The Dominican Sisters of
Houston continue to strive to be allies and to amplify Black voices; The
following statement from the National Black Sisters’ Conference emphasizes how
little progress has been made in respecting the rights and dignity of Black people
since our enslavement of their ancestors.
Century Lynchings in America: Our Red Record Statement Issued by the National
Black Sisters’ Conference
In 1895 the activist and
Civil Rights icon, Ida B Wells, wrote a research pamphlet called The Red
Record. In it Mrs. Wells tabulated the numbers of lynchings in the United
States since the Emancipation of African slaves. The conclusion was that little
had changed for the Negro in America by the end of the nineteenth century. The
Emancipation Proclamation, and federal programs like the Freedmen’s Bureau, did
not prevent the death of thousands of Negros by the end of the nineteenth and
early twentieth century.
Ida B. Wells writes: “in
slave times the Negro was kept subservient and submissive…but with freedom the
Negro is whipped, scourged, he is killed.” Frederick Douglass, in a review of
Mrs. Wells’ groundbreaking study, wrote: “If American moral sensitivity was not
hardened by the persistent infliction of outrage and crime against colored
people, a scream of horror, shame, and indignation would rise from heaven.”
America’s sensibility is still hardened in the twenty-first century. Black
Americans still scream in horror. We still cannot breathe. Black Lives still do
twenty-four years later we are still writing the same story! African American
men, women, and children are still being lynched, murdered, and executed for
playing with a toy gun, watching television in one’s own home, and mistaken identity,
driving or jogging while black, and being choked to death in cold blood by law
enforcement officers, who have sworn to serve and protect.
We must speak and never
forget their names.
Reason “Sean” Reed shot
and killed in Indianapolis; Breonna Taylor, an emergency medical technician in
Louisville, Ky., shot eight times in her bed; Ahmaud Aubrey killed while out
jogging; and George Floyd dying from a police officer’s knee on his neck as Mr.
Floyd screamed, “I can’t breathe!”
The National Black Sisters’
Conference (NBSC) condemns the viral disease of systemic racism that America
has legitimized and practiced for over 400 years! We will not remain silent!
There is more than one pandemic affecting our nation!
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
once said, “I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound in
the starless midnight of racism…”
If this country is to
reclaim its moral stature, we must confess and atone for our original sin, or
America will self-destruct as a nation. As Malcolm X once warned the white
power structure, “The chickens have come home to roost.”
Without justice there can
be no peace and justice demands that:
Law Enforcement is held
accountable for their willful negligence and compliance in racist activities