San Antonio archbishop regrets tweets implying Trump is a racist

President Donald J. Trump and San Antonio Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller (AP/CNS Photo/America Media composite)

Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller of San Antonio, Tex., regrets that his recent tweets about President Trump “were not focused on the issues but on an individual.”

“All individuals have God-given dignity and should be accorded respect and love as children of God, especially in our conversations and interactions,” the archbishop said in a bilingual statement. “We should be aware of this in our discourse about the Office of the President of the United States, which is due our respect.”

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On Tuesday, Archbishop García-Siller tweeted that the president should “stop hate and racism, starting with yourself.”

The archbishop also released a video statement on Facebook.

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On Tuesday on Twitter, Archbishop García-Siller tweeted that the president should “stop hate and racism, starting with yourself.” He also pleaded with Mr. Trump to “stop fake prayer” and said he had caused “too much damage already” in a series of tweets that has since been deleted.

The tweets came after shootings in Dayton, Ohio, Gilroy, Calif., and El Paso, during which gunmen took the lives of more than 30 people. In the aftermath of the shootings, many have connected the violent action to Mr. Trump’s political rhetoric.

The tweets came after shootings in Dayton, Ohio, Gilroy, Calif., and El Paso, Tex.

“Here in South Texas the nearby community of Sutherland Springs was the scene of such a tragedy two years ago,” Archbishop García-Siller said. “This evil makes no sense and will never be fully understood. Disbelief and shock are the overwhelming feelings; and there are not adequate words. There can be no justifiable explanation for such scenes of horror.”

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The archbishop recalled the U.S. bishops’ document, “The Enduring Call to Love: A Pastoral Letter Against Racism,” which states: “Despite many promising strides made in our country, the ugly cancer of racism still infects our nation. Racist acts are sinful because they violate justice. They reveal a failure to acknowledge the human dignity of the person offended, to recognize them as the neighbors Christ calls us to love.”

“Every racist act—every such comment, every joke, every disparaging look as a reaction to the color of skin, ethnicity or place of origin—is a failure to acknowledge another person as a brother or sister, created in the image of God,” according to the document, which was approved last November.

 

“No one has the moral right to make racist statements,” Archbishop García-Siller said. “There is growing fear and harassment, and at times American public discourse uses rhetoric that instigates fear against foreigners, immigrants and refugees.... We do not need more division, but rather, we need to move forward in freedom to discuss these topics more deeply in light of the Gospel.”

According to a recent poll, 85 percent of U.S. adults believe political debate has become more negative. Around 55 percent believe Mr. Trump has worsened the tone of political rhetoric, and fewer than 24 percent believe he has improved it. 

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
J Jones
2 months 1 week ago

JD, I imagine you wrote this on the fly. I am grateful for it. Please consider providing the ENTIRE statement here, not just by link, but in print. Your excerpts do not do justice to the words, palpably searing pain and intentions of this good man. I know that was not your intention; my most sincere prayer is that you and America will post his entire statement.

Franklyn BUSBY
2 months 1 week ago

"JD, I imagine you wrote this on the fly." Your false charity and astounding presumption explore new depths of on-line predation. As any 4th grade journalism student will tell you, the text is not presented in it's entirety due to the limits of print journalism. "Palpably searing pain"? Really?!? There is no longer any such phenomena among Roman Catholic hierarchs. By "good man," do you mean a right-wing zealot who, just for a moment, tried to incarnate Christian values?

J Jones
2 months 1 week ago

I watched the video. I saw an Hispanic American man in extraordinary and wholly expected pain who had likely been watching re-broadcasts of the President of the United States laughing when someone called out "Shoot them!" in reference to persons crossing the southern border illegally. I saw an Hispanic American man speaking within days of the massacre of Hispanic Americans and Mexicans who "shot them" - hunted down and massacred them - specifically because they WERE Hispanic Americans and Mexicans. That Hispanic American man looked and sounded stricken with, yes, the "searing pain" that seems entirely expected and consistent with knowing that you, your family, likely most of your community would have been equally "good" targets for this man hunting Latino human beings with the express intention of killing them precisely and simply and ONLY because they ARE Latino human beings in the United States. I saw a Latino man who responded in that wholly expected and normal pain and anger and horror to the President of the United States, using the President's favorite communication medium and the medium where the President has repeatedly engaged in racism toward the Latino community. I saw a Latino man who was apologizing for an honest statement at a moment requiring honesty. I saw a Latino man in the days immediately after Latino human beings were hunted down and massacred because they were Latino human beings in the United States. I saw him apologizing for a statement that, in its specific delivery, violated his own conscience. And I heard him continue on, after that statement, to make it explicitly clear that his delivery did not invalidate the truth of his statement.

