Regarding Ferguson, the death of Michael Brown, and the recent grand jury decision

December 01, 2014

The desire for social justice is widely and instinctively held, however, all too often social justice appears as an aspiration rather than as a reality. The Antiracism Commission of the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago is committed to dismantling institutional racism in our Diocese and in our world. We recognize that there are two views of the decision not to indict police officers who shot Michael Brown to death. As human beings our perceptions are highly influenced and formed by personal experiences and our cultural and sociological influences. Our efforts to get it right and to survive are molded by the systems and institutional structures that order our lives.

These cultural and sociological influences combine with institutional structures and systems to build distrust of each other and lead to the growing militarization of our police forces and the long history of systemic and structural racism of our country’s judicial system. The training we give our police, prosecutors and judges; the views we have of the roles that police exercise in our communities; the response that we have to police action; grand jury decisions are all shaped by are society’s history of slavery, racism and systemic institutional racism.

There is Only Lamentation: Bishop Lee on Ferguson” – Bishop Lee’s November 26, 2014 response to Ferguson found on the Diocesan webpage.

Additionally, please read the New Jersey Bishop’s statement regarding Ferguson.

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