WHEN WORDS FALL SHORT
A PASTORAL LETTER ON RACISM
Bishop George Leo Thomas, Ph.D.
Diocese of Las Vegas
June 10, 2020
The tragic and inhumane death of Mr. George Floyd has enraged the nation and galvanized
people across the globe to cry out together for justice in his name.
In fewer than nine minutes, we witnessed breathtaking footage of an unarmed black man
receiving capital punishment for a petty crime, pleading for his life while crying out those
infamous words that haunt the soul of this nation. “I can’t breathe.”
That breathtaking scene has torn the curtain back on a grave and silent sin that continues to
disease and demean the spirit of our nation, and that is the pernicious sin of racism.
Now, the individual and collective voices of people everywhere crying out “Black Lives Matter,”
“No Justice, No Peace!,” “Justice for George!,” will not be silenced until there is real, deliberate,
and systemic change in American society and in nations across the world.
This time, words, chants, prayers, and placards, however necessary and sincere, will not be
enough to satisfy the hue and cry of the people.
We want real evidence of real change.