We are at a crossroads in the United States in how we address racism. Racism is NOT an "issue". Racism is CONDUCT on the individual, communal, institutional, structural and societal level. Conduct is ALWAYS a human action and, thus, conduct is ALWAYS the responsibility of humans, individual, collective, institutional or structural. And when that conduct is constructive of the conditions in which an American citizen engages in the behavior which caused the President of United States to laugh --- when an American citizen does in fact "shoot them!" --- the President of the United States needs to be addressed by name. It was no surprise to me that a Latino Catholic archbishop from the border country would be so horrified and frightened and grief stricken that he would speak as he did via Twitter. I understand on one level why he apologized and I was profoundly grateful that he did so by quoting the Pastoral letter on racism. I saw a Hispanic American man in extraordinary though wholly expected and appropriate pain make an extraordinarily important statement in an extraordinarily personally painful moment.

The entire
The beauty of online publications is that there space is NOT an issue in the way it is in print journalism. So the rules about space that those of us who were in 4th grade before the late 1990s or so do not apply.

It seemed likely to me that this Hispanic American truth-telling man made his apology in part because he was compelled by his institutional roles and perhaps superiors to do so. Thus it seemed very important to me that his ENTIRE statement be published without any intervening and diluting words and comments.

JD Garcia is a knock out journalist and I have confidence that he knows that. It appeared to me that the article was written shortly after the YouTube and print versions of the statement were made available. It did not read as clearly as I believe it could have. The moment -THIS MOMENT in which Hispanic Americans abd Mexicans were hunted down and massacred precisy because they WERE Hispanic Americans and Mexicans in the United States, when a young man hunted them down to "shoot them", when the Latino community is living through the exact scenario which cracked up the President of the United States at a rally ------- I think that deserves some extra space, maybe a second look at the editing, maybe a decision by the author and the editors to publish the full original words.

I understand refusing to let the Catholic hierarchy off the hook. At this moment, I am more than willing to step back and respect the gift to the Latino Catholic community of the comfort of a powerful man who is willing to speak out on their behalf.

Annette Magjuka
2 months 1 week ago

Yes. I agree with you.

Tim O'Leary
2 months 1 week ago

We have had 4 "mass" killings in 10 days (defined as 4 dead), but only 1 with an clear racist motive, 1 with a knife, all young men (19, 21, 24, 33), 1 Hispanic, 1 a Socialist/Atheist & Warren supporter. Surprisingly to some, none claimed Trump as their inspiration and all 4 seemed anti-Republican. Why did people think to express their hate with violence? Racism alone doesn’t explain this. Guns alone don’t either. I think it relates to Social media’s power to amplify discord, coupled with isolated/alienated young men who have lost their religious moorings and become immune to violence through video games and movies that increasingly glorify violence (every Quentin Tarantino movie). But, it also comes from politicians that stoke the fires of racism, Trump and his opponents who are forever defining everything in race terms.

In particular, all sides, including Trump, this bishop, Democrats and the media need to tone down the rhetoric about race. Anybody who insists on categorizing and disparaging people by race is part of the problem, whether immigrants, black-only lives matter groups, reparations talk, etc. But, those who insist on disparaging whites as racist, not-people-of-color, as if they were a single ethnic group, using racist terms like white privilege or even white supremacy (for people who actually don't hold such ideologies) are also fanning the flames, and that includes most of the Democrat candidates and especially the media. Calling Trump (or his voters) racist might make one feel good but it certainly doesn't help reduce violence and increase unity. Less racism, all around, please.

