All white people are racist

Introduction

We are presenting another installment of stories by UUs impacted by the current intolerance that has swept the denomination. We feel it is important that the true human cost suffered by intolerance should be known. We included several such stories in Used to Be UU. In October 2022, we published a similar personal account on this website.

We have discovered that publishing such stories has a cost as well. Following our October publication, Jay, a Director of the Unitarian Universalist Study Network (formerly the UU History and Heritage Society), was expelled from his board seat.

We also ask that readers refrain from sleuthing about to discover names and places masked for privacy concerns. The story below should stand by itself.

The Illiberal “Liberalism” of the Unitarian Universalist Church: How I was a Victim of Cancel Culture in a UU Church in which I was the Music Director

By Guest Contributor

“All white people are racist.”

It is check-in time at our weekly Unitarian Universalist Church staff meeting where I serve as music director. When it was her turn to check in, the outgoing interim minister said, “All white people are racist.”

She was projecting her frustration with her newly formed anti-racism group at the church. This frustration was rooted in the dissenting response she received from some members of this new anti-racism group when she shared her “all white people are racist” sentiment. Now, she was repeating this sentiment to her fellow staff members. “All white people are racist,” as if it was as apparent as “All water is wet.” As if to say that anyone questioning such a statement must, at best, be stupid and at worst be the cause of all racism in our country for the past 400+ years.

I figured I would let it go. In my 28 years as a church musician in various denominations, I’ve often heard clergy and other church leaders make statements I don’t believe in. It was July 8, 2020, and the church year should have ended over a month ago. I was weary and ready for a summer break.

We moved on to the item on the agenda, discussing the congregational survey results as to how we will “do church” during this pandemic. The president of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray, had recommended that UUs not meet for in-person worship until May 2021.

Later in the meeting, the newly-hired-but-not-yet-on-the-payroll minister, a 33-year-old man, also in attendance at the staff meeting, repeated the outgoing interim minister’s early expressed sentiments. “All white people are racist.”

This time, I couldn’t let it go.

I spoke out, “I disagree. I was at a Unitarian Universalist Musicians Network conference a couple of years ago, and several of us had gone out for lunch; among the group was a black friend who thanked me for not being prejudiced. Surprised by her words, I said, ‘Of course! Why would I be prejudiced?’  She replied that she had encountered many white people in her lifetime who pretended not to be prejudiced when, in fact, they really were. “

The Director of Religious Education (DRE) countered, saying, “We’re not talking about prejudice. We’re talking about racism.”

“People who are prejudiced often behave in racist ways,” I replied.

The DRE then launched into what I can only describe as a homily.

An Aside

I will stop recounting the events of this fateful staff meeting for a moment to say that UUs pride themselves on being open to different points of view. Their Unison Affirmation or Affirmation of Faith begins with the words:

Love is the doctrine of this church,

The quest for truth is its sacrament,

And service is its prayer.

That the DRE felt she needed to teach me something because I am, in her opinion, woefully ignorant of the tenets of UUism was insulting and alarming. We hire DREs to teach the young people in the congregation.

Back to the Meeting

The DRE told a story about how she’d gone to a bank to get a cashier’s check. She was not a customer at that bank, so she reminded the clerk that she needed to pay the bank’s fee.

I was suspicious of where she was going with her story, so it was no surprise when she concluded, “If I had been a black woman instead of a white woman, there is no way that I would have been treated as well as I was.”

“You don’t know that!” I said.

She said I was wrong.

I responded that yes, statistically speaking, a black woman making the same transaction might not have been treated as kindly as she had been. But to suggest that this is a certainty is to accuse someone you don’t even know, the bank teller, of being racist.

At this point, our newly-hired-but-not-yet-on-the-payroll minister interceded to further instruct me on where I’ve gone wrong in my thinking. He said, “One of the past ministers at the church was a slave owner.”

“Yes, I’m sure,” I replied, “Unitarians have historically been upper middle-class white people, so that doesn’t surprise me.” I went on, “In Newburyport, the Unitarians and the Congregationalists used to worship together. The Congregationalists said that slavery was immoral, but the Unitarians refused to give up their slaves, so the Congregationalists moved down the street and built their own church. A statue of the noted abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison stands on the green across the street from the Central Congregational Church. This is history,” I said, “and it’s not your fault.”

