Saturday, August 20, 2022

The end does not justify the means.

Once you start to divide society into the oppressor and the oppressed and the black people are always on the downside and the white people are always the possessors of privilege, I think that’s a mistake. It’s a mistake to fixate on the idea of white privilege because most white people in American society are not and don’t feel themselves to be privileged. Most white people in American society are actually struggling. They’re struggling to raise their children. They worry about whether their children’s lives will be better than their own. They confront all manner of illness and distress and economic anxiety. So it’s both analytically wrong and politically misguided to promote an ideology that suggests that all white people have it good and all black people have it bad.” (Manhattan Institute 2021)

Cycleback, David. Against Illiberalism: A critique of illiberal trends in liberal institutions, with a focus on Unitarian Universalism (pp. 41-42). Center for Artifact Studies. Kindle Edition. 

Well yeah, white people, like all people, have things tough. But in the United States social policies have been rigged to favor white people from 1619 to the present day. To deny the evidence when one looks at the social inequities of multiple indicators is to be biased. 

Unitarian Universalists covenant together to affirm and promote justice, equity, and compassion because they also affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity of all people, a principle which has been contradicted throughout American history by the ruling classes which enslaved and interred and discriminated against the Native American, the kidnapped and enslaved, and the immigrant populations.

To deny that oppressors have not gained privilege from their oppression and subjugation is to deny reality. Problems cannot be ameliorated if they cannot be identified.

Most of the privilege is unconscious, shadow phenomena and so to blame the beneficiaries of the rigged system is met with denial, minimization, guilt, and fears of retribution if the privilege is recognized and acknowledged.

It is not healthy to keep the privilege granted by social policies and practices submerged in the unconscious shadow and it is not appropriate to blame the beneficiaries for their benefits especially when the benefits are not recognized or enjoyed.

The key to moving forward as a society is honesty, awareness, and the development of constructive intention and action. How well does the Unitarian Universalist denomination facilitate this forward movement? Some might say not good because their attempts to undo oppression are oppressive in and of themselves. Others might say their intent is good but their methods leave a lot to be desired and the end does not justify the means.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Print Friendly and PDF