- Aug 7 in Orange County, CA: 4 dead, 2 injured in knife attack, all victims and the perpetrator were Hispanic, a 33 yo man, captured alive by police.
- Aug 4 in Dayton, OH: 10 killed, 14 injured, including sister by 24yo man with a semi-automatic rifle who was a self-declared socialist/atheist, hated Christians and a supporter of Elizabeth Warren and Antifa), blessedly stopped from killing many more by gun-toting police.
- Aug 3 in El Paso, TX: 22 dead, 24 injured by 21yo. man with a semi-automatic gun who had a paranoia about replacement from non-whites like the Australian killer of Muslim immigrants in New Zealand), captured alive by police.
- Jul 28 in Gilroy, CA: 4 dead, 13 injuries by 19yo man of Iranian-Italian descent with a semi-automatic gun, who had a history of violent ideologies against religious & government organizations, Republicans and Democrats. Stopped by gun-toting police within a minute.

J Cosgrove
2 months 1 week ago

Racism is a minor problem in the United States. Claims of racism is a major problem in the United States. Problems in the black community are major but they are not caused by discrimination. They are mainly caused by a breakdown in family structure affecting males extremely disproportionately.

Ellen B
2 months 1 week ago

Not being the recipient of racism, you are probably not the best judge.

J Cosgrove
2 months 1 week ago

You just made my point. You claim that there is racism.

Why don't you document the racism in the United States? Don't point to sub-optimal outcomes amongst blacks or other sub groups but to the conditions that led to the sub-optimal outcomes. If you do that, then you will also have to explain how black women do better economically than white women given the same demographic backgrounds.

Robert Klahn
2 months 1 week ago

Back up your claim that black women do better than white women.

Then explain your qualifier, "given the same demographic backgrounds".

Then show that black women, or men, have the same demographic backgrounds in general.

Have you ever heard of Edward Demming?

Do you even have close friends, or any relatives, who are Black or Asian?

If you did you would know racism is real.

J Cosgrove
2 months 1 week ago

The Study - Race and Economic Opportunity in the United States: An Intergenerational Perspective - Raj Chetty, Nathaniel Hendren, Maggie R. Jones, Sonya R. Porter
You just agreed with me. I put the qualifier in there because it shows that given the same starting place, black women do slightly better than white woman. If there was discrimination, you would not expect that. The range of economic backgrounds differ widely but why? I would look at the trend of fatherless households as a major reason.

Laura Gonzalez
2 months 1 week ago

Your remarks are nothing short of preposterous and fly in the face of obvious reality. Chetty himself admits there is racism:
Boushey: Talk a little bit more about this issue of economic mobility and the question of race. In some recent work, you’ve shown that black men experience far less opportunity for economic mobility than do white men, regardless of what income level they’re born into. I take from the research that you’ve done that it appears discrimination is really dragging down economic growth. Can you talk about how that ties into your mobility work, as well as your innovation work?

Chetty: Yes, certainly. Racial disparities are, of course, widely known and have been studied for a long time. The angle my co-authors and I bring in this recent study looks at socioeconomic positions from an intergenerational mobility perspective. If you take a black child and a white child, both of whom start out in the same social or economic circumstances growing up in a family with a given income level of, say $40,000 a year, then how do their prospects of moving up across generations look compared to each other?

It turns out, even above and beyond the factors that we’ve already talked about, race really matters. Black kids, and black men in particular, have much lower chances of climbing the income ladder, and have much higher chances of falling down, of experiencing downward mobility, relative to white kids.

For whites, intergenerational mobility looks like climbing an income ladder across generations. For blacks, unfortunately, it’s more like being on a treadmill. Every generation that climbs up, even once they’ve reached the top of the distribution, black men are more likely to fall back toward the middle or even the bottom of the income distribution.

In order to tackle racial disparities in America, we really need to understand how to change this process of intergenerational mobility, how to create more upward mobility among black kids.