I added I am a direct descendant of a couple whose home was a stop on the Underground Railroad. I am filled with pride for their actions, but I cannot take credit for their good work any more than our newly-hired-but-not-yet-on-the-payroll minister can be found guilty because of his predecessor’s role in perpetuating the slave trade.

At this point, mercifully, the time for the meeting to end had arrived.

Reflection

I have worked for three different Unitarian Universalist churches over the past 23+ years and am very familiar with UU thinking. UUs pride themselves on welcoming different points of view. They do not have a creed, but rather a set of Seven Principles, several of which I include here:

We, the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association, covenant to affirm and promote:

  • Justice, equity and compassion in human relations.
  • Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations.
  • A free and responsible search for truth and meaning.

I wonder what happened when I was treated so condescendingly at our July 8 staff meeting. It appeared that the Affirmation of Faith idea that “the quest of truth is its sacrament” and the Principle’s aspiration for “a free and responsible search for truth and meaning” were reduced to just words; with no significant meaning.

I sought input from my friends by making the following post on Facebook:

“All white people are racist.” This is what I was told at the staff meeting today. I find this statement hurtful. Friends, do you agree?

A deluge of responses followed.

My black friends responded saying, “You? No way,” or “NO.”

The outgoing interim minister, via a text message, told me my Facebook post searching for insight from friends on a distressing situation from the staff meeting was inappropriate. I was instructed to remain silent. The text message read, “It was inappropriate to share something that was said at the staff meeting on your Facebook page.”

What? I was mindful of confidentiality. My post did not mention any staff member or parishioner. I am a staff member at several places and did not mention which staff I was referring to.

I responded to the text message by saying that I thought it was inappropriate for her to make the statement that “All white people are racist” in a meeting in which we were to discuss the feedback from a congregational survey.

The outgoing interim minister did not reply to my concerns.

It Gets Worse

The next day, the outgoing interim minister sent a group email to all staff members, asking about our availability to meet with a mediator. I responded enthusiastically. I looked forward to sharing a “free and responsible search for truth and meaning” with the other staff members.

As far as I could tell, I was the only one who responded to the email. There was no meeting, no mediator, no sharing a “free and responsible search for truth and meaning.”

Instead, I received a “letter of warning” from the outgoing interim minister. The tone of the “letter of warning” was mean-spirited. Up to that point, the interim minister and I had gotten along quite well only added to the sting of receiving such a letter.

Remember, this chain of events was initiated by the outgoing interim minister who, unprompted, declared, “All white people are racists.” I consider any statement of “All this is that” to be highly suspect. As a (black) Facebook friend commented, “That statement itself is racist.”

I also took the statement personally. I was hurt and angered that anyone would suggest I was a racist or that anyone who may share a particular skin color could be so widely condemned. Even more ironically, I am technically not entirely “white,” whatever that means. My father was a first-generation American, the son of a man who survived the twentieth century “ethnic cleansing” genocide pogrom in which the Ottoman Empire slaughtered 1.5 million Armenians.  My maternal grandparents represent the White Anglo-Saxon Protestants (WASP) part of my heritage.

The mentioning of my ethnic heritage at that July 8 staff meeting was fuel for my fellow staff members’ proverbial fire.

I have been the victim of prejudice due to my own ethnicity, often being mocked by the elders in the Armenian community for being only half-Armenian. “Your parents have watered down the race,” they taunt. I know a handful of Armenian words, one of which is odar. Odar means “other”; it means that one doesn’t belong. When my mother met my father’s family for the first time, they took one look at her and said, “What are you?” She had no idea what they meant. But with her very fair skin, hazel eyes, and tall frame, she certainly looked like an odar to them.

At one time, UUs condemned prejudice in all its forms. Now that aperture has been narrowed.

You can only imagine the discussion at the staff meeting.

The DRE dismissed me, saying, “We’re not talking about that. We’re talking about black and brown people.”

I cannot speak to the experience of black and brown people. I can only speak from my own experience, from whence comes my empathy for people in these marginalized groups.

How people of color in our country have been treated for the past 400+ years is deplorable. No reasonable person could argue with that. In my view, however, saying that “All white people are racist” does nothing to change history or, for that matter, to alter the current plight of our brothers and sisters of color.

Apparently, a staff member had read Dr. Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility. Or, more likely, they became familiar with the book’s premise that white people are racist. The author was a featured speaker at the 2017 General Assembly, that endorsed DiAngelo’s message that all white people are racist was acceptable. With the endorsement by UU leadership, many UUs subsequently adopted DiAngelo’s message.

