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In Solidarity, from an Immigrant of Color

Posted by | John Herrera, Director of Immigration Legal Services

Catholic Charities is committed to creating communications platforms that allow individuals who experience racism and other social injustices to have their voices heard. Today’s message comes from John Herrera, Director of our Immigration Legal Services:


John Herrera

I offer my prayers and my thoughts to our Black community. Our Black brothers and sisters have endured racism for years. The recent, senseless death of George Floyd is horrible and not a reflection of the world that I want to live in.

I am an immigrant. I am a person of color. I was raised Catholic – not by my parents, but by people who are not related to me by blood. My godparents raised me because my mother passed away when I was a baby. I was taught in my humble house to love everyone, and that we are all Children of God. They taught me that in the eyes of God we are equal and we all have the same rights. I am forever grateful for the life lessons that I learned from them. Nonetheless, I see now that we are not always treated equal before man.

We live in a society that classifies us, and we are required to be put into “boxes.”  In the society of man that we live in, we are labeled by skin color, the way we speak, the way we look, our country of origin, or how much money we have. I see that Black lives in America and elsewhere have routinely been subjected to racism simply because of the color of their skin. I’d like to live in a world where everyone is seen as God sees us — as equals.

I can see now more than ever that people do not see each other as equals. I am hopeful that all communities will join in the common cause to battle racism. I hope that one day, all of us, regardless of who we pray to, will see each other through the lens of love and recognize each other as fellow human beings, and sadly I recognize that we have a long way to go before we are there.

I stand in solidarity with people all over the world who understand that Black Lives Matter.