Anti-racism activity in your local churches?

Welcome to Wondercafe2!

A community where we discuss, share, and have some fun together. Join today and become a part of it!

Mendalla

Eastern Lowland Gorilla
Messages
30,652
Reaction score
14,464
First of all WOW, really?!!!
Canadian mainline churches are composed of mostly white people that really don't have a clue....I'll include myself and my church so there's no doubt in my mind the narrative will change to our own agenda if we don't stop talking and listen.
I catch myself doing it and I'm in a mixed-race mixed-nationality marriage with a biracial child (who is involved with a girl from yet another race so our grandchildren, should they happen, could get really complicated) for God's sake. If someone in that kind of environment can still be dense to racial issues at times, how do you get people living in a purely white world to understand?

Sadly, I think in a lot of environments, white allies need to be the wedge to nudge people to listen to the actual people of colour.
 

Mendalla

Eastern Lowland Gorilla
Messages
30,652
Reaction score
14,464
I guess where I am going with this is that the biggest challenge isn't the fascists and white supremacists (they are obvious and can be challenged or jailed or whatever) but convincing well-intentioned people who think they know and understand more than they do that they should let the people of colour tell us and lead us in these matters.
 

Carolla

wondering & wandering
Messages
7,650
Reaction score
5,076
“Nothing about us without us”
It's an expression I've been familiar with for decades, actively promoted and lived into during my career & personal life also - in many domains.

If Scanlon was quoting and citing the work of black activists that would be different.
It seems you're assuming & then judging on the basis of your assumption, that because his skin is white he has no basis or experience with racism, or other bias, that he's drawing upon - without really knowing.

"Black activists" are also not a homogeneous group - lots of differing experiences, opinions and ideas for change - as many of them will point out.

If you 'shoot (devalue) the messenger', do you then ignore the message? I find this to be a common practice sadly, which keeps us collectively stuck.

So much of our bias is at an unconscious level - and I believe we can do work to uncover that if there is a will to do the work - it's challenging work tho to explore the roots of beliefs and actions.

Invoking the language of 'white supremacy' is I think the kind of thing Scanlon advises against - it's an extreme of language and most of us white folks would not, at this point in a journey, identify ourselves as such - it falls into Scanlon's "good/bad person" binary concept - ie people would discount the idea and then not do the work to start exploring roots of bias.

To get stuck on the semantics of it is a way to spend energy and not actually effect change IMO. Creates an illusion of addressing an issue while actually maintaining the status quo. I see that happen a lot in churches ... lots of talk, wordsmithing, little real action/change. I imagine you've seen it too Kimmio relative to ableism.
 

Carolla

wondering & wandering
Messages
7,650
Reaction score
5,076
I guess where I am going with this is that the biggest challenge isn't the fascists and white supremacists (they are obvious and can be challenged or jailed or whatever) but convincing well-intentioned people who think they know and understand more than they do that they should let the people of colour tell us and lead us in these matters.
Fully agree with this Mendalla. It's been a hard lesson being learned in the United Church re indigenous issues, LGBTQ, racism, ableism. Some people are starting to 'get it' but lots still don't. We're not too good at listening, especially when the stories we hear create discomfort for us.
 
Messages
26,550
Reaction score
3,690
I still disagree and stand by what I said. If they would rather listen to Scanlon mince words than to black voices (there’s a wealth of them and they are diverse so why not listen to several. I asked the person I know here for her voice on who she thinks is a good teacher. Unfortunately this is a very white city, I don’t like it because it’s so colonial but I don’t have much opportunity to talk to black people here about their personal experiences here in this town and I think it’s important to do. If it’s not possible where one lives listen to the work of black academics, artists, activists with diverse views. Vancouver was different, far more diverse friends and acquaintances to learn from.) I don’t see that much progress is going to happen from that corner, from the mainline church corner (please prove me wrong, though). The world is moving ahead with change anyway, though.

Who said “Comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable”?
 
Last edited:

BetteTheRed

Resident Heretic
Messages
17,018
Reaction score
7,968
I'm having a bit of a hard time negotiating this right now. I have a team member who works with me on my Tuesday night group stuff. He often really steps up, and he's a cool old guy in his 80s, but really tech friendly, and an educator. Love him to death.

So, we're trying to work on some curriculum for a fall series centred on the Seven Grandfather teachings. I'm comfortable with his indigenous sources, and the endorsement of the author of the clip we'll be using (who is indigenous). What I am very wary of is "no talking about us without us". I'm sort of trying to push for some indigenous input.
 

Waterfall

Well-Known Member
Messages
11,113
Reaction score
3,614
I'm having a bit of a hard time negotiating this right now. I have a team member who works with me on my Tuesday night group stuff. He often really steps up, and he's a cool old guy in his 80s, but really tech friendly, and an educator. Love him to death.

So, we're trying to work on some curriculum for a fall series centred on the Seven Grandfather teachings. I'm comfortable with his indigenous sources, and the endorsement of the author of the clip we'll be using (who is indigenous). What I am very wary of is "no talking about us without us". I'm sort of trying to push for some indigenous input.
Is that only an Ojibwe teaching or do other indigenous nations teach that also?
 

