Our Faith's Complacency in Racism

"We are buried up to our necks in a history of violence and brutality against people of color. I refuse to be silent anymore."

We have an absurd amount to learn, or unlearn, about race in this country. America allowed slavery to exist by seeking out personal and regional salvation at the expense of universal salvation. Our country felt better about itself because with the South as the identified patient, it never had to look at its own addiction.

In the pre-emancipation South, most whites and almost all blacks were poor. Only a handful of plantation owners held the wealth. The North — and many Unitarian-led cities — spread their share of the stolen enslavement money (cotton, sugar, etc.) into factories and production that, while partially benefitting the rich, supported middle- and working-class white people.

Much of our faith's amassed wealth came this way. Worse, our Unitarian forebears justified keeping this money by perpetuating the mythology that we were the “good,” anti-racist part of the country. And so in addition to having an absurd amount to learn, or unlearn, about race in this country, we also have an absurd amount to learn, and unlearn, about our faith's complacency in its racism.

We as a faith have benefitted, and continue to benefit directly, from a system that garners wealth and safety at the expense of black people. So far, our faith has not done the work to unlearn the mythologies that perpetuate cultural supremacy in this country. Although many of the terms might make some of us uncomfortable, we must notice how mythologies that go wholly unexamined in our faith are, in actuality, perpetuating systems of oppression. We must dedicate ourselves to building a new system of radical Universalist inclusion that loves all people.