Showing posts with label racism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label racism. Show all posts

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Calvin says he is better than everyone else because he is not racist.

It’s been quite a week at First Unitarian Universalist Church of Greater Dismal Seepage. Calvin Anderson, one of the pillars of the church, said that he was above all the talk about racism because he is the least racist person of anyone in the congregation. Those who not only like Calvin and his partner, Justin, but admire him, defended his statement when it was challenged by another member of the congregation who pointed out that he and Justin had bought a condo in a complex that was all white.

Calvin stated that the whiteness of the neighborhood was a matter of income levels and not race and that he felt bad that people of color who couldn’t afford to live in the neighborhood.

When it was pointed out that the condominium complex had a private security firm patrolling its grounds rather than rely on the city police, Calvin said that the city police department didn’t have the resources and the staff to adequately provide security to their neighborhood and since the home owners association could afford it they just decided to hire their own security rather than rely on the city police department. Justin chimed in, “Yes, and the city police aren’t very gay friendly so we would just rather not have them here to avoid any misunderstandings.”

Some people in the congregation have noticed that Calvin and Justin are strong supporters of LGBTQ rights but when it comes to people of color they seem to be blind except when it comes to intersectionality when they do take an interest in the LGBTQ rights of their colored brothers and sisters.

Becky said, “I know that racism is a sophisticated and nuanced issue and white people don’t want to give up, or have to apologize, for their privilege, but they have it whether they recognize it and acknowledge it or not. It is one of those topics where “ignorance is bliss” because when a person becomes aware of how racist systems work, they often are ashamed and deny that they have benefited from  them.”

And so there is a bit of tension at First Unitarian Universalist where the first principle gets lip service, but when it comes to its application people get nervous and self conscious escalating anxiety and defensiveness. However at First UU all the people think they are loving, smarter than most, and the least racist of any church in the area.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Book discussion, White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo

We discussed this book a couple of months ago at First Universalist Church in Rochester, NY.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Living the UU way of life took UUs and UU leaders to Charlottesville

LaShawn Warren in his article, "Race and the credibility of the church" asks where the church leaders are in the face of President Trump's racist remarks after Charlottesville? There was more of a reaction from the business community than from the religious community.

"In that light, perhaps more disturbing than the president’s racially insensitive remarks has been the response from key leaders within the faith community. In a complete rejection of Christian teachings, several members of the president’s evangelical advisory board—comprised of faith leaders charged with providing a moral and spiritual compass for the world—rushed to the president’s defense, an act tantamount to theological negligence. A few condemned the rally, but many faith leaders remained silent and simply watched from the sidelines as the national tragedy unfolded. None of the board members criticized Trump for his divisive comments, and all but one chose to remain on the board. This stands in sharp contrast to the White House business council members who, in a strong rebuke of the president’s response to Charlottesville, resigned in rapid succession."

It is inspiring to read that UUs are in the forefront of protesting Trump's support for White Nationalism and racist bigotry.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

How do UUs respond to the racism at Charlottesville with moral authority?

Rev. Marlin Lavanhar at All Soul's Church in Tulsa Oklahoma gave a wonderful sermon on Sunday, 08/20/17 entitled "Charlottesville: It's not so black and white." It is well worth listening to and sharing.

There are many take aways from Rev. Lavanhar's message the most important of which is the importance of nonviolent resistance not something to be done lightly without the knowing possibility of injury and death.

Rev. Lavanhar supports resistance and protest, but also encourages people to be smart about it and prepared.

He also supports the rights of the Nazis and White Supremacists to free speech. As usual the moral calculus isn't always simple but requires thoughtful reflection and then strategic action.

I wished that Rev. Lavanhar might have spent a little time and effort in explicating the moral philosophy of the action he is recommending such as the inherent belief in the inherent worth and dignity of all people. If we truly believe this how does that value inform appropriate action?

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Redemption involves a genuine apology and making of amends

This short video was published on Sep 15, 2016 by Upworthy and Story Corps about the story of a woman's great-grandmother about an America we should never forget.

The living tradition of Unitarian Universalism includes the second of six sources "words and deeds of prophetic men and women which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love."

Sometimes one of the most powerful things we can do is bear witness. While this story is painful to hear and watch, it reminds us of the injustice perpetrated in our county which has never been redeemed.

The second of of our UU seven principles asks us to affirm and promote justice, equity, and compassion in human relations. One possible response to the great-granddaughters anger might be a genuine apology for the harm that has been perpetrated against her family and the making of amends.

It seems troubling that in 2016 we still are having to be told that "black lives matter."

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