Anti-Racism Discussions Fall 2019

Anti-Racism Discussion Group Tuesday, 9/3/19  6-8pm. Topic:  The Central Park Five

The 1989 arrest, interrogation and coerced confessions of 5 teenage boys of color, who were accused of the vicious attack of a woman jogging in Central Park.  This and subsequent events are portrayed in the recent Netflix 4 part series “When They See Us” written and directed by Ava DuVernay.  If you haven’t seen this, consider spending the time and energy to watch it.  On 9/3 we will be viewing Oprah’s Interview of the 5 exonerated men, followed by discussion of the personal cost of the misuse of power in our judicial system.  All are welcome.

Discussion of “White Fragility” by Robin DiAngelo

Anti-Racism Discussion

Following the Civil Rights Movement of the 60s, the concepts of “only bad people are racist” and “racism was reduced to simple extreme acts of racial prejudice,” like those seen in the 2017 Charlottesville, Virginia’s ‘Unite the Right’ rally.  Therefore to suggest that a white person is a racist or is complicit with racism is to attack their character, thus one is likely to get a defensive reaction that DiAngelo refers to as “white fragility”, as the white person demands or manuvers to be validated as a ‘good person’.  Robin DiAngelo states that racism is a structure not an event.  White supremacy is an overarching political, economic and social system of domination based on racial categories that benefits those defined those defined and perceived as white. (p. 31)  Racism is a deeply embedded ideology of our culture.  Everything about it from our education to our use of money and where we live is has been dictated by this structure. Even if we wanted to we cannot escape its impact on us.  We must educate ourselves about and find ways to counter the culture within which we have gathered our experiences.  This is a lifelong experience of learning the truth and unlearning the lies.

Black Lives Matter

At the Annual Congregational Meeting on June 10th there was a unanimous vote to place a Black Lives Matter/Siding With Love (formerly known as Standing on the Side of Love) banner/sign) on the Meetinghouse/Church building.  The type of  banner/sign will be determined by the Anti-Racism Discussion group and the Social Justice Council.  Our goal is to do the research during the summer and have the banner/sign ready for installing in September.

One of the greatest responses to the “Black Lives Matter” statement is “But don’t all lives matter?”

I give you two potential responses to consider:

One that was placed on a UU Church’s Black Lives Matter banner:    “Of course all lives matter….we believe that every individual is important and every person deserves to be treated with justice and compassion.  We live, however, in a society that often suggests otherwise. Because of the continuing injustice and violence disproportionately faced by people of color, we affirm that Black Lives Matter.”

And another authored by Gene Testimony Hall:

Let’s be clear:  Black Lives Matter

We never said:  Only Black Lives Matter

That was the media.

In truth we know that: All Lives Matter

            We’ve supported your lives throughout history.

Now we need Your help:  Black Lives Matter

            For Black Lives are in danger