Another powerful, thought-provoking statement I'm just seeing here this morning, from Rolando, in response to the Ferguson situation and a question Michael Sean Winters asked last week at National Catholic Reporter: How deep is the racism? Here's Rolando's reflection:
Racism has been an American bane since Columbus "discovered" us. It took a while for Spain and the Church to realize that the índios had souls just as the Christians had souls; they were just not as holy or wholesome as Europeans. Still, because the "indians" were morenos and not negros, the Europeans readily intermarried and gave rise to the mestizos. Morenos were brown or tanned, so they could be allowed to "pass," especially when they were "en-lightened" by European blood.
The negros, on the other hand, were obviously not worthy to "pass" and could only be tolerated and used. This bane has only increased and spread as the blessings and resources of this hemisphere have been relentlessly exploited for personal profit and not for the common good. This is witnessed by the blatant disrespect and disparagement endured by our black sisters and brothers, and the challenges encountered just trying to survive. Even our current president is besieged not because he's a Democrat or too liberal or not qualified, but because he's a black man in the White House.
Until our nation can confess its racism, being moreno or mestizo in the United States will continue to be a "papers please" existence. Being negro will continue being very risky.
Sadly, our Church does not consider racism "inherently disordered."
I am as dark -- but lovely -- as the tents of Kedar, as the curtains of Salma. Do not stare at me because I am swarthy, because the sun has burned me. My brothers have been angry with me; they charged me with the care of the vineyards: my own vineyard I have not cared for. (Song of Songs 1:5-6)