Now, naturally the question is why we have lower rates of mobility among blacks than whites. One dominant hypothesis is the possibility of racial discrimination, either explicit or implicit, because of biases that have been built up over the years. And there is some evidence in the data that is supportive of that view; in particular, areas of the country with less racial bias tend to have higher rates of equitability for black men.

But it’s important to note that there are other factors at play as well. We find that neighborhoods with a greater presence of black fathers, with the fathers in the home raising black kids, tend to have better outcomes for black boys as well—and black boys in particular, not black women or white men.

There’s a very tight and particular correlation between the presence of black fathers and the outcomes of black men. What is that telling us? I think it could be something about role model effects, or differences in social norms, and areas where there are more black fathers present.

But stepping back a bit, I think even that mechanism could tie back to structural factors such as discrimination or incarceration policies. For example, it’s fair to ask why it is that there are some neighborhoods, many neighborhoods, where lots of black fathers are absent. I think mass incarceration or discrimination in the labor market leads to adverse outcomes for black men, which can then transmit to the next generation.
-----------
Read Tim Wise, re-read Chetty and get back to us.

J Cosgrove
2 months 1 week ago

You realize, you just agreed with me.

Judith Jordan
2 months 1 week ago

J Cosgrove---

When someone writes a post that disagrees with you, your response is frequently, “You just agreed with me.” You usually do not explain how they agreed with you. This is particularly frustrating when you are responding to a post that addressed many issues. If you believe that someone who opposes your views, agrees with you, please explain how. I am sure others are as confused as I am about this; particularly, the people who write the posts disagreeing with you.

J Cosgrove
2 months 1 week ago

They just criticize generally and don’t address or refute what has been said. That is tantamount to admitting the person they are criticizing is correct. It’s called logic or common sense. In short supply here.

J Cosgrove
2 months 1 week ago

Did Laura refute anything I said? I didn’t see it.

E.Patrick Mosman
2 months 1 week ago

If anyone truly wants to have a serious discussion on the plight of young blacks then he/she should first study Daniel Patrick Moynihan's The_Negro_Family:_The_Case_For_National_Action (the 1965 Moynihan Report)
http://www.dol.gov/oasam/programs/history/webid-meynihan.htm

A brief discussion of and about the report can be found here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Negro_Family:_The_Case_For_National_Action
"As long as so many black fathers disengage themselves from parenting, it’s virtually impossible to see how the dysfunction ends." Of course it started under President Johnson's "Great Society" programs which forced fathers out of the home in order for the mother and children to be eligible for federal aid. Fatherless families became the norm as young men were relieved of any parental duties.

Judith Jordan
2 months 1 week ago

J Cosgrove---
I suspect you did not read "Race and Economic Opportunity in the United States: An Intergenerational Perspective" by Raj Chetty, Nathaniel Hendren, Maggie R. Jones, Sonya R. Porter itself, but instead merely read an interpretation of it from someone on the right.

Astoundingly, many of your statements are the exact opposite of what the study found. Apparently, your interpreter selected various lines the writers discussed, but did not bother to include the broader claims to reach the conclusions and findings of the study.

You may read, or at least review, the original study itself to correct your comments at https://scholar.harvard.edu/files/hendren/files/race_paper.pdf

J Cosgrove
2 months 1 week ago

What is there to correct? I have had a copy of the study for about a year.

Judith Jordan
2 months 1 week ago

J Cosgrove---
If you have had the copy of the original study, I suggest you read it (again)?

If you have read and understood the study, you would not have to ask me what needs to be corrected.

J Cosgrove
2 months 1 week ago

But yet you provide nothing to say I have said anything that is incorrect.

A Fielder
2 months 1 week ago

J Cosgrove, some people with guns kills other people just because they are "black" or "mexican." This is evidence of racism. It is documented.

J Cosgrove
2 months 1 week ago

You just agreed with me. Yes, there are racist acts. They have been around since the beginning of time. But they are relatively infrequent in the United States and there is no evidence that racism is causing problems for any ethnic group, Maybe Asians since they are being excluded from elite schools because they do too well academically,.

