When a black man is just a boy, his parents will likely have two conversations with him.
The first is about life in general — things like being careful crossing the street, how to choose one’s friends and be a responsible young man.
The second is about how to act around law enforcement, lest one end up like Emmett Till, Rodney King, Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner or, most recently, George Floyd, who died in Minneapolis on May 25 when a white police officer knelt on his neck for nearly 9 minutes.
Over the weekend and continuing for five days, protests have taken place across the United States seeking justice for Floyd and calling for an end to police brutality, particularly against people of color.
Detroit, with a population of approximately 670,000 citizens — 78.6% of whom are black — has seen its own mixture of peaceful protests followed by separate riots and outbursts of violence.
In response to the unrest, Catholic leaders of all races, some of whom witnessed the impact of the civil rights movement over 50 years and the civil disturbances of 1967, are saying the Church must do more to speak out against injustice.
Fr. Norm Thomas, longtime pastor of one of Detroit’s preeminent black parishes, Sacred Heart near Eastern Market, said the protests and demonstrations are a cry for wholesale changes and upheaval to a society still battling the sins of racism.
Read more at Detroit Catholic