Friday, August 11, 2017

How to Make "No Response" a Helpful Response ...

Before the arrival of the Klan in July, and again in leading up to tomorrow's alt-right rally, I have said that staying away from the center of things is a perfectly reasonable response.  "Don't give them any attention," many of you have said, and there are lots of others who are recommending the same thing.  

I have also said, though, that deciding to "stay out of it" is, in and of itself, a completely faithful response.  Our Unitarian Universalist faith -- and our ancestors the Unitarians and Universalists as well -- call on us to respond.  And while "not responding" is a response, in order for it to truly be a response we need to be conscious and intentional about our decision and what we choose to do instead.  Simply putting it out of one's mind, acting as if nothing is happening, is not a response.  Something is happening downtown tomorrow, and it is important, and it affects every single one of us.  Each and every single one of us is called by our faith to do something to respond to the arrival of this embodiment of evil that is coming to our city.  (And I do not use those words lightly.)

Here is one of the ways you can consciously and intentionally respond to tomorrow's events without going anywhere near them -- wake up to the realities of the systems and structures of white supremacist culture.  I am directing this suggestion particularly at people who identify, or are identified, as white -- learn something new; deepen your understanding of what it is we are striving to dismantle and, even more of a challenge, how we, ourselves, participate and perpetuate in it.

Congregate Charlottesville has created a page of resources for learning more:

Learn More about the LOCAL CONTEXT


No, I Wont Stop Saying "White Supremacy"
UCC White Privilege Curriculum
Dismantling Racism: A Resource Book
Anti-Racism Resource Packet
Invisible Knapsack
Theological Curriculum on Race and Economics
White Supremacy Defined
White Supremacy, Overt & Covert


Over the years I have preached many sermons, and written many "musings" regarding racism in the United States, white supremacy, the call of our faith to address racial injustices, and more.  You can go to my blog -- A Minister's Musings -- and search for words like "racial justice," "racism," or "Black Lives Matter."  The search term "White Supremacy" brings up some posts that might be particularly helpful at this time.

If you want to be aware of what's happening in our city, without being directly involved in it, a livestream page has been set up, and will be live throughout the day. Both and now redirect to the livestream page.

There are, of course, many other ways of responding while not putting yourself in the middle of it all. What I believe to be essential, though, is that we all recognize that simply acting as if nothing is happening will absolutely ensure that nothing really changes. We don't want the hateful, hurtful, speech and actions of the alt-right in our city. Even more, though, we should want to see the culture of white supremacy that they espouse thoroughly repudiated and erased. That will only happen if we all act -- in whatever way(s) we can -- to make sure things change.


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