Archbishop Lucas’ Statement on Racism
June 11, 2020
On June 1, Archbishop George Lucas released the following statement on the death of George Floyd, the Omaha death of James Scurlock and the Douglas County attorney’s decision not to prosecute the man who killed him, and the associated social unrest in Omaha and across the nation:
Ever since I saw the video of the violent death of George Floyd at the hands of police officers, I have been praying for him and for his family. Many law enforcement professionals have rightly decried the violence that led to his killing. This is a shocking example of the racism that too often remains embedded in our institutions and in our communities.
The turmoil now being experienced in our city and in cities across the country reminds us that the sting of racism has been felt personally by many in our community. We also see that too often the violence of racism begets more violence.
Now in Omaha we mourn the death of James Scurlock. We pray for comfort and strength for his family and friends. We also pray for peace in our community. Further violence will leave us further diminished, further divided. I am praying for our neighbors of color, who experience this as a particular time of anger or fear.
I encourage all people of good will to kneel humbly before God at this moment. We must pray that our hearts be healed of all that tolerates or promotes the division among us that has racism as its ugly manifestation.
At the heart of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the straightforward command: Love your neighbor as yourself. To love, in biblical terms, means to want only good for the other. The command of Jesus calls us to a change of heart, to be less set in our own prejudices, to be less dismissive of the experiences of others.
In light of the announcement from the county attorney this afternoon, we must pray fervently for peace in our city and for safety for our citizens, as well as for those who are charged with protecting public safety. If we each are committed to stop present violence, we can then commit to the long, necessary task of establishing the true justice which leads to lasting peace.