Minister’s Message for June 12, 2020

It seems that the idea is sinking in, in new and deeper ways, that the race problem we have in this country is not only the individual animus or hatred that many people feel toward people of color (POC), especially toward black folks, but also the system of race-based thinking, and presuming, and legislating, that is necessary to advantage one race, and disadvantage one or more other races or ethnicities.

I shocked my Arkansas congregation ten years ago, when talking about counting our blessings, to tell them, “well, first of all, we’re white.”  There were good-natured but audible gasps.

It’s not just racist or even white-supremacist cops.  The system requires a culture of aid and comfort for the individual officers, but also police unions that strenuously maintain the cops can do no wrong, and in-house review of complaints, and donations by the police officers union to the campaigns of the prosecuting attorneys. There are remedies for all these systemic problems, if we have the will.

I want to start a discussion of the proposed UUA 8th Principle, which churches are adopting individually, while the movement to adopt it denomination-wide goes on.

The 8th Principle:  [We Covenant to Affirm and Promote]  Determination to dismantle racism and other oppressions from ourselves and our institutions, building a diverse multicultural Beloved Community. 

The UUA has been years ahead of the mainstream on this.  But the mainstream is now catching up, and is increasing talking about addressing systemic, institutionalized race-based advantage/disadvantage.  Is this something we can do and want to do at UUCE?


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