JOHN SALVATI
2 months 1 week ago

Let's document it then, the total net worth of an African American family in Boston is $8, check the Boston Globe study, https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2017/12/11/that-was-typo-the-median-net-worth-black-bostonians-really/ze5kxC1jJelx24M3pugFFN/story.html. I suppose you'll run to Charles Murray for an explanation of that fact. You are a child of God, but that hardly makes anyone correct in all their judgements. One can simply be wrong, as you are in this case, try the Exmen..

Ellen B
2 months 1 week ago

African American women do better than white women? Cite the expert & source of that laughably false information.

J Cosgrove
2 months 1 week ago

I did cite the source above but apparently you did not read it. African American women do slightly better than white women when controlled for economic background.

Judith Jordan
2 months 1 week ago

J Cosgrove---
You neglected to state that the study also said black girls and women face deep inequality on many measures.

J Cosgrove
2 months 1 week ago

Yes, true, but is this due to discrimination or racism or something else? But given equal economic backgrounds they do slightly better economically. So you agree with me. Why not say so?

Judith Jordan
2 months 1 week ago

J Cosgrove--
I don’t say I agree with you because I don’t. You lift certain lines from the study, but do not give the entire picture which is misleading. Plus, I am not sure why black women do slightly better economically. Perhaps it is because traditionally, they have had to work very hard to care for their families.

J Cosgrove
2 months 1 week ago

You just agreed with me finally. So why criticize what I have said? I try to be accurate in everything I say. Sometimes I just express opinions or observations but I neatly always have evidence and logic behind these comments. Most people just vent or rant here with nothing more than unsubstantiated feelings. And that includes people with SJ after their name.

Tom Webb
2 months 1 week ago

How about we start with a genuine conversation about the need for reparations? Secondly, if there is no racism in the US please explain the recent pastoral on racism by the US bishops? Thirdly, if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck - it's not a fish. Hence, Trump is in fact a racist!

Robert Klahn
2 months 1 week ago

The breakdown of the family structure is tied to discrimination. Have you ever looked at the history? Have you ever studied the statistics?

J Cosgrove
2 months 1 week ago

Yes. When did family structure change? When did it accelerate? It's well documented.

Crystal Watson
2 months 1 week ago

Of course there is racism here, not just among individuals but in groups, like those who frequented the racist hate site Stormfront. If there's no racism here, who were those people that marched in Charlottesville chanting nazi slogans?

Mary Lou Savage
2 months 1 week ago

Your argument is odd. Anyone who says there is racism is proving your hypothesis that it is the “claim” of racisms that is the problem and that racism itself doesn’t exist. Existential in a tautological kind of way but basically nonsense. To identify another competing evil or issue doesn’t prove the first is non-existent or unimportant.

J Cosgrove
2 months 1 week ago

Your argument is odd

No it's sound. When someone claims that there is extensive racism (no one is denying that there isn't some racism ), but does not document it actually exists to any great extent is making my point. In order to make the claim that racism is widespread and harmful, one has to document the actual ways this happens. If they cannot, then the false claims are the issue. And there are lots of claims.

J Cosgrove
2 months 1 week ago

Black Harvard sociologist Orlando Patterson who has studied this extensively said,

America, “is now the least racist white-majority society in the world; has a better record of legal protections of minorities than any other society, white or black; offers more opportunities to a greater number of black persons than any other society, including all of those of Africa.”

Franklyn BUSBY
2 months 1 week ago

Dr. Orlando Patterson? The talking head on Faux News? The graduate of the London School of Economics? The National Book Award winner? He is correct, but the best protections in the world does nothing to counter, alleviate, or ameliorate, racism.

When you're rich from a powerful Jamaican family and a semi-celebrity, the only color that matters is green.

J Cosgrove
2 months 1 week ago

Thank you for making my point. By denigrating Orlando Patterson. it means you agree. By the way Orlando Patterson's father was a policeman. I don't believe that is a rich powerful Jamaican family.

Franklyn BUSBY
2 months 1 week ago

Lord, where do we get people like you? While you are right about the breakdown of the family, this disaster is most certainly not limited to black males or blacks in general. As with the Jews and the holocaust, the ravages of slavery and Jim Crow have left an entire people suffering from what amounts to PTSD. And let us not forget that all the angry, half-literate, white boys shooting up the place are from similarly dysfunctional families and communities.

