The Council for World Mission published a statement, entitled “I Can’t Breathe,” reflecting that black and minority ethnic communities, as well as migrant workers, are treated as cheap and disposable labour, frequently denied equal rights, wages and dignity.
“COVID-19 reveals the pandemic of inequality that is all around us,” reads the statement. “These statistics and realities frame lives, deaths and a system.”
We live within the very hostile context of two strikingly different worlds – the world of the privileged and that of the underprivileged, the world of the whites and that of the blacks and browns, the world of the haves and that of the haves not, the statement continues. “These two worlds are the outcome of entrenched racism, which fuels systemic violence against black people and ethnic minorities, perpetuates injustices and breeds poverty.”
We must rise up against this pandemic of injustice and the racism and legacies of slavery which underpin it, urges the statement. “We, the Christian community, have just observed the season of Pentecost when we celebrated how the Spirit of God is breathed out anew upon the disciples,” the text concludes. “This act of breathing, upon the grieving disciples, symbolises a new creation, a breaking out of new life in the midst of death, depression and despair.”