Rejection of our traditional message of tolerance, UU leadership has created a new religion with its own set of dogma, ever-changing though it may be. Those who reject this new dogma are treated with contempt. Or, in my case, I was sent a “warning letter.”

Get Your Thinking Right

In the warning letter, I was told I had racist thoughts and committed racist actions. I was told I am not allowed to consider myself of mixed race for being half white and half Armenian. My lived experiences of being ostracized by the Armenian community for being an odar are completely negated. The slaughter of my grandfather’s first wife and two children at the hands of the Ottoman Turkish Empire was irrelevant. The denial of my own cultural identity and knowing in my heart of hearts that I am not racist has hurt me immeasurably.

Finally, the outgoing interim minister’s warning letter was clear that if I did not agree with her, I would be fired.

My Response

I wrote a lengthy response to the warning letter, which included a quote from John McWhorter’s article titled “The Dehumanizing Condescension of ‘White Fragility.’” He wrote,

The sad truth is that anyone falling under the sway of this blinkered, self-satisfied, punitive stunt of a primer has been taught by a well-intentioned but tragically misguided pastor how to be racist in a whole new way.

To Unitarian Universalists, particularly those in leadership positions, what has happened to our embrace of a “free and responsible search for truth and meaning”? Once we respected an opinion other than our own? How about letting me, and others like me, speak about our own experiences about race?

Sensing I had no recourse in a just resolution, I resigned.

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Jim
Jim
1 year ago

From “The True Believer” Mass movements can rise and spread without belief in a god, but never without a belief in a devil…An effective mass movement cultivates the idea of sin. It depicts the autonomous self not only as barren and helpless but also as vile. To confess and repent is to slough off one’s individual distinctness and separateness, and salvation is found by losing oneself in the holy oneness of the congregation…The enemy—the indispensible devil of every mass movement—is omnipresent. He plots both outside and inside the ranks of the faithful. It is his voice that speaks through the… Read more »

Adrienne
Adrienne
1 year ago

As a former board member of a UU church, I had a very similar thing happen to me, so I quit the board, the church, and the denomination.

I follow this group because I am interested in Todd Eklof’s “new” (or are they old) UU churches. Although I will never step into a UU church under the official UUA umbrella, I look forward to rejoining a church which believes in free thought and the worth and dignity of every person.

Helen Borland
Helen Borland
1 year ago
Reply to  Adrienne

Adrienne, please check out North American Unitarian Association | Community of Religious Liberals (naunitarians.org) Its president is Rev. Dr. Todd Eklof.

Adrienne
Adrienne
1 year ago
Reply to  Helen Borland

Thank you!

Sharon Yun
Sharon Yun
1 year ago

wow! How people can overlook their own prejudice and racism as they ignorantly call others racist is an obvious display of arrogance and self righteousness. They lost a valuable employee due to their intolerance and stigmitization. I am sorry that you had to deal with this and I think you made the right choice to remove yourself from a dogmatic institution that does not reflect your values anymore.

Cassandra Yuck
Cassandra Yuck
1 year ago

Comment removed due to violation of Code of Conduct.

Frank Casper
Frank Casper
1 year ago
Reply to  Cassandra Yuck

Cassandra = Irritated. Same person with different name but same anonymity and attitude. Her remarks will be removed for violating our code of conduct.

John Eichrodt
John Eichrodt
1 year ago

Grateful thanks for the testimony of an ‘ugly’ series of events. I’m sorry things like this are happening in our UU community. I keep asking myself one question, again, and again so that it comes back to me in echoing circles with no satisfactory answer: Why is this happening to us?

Ron Schaeffer
Ron Schaeffer
1 year ago
Reply to  John Eichrodt

It is not just happening to us. It has been happening in Academia for about 2 decades now. It is referred to as Post-Modernism and you can Google “Evergreen State College protest” to read first hand about what happened in that liberal arts college. If you want to really dig into this ultra left philosophy, read, “Cynical Theories” by Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay. Unfortunately, this extremist thinking gives ammunition to the far right to criticize “liberals”.

Frank Rozmawiać
Frank Rozmawiać
1 year ago
Reply to  Ron Schaeffer

James Lindsay IS far right. Listen to what he says rather than the tone he says it in.

