Tues, Feb 23: Pursuing Racial Justice Together via Zoom. 6pm "Five Minutes of Fame" 6:30pm Speaker Rev. Dr. Daniel Hembree, PhD; a professor at Allen University and pastor of St. Mark United Methodist Church in Sumter. As diverse members of various communities of faith, how do we work together to bring more equality and equity to South Carolina? YOUR RSVP is NEEDED BY FRIDAY 5PM ON 2/19. Zoom Login info will be emailed to you. RSVP
Sat, Feb 27: New Day Rising Conference 12noon-9pm ET. Is your congregation ready to take a new step in changing white supremacy culture? Want to learn what your fellow congregations are working on, and how you might apply it at home? Join a continent of UUs as we explore next steps in creating Beloved UU Communities. More info: https://www.uua.org/leadership/events/new-day-rising-2021
Tues, Mar 9: Columbia Racial Justice Coalition Book Club 7pm. Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together At The Cafeteria (And Other Conversations About Race) by Beverly Daniel Tatum. Let's discuss the book and ways to put what's learned into action. https://www.facebook.com/events/461896131517949/
Wed, Mar 10: The Color of Money and the History of Black Banks The Color of Money author and professor Mehrsa Baradaran will discuss the history of Black banking in America. Her keynote address will connect the origins of Black banking with the oppressive policies that created today's racial wealth gap. The second half of the finale will feature a discussion focused on South Carolina communities as seen through the lens of Baradaran's work. Join the conversation by purchasing the book through Turning Page Bookshop, a Black-owned independent bookstore in Goose Creek, SC. https://www.facebook.com/events/2737707033215257/
Reflecting on Race Event: Jan 26, 2021
This is the online event we hosted to discuss race at UUCC. Topics included Institutional Racism, White Privilege, Reimagining the Police, the proposed UUA 8th Principle and possible actions and ways to move forward.
Stories of Struggle by Claudia Smith Brinson, a long time and much lauded reporter for The State. She describes SC civil rights events including the Charleston Hospital Strike and the student sit ins, including the famous Friendship Nine in Rock Hill.
Police Reform & Racial Justice
In this latest release, ACLU experts Jeffery Robinson, Paige Fernandez, and Carl Takei will walk you through how we can finally start to end the centuries-long cycle of racist police brutality. From immediate issues like qualified immunity, police union influence, and use of force standards, to the big questions on how we can stop police from being such an outsized presence in Black communities, you'll learn why our calls for divestment in police and reinvestment in the communities they harm, are not just possible – they're necessary.
Where did the term "defund the police" come from?
De-escalation program in Newark
This proposed legislation will prevent cities in Florida from reallocating funds from police to social programs! Among other things.
Prison Policy Initiative https://www.prisonpolicy.org
White Supremacy Resources:
Watch this video with guest speaker Robin DiAngelo, author of What Does it Mean to be White, speaking about UU culture specifically.
Watch: Whiteness’ Supremacy and Reaching Out (from the UUA)
Read: Building the World We Dream About from the UUA
Watch: As this black man talks about white people being uncomfortable with race but black people having to deal with it every day.
Read the great articles like this one that you will find.
Listen to the MoveOn.org conference call on combating white supremacy here: https://act.moveon.org/survey/readytoresist/
Examples of White Culture
1.#WhiteCulture is following people of color around in a museum gift shop while the main exhibit houses stolen treasures from Egypt of India. - Charles Brokowski
2. It’s the fact that white history is taught as part of the main curriculum and black history is an elective.
3. Although whites actually use drugs more than blacks, blacks are incarcerated at six times the rate of whites. Crack, the drug choice of mostly poor, black people has much higher penalties than those for powder cocaine, used primarily by richer white people. The epidemic of heroin, used overwhelmingly by White people, as a“health problem” instead of a “crime problem”
4. When someone tells you they've experienced racism, and you try to explain that the person didn't mean to be racist or didn't have that intention. Did you tell them that they were being oversensitive? Because of white culture, white people tend to think that they understand things better that people of color. Unwittingly, they are invalidating the person of color's experience and perceptions. Next time you try to explain something to a person of color, consider for a moment if you should be listening more instead. Consider why you think you are the one who can bring reason into the conversation. Remember that you are not an authority on how other people should feel about what issues affect them. Here's an excellent article explaining whitesplaining.
