This spring was challenging at USG and in many UU congregations all over the country. The words White Supremacy hit many of us hard. We have heard that many people felt they were being called white supremacists and that we were insisting that they use the words white supremacy. This was not our intention. The decision to move away from gentler language, like white privilege, is not just happening at USG, it is a nation-wide call to join in dismantling a system of long standing and deep rooted social injustice. The request to use the term White Supremacy
went to all UU congregations from the UUA and the Black Lives of Unitarian Universalism (BLUU) and we felt a responsibility to bring this to our congregation. Many leading educators and groups working for full equality and justice in our country and the world have been using it for quite a while. Other faith communities are doing the same as indicated by this article from July, 2016. http://pres-outlook.org/2016/07/confession-time-white-supremacy-hurts-white-people/
Racism is a very uncomfortable topic, no matter what words are used. We believe that in order to realize transformation we need to stay in the uncomfortable conversations. Just as UU’s often substitute another word or phrase when we hear “God”, if you don’t want to use the words white supremacy, please substitute your own word or phrase, for example culture of white supremacy, white cultural dominance, etc.
We recognize that those who are engaged in anti-racist work come at it from all different places. We acknowledge and honor where folks are. Everyone’s point of view is important in this transformative and ever evolving work. We need to continue our education to be relevant and helpful change agents. The leadership of the White Privilege Group and Ending Racism Committee are working together on this.
We ask the congregation to work with us by staying in the conversation and attending Ending Racism and White Privilege meetings, programs and events. Notice when you get uncomfortable and examine it closely. Engage us for one on one conversations. Let’s stay on the journey to Building Beloved Community together.
Ending Racism co-Chairs: Judy Dederick, Barbara Dowdall and Parvathy Menon and White Privilege Group leaders, Eli Scearce, Gail Mershon, Sandy Campbell and Treva Burger.
Upcoming in White Privilege and Ending Racism:
August 13, White Privilege Conversation, 12-2pm using the attached materials (we have already done this twice, the materials have been found to be really helpful and we would like them posted on the website with the above article.)
August 14, Poverty, Inc. A Social Justice/Ending Racism film, 7-9pm
The Ending Racism Committee and White Privilege Groups are recommending the following books as summer/fall reads:
Waking Up White by Debby Irving
Negroland by Margo Jefferson
Lies My Teacher Told Me, James Loewen
There will be a Waking Up White book discussion September 17, 12-2pm.