I’m an old white guy. As such, I’m a lifelong beneficiary of white privilege. This fact plays out in many ways. I don’t have to worry that I’ll be shot and killed during a routine traffic stop. My parents were able to buy a house in a pleasant neighborhood (a house where I now live) because they weren’t discriminated against by realtors or lenders.
I’m also a reasonably bright student both of current events and of history. I’m quite aware of the massive suffering caused by racism, in the past and still today. I know that racism takes many forms, not all of them obvious. And while racism is a problem throughout the world, I’m aware that it is especially toxic and deeply rooted in the United States.
For the above reasons, I don’t need to be lectured to about racism. Being reminded of how horrible my fellow human beings are to one another is neither fun nor useful. In a nutshell, there’s nothing I can do about it, so why are you grinding my face in it?
Earlier today I got an announcement that the sermon this Sunday at our local Unitarian-Universalist (UU) church will have the title “Naming White Supremacy.”
Over the past couple of years there has been an earnest, and in my opinion deeply misguided, attempt within the UU community to portray the practices of our own community as somehow emblematic of white supremacy. This movement, by a cabal of unaccountable and intellectually deficient social justice warriors, has led, among its other pernicious effects, to an organized and sustained campaign of hatred against a UU minister who dared question the basis and effectiveness of the efforts of the social justice warriors.
Our own UU minister has explicitly signed on to that effort. She has had her name affixed to an Open Letter condemning the other minister. And now she’s going to lecture our congregation about white supremacy.
I lost it a bit. I sent an email that contained the word “fuck.” Twice. And I don’t plan to apologize for having done so.
Granted, the ongoing turmoil within the UU organization is what triggered my reaction. But quite aside from that, here’s what it comes down to:
“Hey, let’s tell Jim Aikin about racism — maybe he’ll know how to fix it,” said no black activist ever.