5. White people saying they are color blind. This actually invalidates the person of color's identity, and in reality, the color of a person's skin is very hard not to see.
6. Realize that it's possible you have biases, even if you don't consciously agree with them. Take the Harvard Implicit Bias test to see what biases you may have without knowing it. Or this Harvard test on race bias. When you got your answers, did you create reasons why you didn't do well?
7. Articles like this written by the same author on the same day. Notice one uses mug shots and the other school pics:
Here are the talks if you missed our White Supremacy Teach In service on July 23, 2018
General Racism Resources
Watch this 5 minute video from The New York Times: "A Conversation with White People on Race"
Even more resources: Allies for Racial Equity
Remember that race has no scientific biological basis. It is a social and legal construct set up to rationalize and justify indefensible acts. New genetic research shows that what we once thought as racial differences turn out to be local differences. Even core racial indicators like head form have changed over a single generation with nutrition.
Often we hear rationalizations about why people of color haven't "made it" in our culture. This is white supremacy at work. Let's take a look at some common arguments:
- Blacks are killing themselves with black-on-black violence. White people also kill and attack other whites. Why is this never considered?
- Blacks are lacking the family structure that they need. There are never any fathers around. Consider that through our white supremacy society that we incarcerate blacks at an astounding rate. In effect, we as whites are removing these fathers from their families. Although blacks make up only 13% of the total population, they make up 40% of the prison population. This is not because black people commit more crimes. It's because police focus their attention on people of color. One half of the prison population is in for drug offenses. There are 14 million white people who use drugs and only 2.6 million black people who use drugs, yet blacks make up 59% of prisoners convicted for drug offenses. These numbers don't add up. Investigate the school to prison pipeline.
- We had a black president, so racism is no longer an issue in America. Look at Oprah Winfrey. When in 2017, a rich, talented, well respected man like LeBron James says, "Being black in America is tough," then racism is still present. When billionaire Oprah Winfrey is shown a cheaper purse in a store, racism is still present.
- BlackLivesMatter is against police. #BlackLivesMatter is against police violence, not against police. It seeks to bring attention to all the forms of oppression prevalent in the lives of minorities that whites are sometimes unaware of.
- Don't all lives matter? Yes, of course all lives matter. But right now we live in a world where people of color are brutalized and killed again and again by police with no consequences. #BlackLivesMatter tries to address this specific issue. Please attend our regular church service on July 30 to hear more from Ty dePass of the local #BlackLivesMatter chapter.
What to say
If someone says something offensive, speak up every time. Think about what you'll say ahead of time so you'll be able to act instantly. Ask them why they believe that. Be sure to use language that addresses what they said and not who they are. Listen and then tell them why what they said is offensive. Sometimes ignorance is at work and they might not be aware of the connotations or they might lack exposure to a diverse population. Be aware that the person you are speaking to will likely become defensive. They might very well say something like "I'm not a racist". Remind them that it's not WHO they are that you have issue with but only WHAT they said. And realize that there is a 90% chance that they will not be convinced.
If someone else speaks up, be sure to thank them and let them know you agree.
We are not living together in peace. We are living separately, in suspicion and distrust. “Every nation,” wrote the nineteenth-century French philosopher Ernest Renan, “is a community both of shared memory and of shared forgetting." None of us should feel personal responsibility for what our parents or grandparents did or did not do. But there will be guilt enough for our own generation if we do not confront and address the bitter consequences.
Nearly a century ago, the Rev. Lewis B. Fisher, the dean of the Universalist seminary at St. Lawrence University, memorably described religious liberalism’s flexibility. “Universalists are often asked to tell where they stand,” he wrote. “The only true answer . . . is that we do not stand at all, we move.” We face a major turning point in Unitarian Universalism, and our decision whether to stand or move will shape the identity and set the course of our religious movement for the twenty-first century. In a word, our turning point can be summed up in the term multiculturalism.*