OUUC again answered the call to hold a White Supremacy Teach-In, a call that went out to all the UU Congregations resulting in Teach-Ins being held all across the nation.
Following a worship service that also focused on White Supremacy and our response to racism, we gathered for a workshop of youth and adults. We unpacked some terms:
We then formed small groups to discuss some scenarios and response strategies, all taken from the excellent book Navigating Diversity .
We noticed some interesting things in our discussions:
- Our tendency to move to “giving information” as a strategy for countering racism and micro-aggressions. Perhaps we could diversify our skill set and try other approaches as well?
- That white people tend to deflect the impact of racism by saying things are “just unfortunate, not racist”, or that it’s just bad luck instead of being about race.
- Sometimes using pointed humor can be a good approach with some people.
- It can be hard to think of anything to say in the moment, and having a few “pat phrases” picked out ahead of time can help.
- When people say they are “color blind” that is often a smoke screen or way of denying the importance of race.
- White denial was noticed, or denying that race and racism are important.
- Others noted that it gets harder when they run into “The System” or institutional support of racist structures, and that further skill sets would be needed there.
- Our youth shared that they had not really encountered or experienced these types of scenarios or times when they experienced a racially charged or racist situation. Others in the room clarified that this might be true for white youth (all youth present were white) but not for all youth in Olympia. Other adults spoke up to affirm that it was still good for the youth present to speak from their experience, and that it is good to learn and think about how you might respond to racism and promote anti-racism before you have your first recognized encounter with it.
What comes next?
Save the date for a talk by Robin DiAngelo: January 21st, 1pm. This is made possible by the donations made to the Faith in Action fund – thank you to everyone who contributed!
You might also want to make the trip to Seattle on November 6th to hear William Barber speak at UW. A few copies of the UU Common Read selection by Barber, The Third Reconstruction, are still available in our congregational library.
Our Standing Up to Racism Group meets on the 2nd Tuesday of each month. Join the group for further discussion!
And, finally, Sara Lewis, our Director of Religious Education, has created a 30 Days of Anti-Racism calendar. Use this calendar to spend the month of November increasing your awareness and ability to be act for anti-racism!
30 days of anti-racism