John Stephen Shea
John Stephen Shea
1 year ago

Being opposed to the radical academic left does not make you far right, except in the you’re-with-me-or-your-against-me mindset of the radical academic left and the UUA. There is no greater enemy to the radical than the reasonable liberal.

larry lunt
larry lunt
1 year ago

All white people are racist, in that all white people act subconsciously in ways that continue to oppress people of color and explains the continued racial economic disparity. That is what’s behind the 8th principle. I think that is becoming church orthodoxy and I agree it is dogma.

Women in the U.S. make 82 cents on the dollar compared to men. Is that systemic misogyny? Is that all men working in concert to oppress women?

Frank Rozmawiać
Frank Rozmawiać
1 year ago
Reply to  larry lunt

It absolutely is systemic misogyny. It’s not every man working to oppress women. It is a system that developed in a sexist manner over decades.

That’s what CRT is. CRT is quite distinct from DeAngelo’s examination of how bias gets into the psyche of privileged people.

Sasha Kwapinski
Sasha Kwapinski
1 year ago

The notion that “all white people are racist” is little more than an updated, secularized version of the doctrine of Original Sin — a dogma to be accepted blindly and without question. Like Original Sin, it is pure fiction, subjecting the members of an entire race to a (supposedly) inherited moral turpitude. This contradicts the American concept of justice, wherein guilt presumes or presupposes choice, and wherein we are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Original Sin was one main factor which alienated me and turned me away from right wing Christianity some decades ago, and… Read more »

Sasha Kwapinski
Sasha Kwapinski
1 year ago
Reply to  WebMaster

Nobody ever explained to me what leftist politics (or any particular political agenda) has to do – in a necessary or required sense – with liberal religion. This indicated to me that I was asked to accept what amounts to a de facto political creed, in the name of a religion which claims to be “creedless.” Moreover, I was asked to accept that creed or agenda unthinkingly, in the name of a denomination which professes to believe in the responsible search for truth. It is true that many on the religious right also mix religion with politics – but at… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by Sasha Kwapinski
Frank Rozmawiać
Frank Rozmawiać
1 year ago

It would be more accurate to say that all white people who grew up in a racist colonial society have some implicit bias.

John Stephen Shea
John Stephen Shea
1 year ago

No it wouldn’t. Your statement is still a sweeping generalization. It is a form of prejudice.

Julie
Julie
1 year ago
Reply to  WebMaster

Thank you, Web Master for all the work you are doing to clean up this message Board so trolls can’t take it over.

Stephen Polmar
Stephen Polmar
1 year ago

Frankly, I don’t think it “would be more accurate” to conclude anything about any group of people unless the conclusions were based upon validated scientific criteria and studies. I think a big part of our problem is we seem to draw conclusions about too many things for which we have no valid information.

Stephen Polmar
Stephen Polmar
1 year ago

The experience documented by the author is similar to many such stories that I’ve heard during the last few years. I think that it points out that Unitarian Universalism has a serious problem with its ministers and particularly its newly minted ministers. It will be hard to maintain the membership of the denomination if its ministers persecute the individuals who make up the majority of the denomination because of the color of their skin. For that reason a major focus of the new North American Unitarian Association (NAUA) is to serve as a clearinghouse for ministers and congregations, to enable… Read more »

Peter
1 year ago

I might have responded to a claim “all white people are racist” by saying “All black people are stupid.” Both are moronic, false, and offensive statements and I hope that comment would have made the point, although I doubt it. D’Angelo’s book and her claim “all white people are racist” have been immensely harmful to the cause of racial justice, pushing many whites away from the cause and turning others into guilt-ridden drones. All while D’Angelo gives workshops for huge fees and lines her pockets.

John Stephen Shea
John Stephen Shea
1 year ago

The UU establishment’s dogmatism and intolerance is a sign of weakness rather than strength. They know that their ideas are unpopular and not robust to logical inquiry, so they have to enforce conformity through fear and intimidation.

Greg
Greg
1 year ago
Reply to  WebMaster

Sounds like what happened with the original “Gadfly” discussion group. It was in fact being run by a community minister using a false name / fake profile.

