The Care and Feeding of Black Children’s Souls pt.4

As I’ve said before, some of my favorite people in Unitarian Universalism are religious educators. So I think about them when I read stories about children; children of color in particular.

If you follow me on Facebook, you can see I recently posted a series of articles about racist things happening in schools. (You can read the stories here, here, here, and here). And in one case, how the racist action is being completely denied.

I think we need to face a fundamental truth, liberal friends; children are not as innocent as the liberal church wants to believe. This does not mean they are “totally depraved” in the Calvinist sense, but they are also not the “blank slates” talked about in philosophy—just not innocent.

So what does that mean for liberal religious education? How do majority white churches help children of color heal and become resilient in the face of the ongoing trauma they will encounter in the rest of their life (and, if we’re really going to be honest, in their church life too)?   What is liberal religious education in the face of continuing trauma? How do we support religious educators of color who are also dealing with continuing trauma? [I could ask the same question for religious professionals of color in general, but I think religious educators are in a unique position]

What does trauma ministry look like in places of continuing trauma? I am not criticising the work of the UU Trauma Response Ministry–they are wonderful people who do important and necessary crisis support/ministry work; this is a different question. We are seeing news stories almost everyday of children of color in communities around the country being in situations where they will face trauma over and over again.
So what does ministry and care look like once the “heat” of the moment wears off, but the feelings the moment created are still there?

What does it mean for UU congregations to take the work of the White Supremacy Teach-In seriously?

 

Advertisements

Flag and Anthems and Protests…..Oh My

If anybody can give me a rational explanation as to why any black person in America should salute the flag, sing the anthem, or pledge allegiance I would love to hear it.

A black child was nearly lynched in Claremont, New Hampshire…..SIX WEEKS AGO.

White men with torches are marching through Charlottesville…..LAST WEEK

(former) SLMPD Officer Jason Stockley gets away with killing Anthony Lamar Smith, even though there is tape of him saying, “I’m gonna kill this n****r”…..FOUR WEEKS AGO FRIDAY

Patrick Harmon is shot in the back–by Salt Lake City police–August 13th. There is video of the officer who did it saying, “I’m going to kill you.” That officer was cleared…..OCTOBER 5 (if you don’t know about the Patrick Harmon case, you can read about it here)

And yet people are up in arms because some black football players have the guts to kneel during the playing of the anthem?

“It’s disrespecting the troops/vets,” they say. Well…that’s bullsh*t, to put it nicely. Let’s tell the truth here…the only reason football players are on the field during the anthem is because the Department of Defense PAID the NFL for it.

“It disrespects the flag,” they say. More bullsh*t. Kneeling is actually one of the most respectful actions one can take. And, have you taken a look at the U.S. Flag Code? Most of the people screaming the loudest violate the Flag Code everyday.

“Why don’t they protest in a different way,” they say. Ah. My favorite white people response. Because, as is becoming routine, I get to use their sainted Martin Luther King Jr. against them. Repeat after me…..

“First, I must confess that over the last few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in the stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Council-er or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I can’t agree with your methods of direct action;” who paternalistically feels he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by the myth of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait until a “more convenient season.”

Shallow understanding from people of goodwill is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.”

And now it looks like the NFL is going to bow to pressure and write a rule requiring players to stand during the anthem. As black players make up 70% of NFL rosters, I hope all of them stay in the locker room during the anthem from now on. (this is what happened pre-2009 when the DoD paid the NFL) But, barring that, I hope every black player pulls a Tommie Smith and John Carlos at the 1968 Olympics fist raise every week.

It’s time for a little honesty here people. This is not about the flag or the anthem or respecting/disrespecting the troops or vets. This has always been about race