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Papa Francis The First | His Holiness Papa Francisco

Black and White: A Tale of Two Futures...

Last week the country rocked, in some small way, with the announcement of the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the death of Trayvon Martin, in Sanford, Florida. Everyone knows the reported details, the volunteer guard (28 years old; mixed-race Hispanic) following and confronting the teenaged African American, Martin, in January, in a gated community where Martin was walking from a friend’s house. A fight ensued, a shooting followed, Martin was left dead. Zimmerman claimed legitimate self-defense; the jury acquitted.

Protests followed across the country. President Obama spoke to the nation, saying “Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago,” and then talked for a bit about the existence of racism, still, in American society. “The African American community is looking at this issue through a set of experiences and a history that doesn’t go away,” he explained, and went on to talk about why this situation looks different to Black Americans than it might to others. He even suggested some positive steps that his office will take to help improve racial relations.

I took the bus last Saturday from downtown Cincinnati, where I was visiting with a friend from out-of-town. We drove past the protest underway in front of our own federal courthouse, a peaceful gathering of about 200 picket-carrying concerned citizens. (There were about 100 of these nationally.) We stopped, at different times, to pick up two families with young children: one black, who likely were using the bus out of necessity; one white, who, like me, were likely riding the bus as a convenience, or as an intentional “green” thing to do.

As I saw the kids innocently interacting, I couldn’t help but imagine how different their futures would likely be. Probably poor versus middle class or better. Probably poor schools versus better schools. Probably less opportunity for economic advancement and security versus a given expectation there there will be plenty. I don’t know; maybe I had it wrong. But I’ll bet I was right.

All things being equal, the black community, generally,  still struggles against harder odds than the white community. The Trayvon Martin case reminds us that we have a long way to go.

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photo by John Feister

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"And now let us begin this journey, the Bishop and people, this journey of the Church of Rome, which presides in charity over all the Churches, a journey of brotherhood in love, of mutual trust. Let us always pray for one another. Let us pray for the whole world that there might be a great sense of brotherhood.

I will now give my blessing to you and to the whole world, to all men and women of good will."

-Papa Francis quote

He does not know you, yet he prays for you.
He will most likely never meet you, yet he loves you.

This is your chance to show your love, for as the Bible teaches, "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven."