President Trump just spoke on Charlottesville.
Separately, Archbishop Chaput released a powerful statement yesterday that read, in part:
“Racism is a poison of the soul. It’s the ugly, original sin of our country, an illness that has never fully healed. Blending it with the Nazi salute, the relic of a regime that murdered millions, compounds the obscenity.
“But we need more than pious public statements. If our anger today is just another mental virus displaced tomorrow by the next distraction or outrage we find in the media, nothing will change. Charlottesville matters. It’s a snapshot of our public unraveling into real hatreds brutally expressed; a collapse of restraint and mutual respect now taking place across the country… If we want a different kind of country in the future, we need to start today with a conversion in our own hearts, and an insistence on the same in others.”
Following the coverage of the terrible events in Charlottesville over the weekend was sickening. The presence of any political movement in our country, however small, fueled by racism, white supremacy, and hate is both disgusting and reprehensible. This movement is borne of the same ideology that fueled a belief in eugenics, abortion, slavery, anti-Catholic bigotry and more.
And it must be opposed by every Catholic citizen.
Some have spoken out to condemn the ideas and violence of the counter protests by the ‘Antifa’ movement, or the racist antics of certain progressive groups or selective outrage which compound the problems. Many of these left-wing groups are now exploiting the tragedy for their own agendas.
While there are legitimate concerns and debates to be had, it is important today to speak clearly and unequivocally on the moral repugnance of the ideas and rally that gave rise to the conflict to begin with. Debates over statues and symbols are difficult. But they need not, and cannot ever be used to justify pernicious ideas of white supremacy and racism.
Our movement stands in stark contrast. We defend human dignity, ordered liberty, justice and the common good. If we hope to persuade our fellow citizens of the rightness of our cause, we must speak and act with clarity and consistency.
The events in Charlottesville shocked many of us because we had hoped that organized racist rallies were an ugly chapter of our past. But the tools of the internet and social media today allow these evils to persist, garner undue attention and credibility, and organize.
Today we want to be clear: racism is repugnant and evil.
It is neither Catholic, American, conservative, or Republican.
And it must be defeated.