Carolla

wondering & wandering
Messages
7,650
Reaction score
5,076
Sounds good Bette. I think there's lots of important background/foundational learning we can do about history from Indigenous sources. I think I recall Tabitha saying a while ago that her book club took this on as a topic for a year - to read, learn & discuss. It's a listening we white folks need to do, and later hopefully some respectful asking of questions. I think sometimes we don't even know what we don't know, at least that's true for me ... so learning some first can often lead to listening through different ears.

I was pretty disgusted with my own church - their big nod to Indigenous Sunday was that somebody read out the land acknowledgement, rather than just having it in the bulletin & not mentioned. Then right back to business as usual, preaching to the lectionary ... sigh.
 

Luce NDs

Well-Known Member
Messages
45,552
Reaction score
3,609
The brute powers suggest leaving the entire old wisdom spectrum behind in the dirt as we rush along to defeat the unknown ... without understanding the reason thereof!
 

Inannawhimsey

M&M, Cascadian Lovers
Messages
10,737
Reaction score
3,090
And here's an interesting article - The Canadian Church Must Break Ties with White Supremacy - your thoughts?
What do you think of the article? I haven't yet found out what you actually think aboot all this. Ahh for the old days of WC; where we found out what we think :3

I've just come across Paul Scanlon - and his comments resonate for me - and this small video perhaps sheds some light on white church resistance -
Kudoes to someone who has the gift of being able to translate a complex memeplex of ideas into plain English.

Now, what, to you, is White Church Resistance?

#MutualAid
#BeNotAfraid
#SystemicWhimsey
#JoyPrivilege
 

Inannawhimsey

M&M, Cascadian Lovers
Messages
10,737
Reaction score
3,090
I'm having a bit of a hard time negotiating this right now. I have a team member who works with me on my Tuesday night group stuff. He often really steps up, and he's a cool old guy in his 80s, but really tech friendly, and an educator. Love him to death.
Its good that you r struggling with this methinks :3 It is quite complex; the ideas that it is based on are quite arcane and abstruse because most of the people who invented it are abstruse academics lol

Keep at it.

(It doesn't help that not all followers of Wokism agree on the same things. Just loom in this thread; there is the view that it is up to "whites" to fix things not coloured people and vice versa)

#MutualAid
#BeNotAfraid
#SystemicWhimsey
#JoyPrivilege
 

Mendalla

Eastern Lowland Gorilla
Messages
30,652
Reaction score
14,464
there is the view that it is up to "whites" to fix things not coloured people and vice versa
It is up to whites to fix things because it's our colonial mentality that is the cause. That's what needs to change. But we need to be listening to the colonized in order to be able to do that properly.
 

Luce NDs

Well-Known Member
Messages
45,552
Reaction score
3,609
It is up to whites to fix things because it's our colonial mentality that is the cause. That's what needs to change. But we need to be listening to the colonized in order to be able to do that properly.
Albeit few will listen ... part of the monkey law! Bliss is the base of ignorance ... naivete?

Sacred plots ... conspiracy to bury MS takes ...
 
Messages
26,550
Reaction score
3,690
It is up to whites to fix things because it's our colonial mentality that is the cause. That's what needs to change. But we need to be listening to the colonized in order to be able to do that properly.
That sounds like “we’re” still “in charge” though. Maybe we need to step back and let things be fixed.
 

Carolla

wondering & wandering
Messages
7,650
Reaction score
5,076
I think it’s up to us to step back, not take charge of fixing things, but be told what to fix.
It's we who need fixing tho - we (white folks) are the ones standing in the way, sometimes knowingly, sometimes unknowingly - so we need to "fix" ourselves
 

Luce NDs

Well-Known Member
Messages
45,552
Reaction score
3,609
It's we who need fixing tho - we (white folks) are the ones standing in the way, sometimes knowingly, sometimes unknowingly - so we need to "fix" ourselves
G'oSt of the Eeyore Pean ... hidden there g's ... gravid strings tugging from the far ceide! Excuse the accrued Gaelis! Ceilde whatever ... hard!
 

Carolla

wondering & wandering
Messages
7,650
Reaction score
5,076
What do you think of the article?
Thanks for asking Inanna. I agree with most of what Bernadette has written. I met her last fall at the Parish Collective ReImagine conference in Hamilton - she's a passionate activist and I listened deeply to her views, and learned. There was quite a bit of discussion about racism & anti-racism at the conference. There was some stuff which occurred there that jabbed at the hearts of the racialized people present and simultaneously went right over the heads of many of the white folks there - we are often oblivious - our white privilege.

The only point on which I would challenge her writing is in her use of "the Canadian Church" - meaning I think 'the white settler, colonizer church' - I understand her point, but I don't think churches in Canada now are a single homogenous unit, nor are they all in the same place on this issue of racism. I wish we would connect with greater intention to explore & improve understanding of issues of racism - alas, silos often still prevail. Even amongst our predominantly white United Church there is lots of denial & even dispute about the issue - what the "good" church folk espouse and claim pride in is often not held up in behaviours, at least in my experience. It's Scanlon's 'good person/bad person' binary position that prevents many from this exploration, IMO.
 
Top