Frank Casper
Frank Casper
1 year ago
Reply to  Greg

Now there’s a good bit of irrelevant whataboutism.

anonymous poster
anonymous poster
1 year ago
Reply to  WebMaster

Anonymous speech is necessary for people to really be able to speak their minds. As someone on the far left side of politics i do not trust the people here not to try to look me up and cause trouble for me. I have been doxxed before i do not want to experience that again. I assure you i am speaking in my own voice and i have over the years invested in infrastructure that allows for anonymous speech and i have been thanked for this work by people who spend time in autocracies where there is strong censorship and… Read more »

Frank Casper
Frank Casper
1 year ago

Anonymous speech might be free, but it is also free of any responsibility for what is said, your fear of doxing notwithstanding. If you want to be anonymous then you’re on the wrong page.

anonymous poster
anonymous poster
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank Casper

Before i blow out of here, here is a wordpress plugin that will prevent anonymous users from the TOR network from coming here.

https://www.commoninja.com/discover/wordpress/plugin/tor-blocker-by-inazo

Pretty sure you can add it from the ‘plugins’ section of the dashboard.

Byeeeee !!!!!

larry lunt
larry lunt
1 year ago
Reply to  robb

I think that’s true. Probably more accurate to say humans are prone to hold irrational biases. It’s human and not a characteristic reserved to white people.

Peter
1 year ago
Reply to  larry lunt

To be human is indeed to have biases, implicit and explicit. So calling someone out for having implicit bias is like calling them out for breathing air. Blacks attack and kill Asians. Japanese discriminate against Koreans. Brahmins disdain Dalits (Untouchables). Native Americans held chattel slaves before and after the Europeans came. Black Americans formed clubs where only the lighter skinned were admitted. Wagging one’s finger and claiming “bias” is an enmpty exercize that accomplishes nothing except perhaps making the wagger feel virtuous.

larry lunt
larry lunt
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter

I agree it’s a human characteristic. That doesn’t argue against the need to address unfair consequences of irrational bias. I think the disagreement is whether implicit bias is something that is mitigated at all by the 8th principle becoming canon.

Frank Sharp
Frank Sharp
1 year ago

I’m curious as the age of these ministers?

Dr Teresa Goodell
Dr Teresa Goodell
1 year ago

We are in the midst of profound cultural change, one that acknowledges and tries to make right past injustices. We will falter. It is important that we forgive each other as we work things out in our minds. We will come to different conclusions along the way, but I am sure we finally will come together again with mutual respect. Meanwhile, some degree of conflict is inevitable. The only way to succeed in this struggle is to stay humble, remain curious about other viewpoints, and know that we are all fallible.

larry lunt
larry lunt
1 year ago

I’m not as optimistic. It’s not a minor difference of opinion. Either you believe that all white people are implicitly racist and that is a significant cause of racial social/economic disparity, or you don’t.

I think the church has made a sea-change and it will continue with people that conform and the people that don’t will leave. It will be a smaller but much more progressive church politically in 10 years.

Frank Sharp
Frank Sharp
1 year ago

I think we have to understand that the people who hold these views are fundamentalist religious fanatics that cannot be reasoned with.

Julie
Julie
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank Sharp

Exactly. I have found them impossible to reason with also. They seem to hold these views for emotional and tribal reasons–not because they have thought them through or considered evidence. The book, The True Believer, explains what’s going on well.

There is also a lot of power politics being played. Celine’s 2nd law applies here. Open communication can only happen between equals. Otherwise attempts to communicate openly as equals get punished. So communication stops, unless you are a masochist.

Craig Moro
Craig Moro
1 year ago

The writer of this post (“All White People…”) describes dogmatic ideas that are being used to tyrannize us all. Sociologist Richard Sennet wrote in The Fall of Public Man (1978) : “One of the oldest uses of the word ‘tyranny’… is as a synonym for sovereignty. When all matters are referred to a common, sovereign principle or person, that principle or person tyrannizes the life of a society… Nor need this seduction involve one person as tyrant. An institution can rule as a single font of authority; a belief can serve as a single standard for measuring reality.”    Tyranny is too much… Read more »

Aspen
Aspen
1 year ago

As young UU raised in the Mormon church I find these concepts troubling. Because like Mormonism these ideas are looked as absolute irrefutable truth. Which is dangerous no ideology owns truth. What happened to simply fighting against racism as institution and social ill.We now target so called white people. This is no better or different than race science of the early 20th century. White people aren’t real race isn’t real let’s fight against racial essentialism in all forms. To truly imagine and build the beloved community.

