Dear Editor:

“Black Lives Matter.” Why do these three words evoke outrage? After only two days our BLM banner was stolen on June 25. Why is the 1st Amendment (free speech) not honored as much as the 2nd?

So why did we, the Sisters of St. Francis of Oldenburg, have this banner out on our front lawn?

Black lives matter – and brown, red, and yellow. Nobody questions whether or not we, white people, matter but the US Constitution only counted black lives as 3/5.

It’s time we count them as equal, meaning we must end systemic racism – the racism that still today is inherent in our judicial, educational, healthcare and economic systems. Why are blacks and other people of color more likely to be killed by the police? Why are women of color more likely to die in childbirth? Why do people of color get longer prison terms than whites for the same crime? Why is poverty more prevalent among people of color?

One’s race does not make one more dangerous or more intelligent than another. Systems have deprived people of equal access to opportunity. Systems must change.

“Black lives matter” is an umbrella for the lives of all people of color. Jesus stood up for the tax collectors, the prostitutes, the Samaritans, the lepers – anyone who was pushed aside by society in his day. We’re doing the same. We’re inviting others to “be not afraid” – to stand in solidarity with our sisters and brothers of all colors.

Noella Poinsette, Oldenburg

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