All lives can't matter until Black lives matter

Dear friends, we are in a difficult time in the world. The past few days have been marked with tension, destruction, and the sad reminder that racism is not dead. It's taken me a lot of time to process my own feelings and work through the discomfort.

Last week on my personal blog, I took some time to write about my own feelings and emotions towards the anti-Asian sentiments that have been rampant throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Soon after, George Floyd died at the hands of police. This is an event that should have never happened, and yet is part of a growing list of Black men who have been killed by police brutality.

While I have my own struggles due to my race and the colour of my skin, I know that I will never understand what it is like to be Black. It's taken me a while to unlearn that not all racism is the same, and while I still honour and support my Asian and Pacific Islander brothers and sisters in the wake of the anti-Asian sentiments in recent months, I also wish to raise my voice in support of my Black brothers and sisters.

I am blessed by my privilege as an educated Asian-Canadian who lives in a country where I am free to practice my religion and go to school. I can do a lot of things without fear of being randomly questioned, dragged out of my car, or even killed. This is not the same experience for Black folks, and it makes me upset just thinking about it.

As Catholics, we know the immovable fact that we are made in God's image and likeness. Regardless of our race and colour, we are ALL valuable. We are ALL God's children. Our faith is one that is pro-life, one that defends the sacredness of all human life from conception to its natural end. Pope Francis, in his homily on June 3, 2020, said it best: "My friends, we cannot tolerate or turn a blind eye to racism and exclusion in any form and yet claim to defend the sacredness of every human life." But when there are parts of the Body of Christ that are hurting, we need to step up, defend their dignity, and stand in solidarity. All lives can't possibly matter until we understand that Black lives matter.

In this season of difficulty and turmoil, we need to use our voices to stand up and defend all human life. We need to be humble.

Humble enough to listen.

Humble enough to learn.

Humble enough to recognize that we've failed.

Humble enough to say that we've been complicit in a broken system.

Humble enough to admit that we don't, and won't, ever understand, but we're willing to try.

At this point in time, it is certainly very uncomfortable and difficult to work through our own feelings. But I believe that this poses an opportunity for us to try even harder to recognize our own shortcomings and biases. For me, it reminds me that diversity of guests matters. The voices of all women, but particularly those in the Black Catholic community, need to be heard and focused in on. And we need to listen more deeply.

This is my commitment to you, dear listener: I will work hard to be even more intentional when I reach out to guests. I will work hard to focus in on the voices of those from the Black Catholic community. It is my deep regret that one year has gone by and I still haven't had a Black woman on the show. I hope to change that soon, and with respect and intentionality.

For now, all I can offer are my sincerest apologies to those men and women in the Black community. I pray that we can all take to heart the words of Pope Francis and that we continue to support Black lives.

God bless you all, and be well!

For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

In Christ,