Chuck
Chuck
1 year ago

Most UUs are fairly well educated. How can we partake in such discussions? Has everyone forgotten basic truths of Sociology and Psychology courses? As humans we all have individual preferences ( and biases). Hair color, texture, tall or short, masculine or feminine, skin color, thin or heavy, voice or tonal levels, eye color and shapes, facial features, etc. etc. Each person – often dominated by one’s culture – will form preferences (biases) based on each person’s experiences as a human being. In response to the various ubiquitous biases and preferences, society forms laws, rules of acceptable conduct, as well as,… Read more »

Vladimir Osiołowitz
Vladimir Osiołowitz
1 year ago
Reply to  Chuck

Comment removed due to violation of Code of Conduct.

larry lunt
larry lunt
1 year ago

So who are you referring too in this debate. Those promoting crt’s claim that all white people are racists or those who disagree w/that claim? Which side is absurd?

Laura Rosen
Laura Rosen
1 year ago

I think discussions like this need to begin with a definition of terms. Some people use the term “racist” to mean individual feelings and acts based on prejudice, whereas others use it to refer to a system of advantage based on race, in which case in our present society only white people can be racist, since only whites benefit from systemic racism. It may be more helpful for these discussions to use the terms “implicit bias”, which all human beings have, and “systemic racism”, which hurts people of color and helps whites, whether they agree with the systemically racist culture… Read more »

Frank Casper
Frank Casper
1 year ago
Reply to  Laura Rosen

The left’s definition and use of systemic racism, which I believe is the one you employed here, includes the notion that the principles at the heart of UUism are themselves the source of systemic racism. When they talk about dismantling the culture of systemic racism that is what they are talking about. That is why they have exerted so much effort at trying to convince UU’s that the principles must go. So long as this is their position, we at 5th Principle will oppose them.

Jim
Jim
1 year ago
Reply to  Laura Rosen

Your certainty about terminology hints at a certain commitment to a particular ideological position, rather than an objective delineation of how this discussion should proceed. “Systemic racism” does not have as simple a definition as you assert. Here’s John McWhorter in his essay “Can We Please Ditch the Term Systemic Racism” https://johnmcwhorter.substack.com/p/can-we-please-ditch-the-term-systemic Our racial “reckoning” could use a reckoning about the term systemic racism. It is often used with an implication, a resonance, a tacit assumption, that to question is unthinkable. Uttered by a certain kind of person, often with a hint of emphasis or an eyeroll, we are to… Read more »

Laura Rosen
Laura Rosen
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim

Thank you Jim for the John McWhorter link – I am a huge fan. I was indeed more focused on competing definitions of the term “racism”, which he has also written about here: https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/06/dictionary-definition-racism-has-change/613324/ But my point was not to put forth one definition or another, just to say that debate is pointless if we cannot even agree on the terms of the debate. As to Frank’s claim that “The left’s definition and use of systemic racism…includes the notion that the principles at the heart of UUism are themselves the source of systemic racism” – is that demonstrably so? Which… Read more »

Jim
Jim
1 year ago
Reply to  Laura Rosen

I think the “left” here refers to the illiberal coup that is engaging in the institutional capture of UUism. (But we might want to get Frank’s definition to be sure.) According to that extreme ideological position anything created and codified by white people (especially white males, who are particularly villainized in this political psychodrama) is a creation of “white supremacy culture” and should be “dismantled.” Hence the need to eliminate the 7 Principles and 6 Sources and replace them with a flower of platitudes centered on love and a commitment to “transform the world with our liberating love.” You can… Read more »

Craig Moro
Craig Moro
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim

Nigerian author Chinua Achebe wrote about how he wished to share “…some advantages the West might derive from Africa once it rid its mind of old prejudices and began to look at Africa not through a haze of distortions and cheap mystifications but quite simply as a continent of people—not angels, but not rudimentary souls either—just people, often highly gifted people and often strikingly successful in their enterprise with life and society.” (From his essay on Joseph Conrad)   Unexamined positive fantasies about members of certain human groups reproduce the conditions for a racism much like that which is built on negative… Read more »

larry lunt
larry lunt
1 year ago
Reply to  Craig Moro

“,,,aren’t we indulging in what could be called “racist” attitudes? 

I think you can define racism that way. Including “positive” characteristics as well. Maybe “stereotyping” fits better. I’m not seeing what your point is to the discussion at hand.

