maryland, talk before an interfaith prayer vigil in Baltimore June 3, 2020, to pray for justice and peace following the May 25 death of George Floyd -- an unarmed black man said to have spent several minutes under a Minnesota police officer's knee before becoming unconscious. (CNS photo by Tim Swift/Catholic Review)

Christians should assess prejudices lurking below surface

To the editor:

Reflecting on George Floyd’s death combined with fear I felt when I suspected a scam phone call because the speaker had a foreign accent. I do not see myself as prejudiced! BUT I am because just listening ‚Äì not even seeing the person I was talking to ‚Äì I thought I was in danger.

We ARE a product of our roots. As a young child, I lived in a poor neighborhood. I have worked as a counselor at a Neighborhood Family Community camp for underprivileged children, at Baden St. Development Center, as a teacher delivering services to students, ages birth to 2 years in the city. All positive experiences! I supervised staff in Catholic schools in the city in potentially dangerous environments.

“No one is born a racist!” Children ages 2-5, readily accept each other, play together, love each other. They are not prejudiced. They are taught prejudice ‚Äì unconsciously and consciously.

This is beyond politics ‚Äì it’s about Human Dignity! Who are we, as Christians, as Catholics sharing Jesus Christ with those we encounter if we cannot be open to look within ourselves, begin to listen and then be free to form our own opinions ‚Äì maybe change, maybe not! But at least begin the process of listening, reflecting, and letting the Holy Spirit guide our thoughts.

Just as deep cleaning and sanitizing work surfaces may be lifted during (the pandemic), I need to deep clean my consciousness of deep-rooted prejudice and decide one way or another ‚Äì NOT to straddle the fence.”

Arlene Valentine

Fairport Village Landing, Fairport

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