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Racism in the USA: card. DiNardo (President of Bishops Conference), “despite progress, still alive and real”

(New York) “Despite all the progress made by our country about discrimination, racism is still alive and real. In his message, Reverend Martin Luther King asks us to renew ourselves in the light of the Gospel, so that the sin of racism may be defeated by love and by the light of faith”. On the day the USA celebrate the birth of the winner for the Nobel Prize for Peace and Civil Rights as a national holiday, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, President of the US Bishops Conference, puts his finger on one of the most painful sores ever experienced by the United States and wishes that Martin Luther King’s story may inspire lasting change. Last summer’s Charlottesville episodes, when a young woman was killed during a rally by white supremacists, gave a glimpse of “a scary truth that hides under the surface of our culture”. The Cardinal also mentions one of the essays in which King calls on “common sense, morality, the ethics of love as tools to cut off the chain of hate”. And in this connection he recalls the courage and commitment of sister Mary Antona Ebo, a Franciscan nun who died last November and was the first nun to march with Martin Luther King from Montgomery to Selma, in the journey that marked the start of the battle for civil rights. To those who asked her why she was taking part in that journey, sister Antona answered: “I am here because I am black, I am a nun and I am a Catholic, and that’s why I want to tell this story”. Witnesses’ courage is needed, DiNardo points out, who ends with a call on “Jesus, the most powerful way to break the chain of hate that clasp too many hearts. This truth is the fundamental legacy that Doctor King left us”. All over the USA, from Tennessee to California, from Alabama to Georgia, to the State of New York, the figure of the Afro-American activist is commemorated with artistic performances, exhibitions and meetings with his friends and followers. Some celebrations will go on until April 4th, the fiftieth anniversary of his murder, in Memphis. President Donald Trump signed a law to open a historical park about his figure and his battles for civil rights, in Georgia, the State where Martin Luther King was born.

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