As for you and your ilk... Send them back! Send them back!

J Cosgrove
2 months 1 week ago

Thank you for the kind comments. The following is a list of comments by other black academics and journalists

J Cosgrove
2 months 1 week ago

If we wanted to be serious about evidence, we might compare where blacks stood a hundred years after the end of slavery with where they stood after 30 years of the liberal welfare state. In other words, we could compare hard evidence on "the legacy of slavery" with hard evidence on the legacy of liberals. Thomas Sowell

J Cosgrove
2 months 1 week ago

in ghetto neighborhoods throughout the first half of the twentieth century, rates of inner-city joblessness, teenage pregnancy, out-of-wedlock births, female-headed families, welfare dependency and serious crime were significantly lower than in later years and did not reach catastrophic proportions until the mid-1970s. - William Julius Wilson - Cycles of Deprivation and the Underclass Debate 1985

J Cosgrove
2 months 1 week ago

How can centuries-old oppression be to blame for problems that became severe only recently?...Did the “legacy of slavery” and Jim Crow skip over a couple of generations and then reassert itself in the mid-1970s? Or is it possible that something else is primarily responsible for the outcomes we see today? Jason Riley Wall Street Journal

J Cosgrove
2 months 1 week ago

The reason for the deterioration of Black family structure is the policies that Democrats instituted in the 1960's which led to the massive breakdown of the two parent household. Failure to acknowledge this is the real racism in our society.

Tom Webb
2 months 1 week ago

Hmm... David Brooks noted conservative commentator recently wrote a column in support of reparations. Ever heard of intergenerational trauma? Read much history? Watch anything besides FAUX News? You've got a long way to go friend.

J Jones
2 months 1 week ago

Do you all realize that this poster has successfully distracted you from the racist, xenophobic massacre of Latinos which is the topic of this article? This poster denies racism against the African American community and he denies racism against the Latino community. This poster has just used your just and righteous rejection of racism against the African American community to distract from a just and righteous rejection of the racism which motivated the massacre of Latinos in El Paso.

J Cosgrove
2 months 1 week ago

By lying and distorting what I have said you have essentially agreed with everything I said. Otherwise, why distort. Personal attacks are also always an admission of a weak argument. The use of a specific incident by an individual can never be justified as proof of a generalized assessment and is a fallacy of logic. Much of the manifesto by the El Paso shooter was inconsistent with Trump's efforts so by your logic he represents an anti-Trump movement.

Ellen B
2 months 1 week ago

Why regret the truth? That particular individual has a bully pulpit with access to the entire world. It can be used for good or evil. The murderer in El Paso used that the presidents own words. The presidents tweet tied together the gun reform & immigration. The archbishop was restrained in what could be said.

Nora Bolcon
2 months 1 week ago

I don't know why is he apologizing for stating the facts based on Trump's own words and actions? Also, did this Bishop not remember that this shooter also had a list of girls he hoped to rape? Oh - I keep forgetting raping women and misogyny are not something most bishops get upset about.

Jesus did not have a problem with condemning behaviors or letting someone know that certain behaviors, if not repented, can lead to actual damnation of the whole person later on. I would rather the Archbishop apologize for not mentioning the evil of this shooters misogyny also fueled by Trump's personal misogyny proven by his own words and deeds rather than have him apologize for pointing out the obvious truth that Trump is a clear racist.

J Jones
2 months 1 week ago

Having watched the video and heard his complete statement, my assumption is that this Hispanic American man apologized because his goal is to preserve his ability to remain a source of truth-telling AND comfort AND representation for a community that was hunted down for killing. I think the President of the United States is a racist; I saw the video of him laughing when a member of the smaller crowd shouted "shoot them" and, now, a member of the larger crowd HAS shot them; and I believe the Archbishop made an understandable choice. If you haven't, listen to or read his whole statement. The article doesn't do it justice, and no article could because of the man's obvious pain and distress AND the completeness of the statement itself. Some statements are best left whole, without comment.

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