There is No Room for Racism in Our Society
By Bishop David J. Malloy
In our confused and often politically charged public rhetoric, a constant theme is being heard. It is the identification of practices, events and attitudes in our society that are being labeled as racist in nature.
It has to be acknowledged that the history of the United States has not been free of this cancer. The same can be said of other western countries also. 
The accounts of the slave trade that brought Africans to this country and to various other colonies in chains are shameful and appalling. The conditions that they endured in slave ships, as well as the slavery and family breakups once they had arrived in this country and been sold to another human being, have longed marked our social consciousness. 
As a society we have struggled for full respect and integration down even to our own day.
We cannot be unmindful either of the manner in which Native Americans were treated during the westward expansion of the United States during the 1800s. 
More broadly, the spiritual damage flowing from the claim of racial, ethnic or tribal superiority has been a constant struggle for the human race all over the world and throughout history.And often, as a consequence of racially based oppression, a cycle is begun between peoples. 
Being racially offended inflicts a wound that is hard to forget. As a result, reprisal, at some time and point, is taken and so the cycle continues.
Racism is sinful. It denies the very nature of creation coming from God’s hand. 
Most especially, racism violates the dignity of the human person because it implies that, on simply external characteristics or because of cultural or religious origin, some men and women are better than, or even superior to, others. This is simply not how God has made the human race.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church reminds us that, “Created in the image of the one God and equally endowed with rational souls, all men have the same nature and the same origin. Redeemed by the sacrifice of Christ, all are called to participate in the same divine beatitude: all therefore enjoy an equal dignity.” (CCC 1934). 
For that reason, the Second Vatican Council taught that “Every form of social or cultural discrimination in fundamental personal rights on the grounds of sex, race, color, social conditions, language, or religion must be curbed and eradicated as incompatible with God’s design.” (Gaudium et Spes, 29, section 2).
Much progress in overcoming racism in our country has been made, especially in recent decades. The election of President Obama was an obvious example. 
Still, it is painful and offensive when we hear slurs thrown back and forth between members of different racial groups. 
Marches and rallies that claim or imply the superiority of any ethnic group over another must be condemned.
The response to racism must include public policies that demonstrate where we stand as a nation. But that is insufficient. 
The deeper answer is for each of us to recognize and live the truth that God has made every person in His own image and likeness. We cannot underestimate the influence that faith in God has in leading us to this goal.
It is not simply a pious and superficial thought to say that we are all God’s children. 
That means all of us, from every race and nation. It means that the elderly and the unborn, the deformed and the sick are also one with us. 
Whether we are poor or we are rich, agreeable or disagreeable, born here or a refugee, we all bear God’s image.
There is simply no room for racism in our hearts or our society. There is only room for recognizing and sharing the love God has for all of us.