Thank you for your participation in that Youtube zoom debate.

larry lunt
larry lunt
1 year ago
Reply to  Laura Rosen

I don’t think it is possible to have a racist system without racist people. I think “systemic racism” is a euphemism for all white people are racists. That’s the message of the 8th principle. As a practical matter for people of color there is no difference between overt and implicit racism.

Alan Spector
Alan Spector
1 year ago

I very much appreciate the acknowledgement of the crushing reality of anti-black racist treatment over the centuries and continuing on to today. Unfortunately, some who rightfully object to the anti-white nonsense go too far in the other direction and seem to deny the reality that black people have been terribly mistreated. This is crucially important not only because black people do deserve justice but also because that gives some credence to some people that those who oppose the “anti-white” nonsense are somehow “taking the side of white people against black people.” This is ridiculous. Most everyone on both sides of… Read more »

Dick Burkhart
Dick Burkhart
1 year ago

The statement “all whites racist” is based on prejudice, not reality, since surveys in the social sciences say that only about 1 out of 10 Americans show racist language or attitudes. Among UUs, it is probably 1 out of 100 or less. Since the common definition of racism is “prejudice or discrimination based upon race”, the ministers who made this statement are themselves racist, by definition.

larry lunt
larry lunt
1 year ago
Reply to  Dick Burkhart

That’s not the type of “racism” the church is trying to address. That is overt racism like the kkk, skin heads etc… The church has adopted critical race theory which redefines racism to include all white people. The theory states the subconscious racial bias of all whites acting in unison is why people of color lag economically.

allan foster
allan foster
1 year ago

1984…..the rational and thoughtful comments are a breath of fresh air and return me to a sense of hope. yet i sum up the “true believers” as a bunch of assholes who are getting away with it because we are too ‘nice’! but what to do leads me to a place i want to stay away from…..

larry lunt
larry lunt
1 year ago

I left my church 3 years ago because they put a BLM sign over the entrance. I didn’t and don’t support very much of BLM’s political agenda. I didn’t want to give tacit support by remaining a church member. That sign did come down after a couple years.  In the meantime my church adopted the 8th Principle, which embraces the tenets of critical race theory. I understand crt and think it has value. I can’t accept it as a tenet . Again, remaining a congregant is giving tacit support. Is there any point in fighting against the 8th principle becoming UU… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by larry lunt
Emily Mills
Emily Mills
1 year ago
Reply to  larry lunt

I think that is the point of Eklof announcing the formation of the North American Unitarian Association.

Similar controversies are happening in almost all denominations now.

larry lunt
larry lunt
1 year ago
Reply to  Emily Mills

That would be starting a new denomination. I’m wondering if there’s any chance the UUA won’t accept the 8th principle as a national policy.

Emily Mills
Emily Mills
1 year ago
Reply to  larry lunt

It would be. I don’t think that the UUA will back down with it’s support of BLM, CRT and all the politically correct stuff it is trying to shove down everyone’s throat now.

larry lunt
larry lunt
1 year ago
Reply to  Emily Mills

If that’s what the church votes to do than more power to them, I wish them well.

Jim
Jim
1 year ago

It is a common characteristic of religious cults, as well as ideological ones, that individuality and critical thinking must be suppressed. Individuality and critical thinking are threats to the obedience required of devotees. (The “value” of “obedience” should really be in the center of that pretty little flower of values proposed in the article 2 revision.) Individuality: “a pervasive and disruptive commitment to individualism” is one of the three “organizing and corrupting narratives” of UUism according to Frederick Muir.  ( https://www.uuworld.org/articles/end-ichurch “The end of ichurch” )   “Covenant” and “Beloved Community” are the proposed cures of this disease. (And in order to… Read more »

Jim Burke
Jim Burke
11 months ago

I found this discussion video helpful in understanding that what is happening in the UUA is happening everywhere.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YDFL3xwEEG8

John Eichtodt
John Eichtodt
11 months ago

It is indeed tragic that this is happening. Knowing the immense emotional trauma and damage resulting from such blatant violations of our ethical principles, I am disgusted by the violations. It is more than time, more than urgent that the UU leadership put a stop to these assaults on the core ethics of our UU community, and on the dignity of its members. Speaking out in circumstances that have become threatening, full of fear is simply great, dignified courage. An honour to our UU community I wish to express my solidarity, especially for those who are speaking up and denouncing… Read more »