A very good and caring friend recently mentioned she had attended a seminar entitled Imagine No Racism, sponsored by the United Methodist Church in the Buffalo, NY area. I checked it out on-line and what I discovered was no surprise. For example, there is a list of desired qualities of prospective “team” members: Do you have a passion for racial justice and equity? Are you open to change and willing to grow in your knowledge and awareness of racial injustice and white privilege? Do you have some knowledge already of racism and/or white privilege? There is a mention that “Racism is a disease that infects the hearts, minds, souls and bodies of individuals, churches and communities. Our Social Principles state, ‘Racism is the combination of the power to dominate by one race over other races and a value system that assumes that the dominant race is innately superior to others.’” All utterly predictable non-sense, of course. Below is an e-mail I sent this person, which was well received by her.
Note the person referred to as “Nelson (name changed)” is a gentleman from Kenya who I first knew when he was a teenager when I was a volunteer medical director of a clinic in his remote village in the early 2000s. In Dec. 2018 my wife and I were able to bring him to the US on a non-immigrant visa to attend college; he has subsequently earned a 4.0 GPA!
I’m intrigued by the seminar you mentioned, “Imagine No Racism;” I went to the website for it. I think you know I can be pretty scathing when it comes to religious and societal matters, and this has both! Perhaps you could share the following story at your next session.
You haven’t met him but I think you know who Nelson is. In 2017 I traveled with him and my son throughout very (VERY) remote eastern Uganda. When Nelson returned to Kenya he entered what is called the Land of the Luos (any major tribal area may be referred to as the “Land of…”). Nelson is in fact a Luo but his skin, while a very dark brown, is not the actual black that is typical of the Luos. This was at the time of some tribal conflict, so once he was back in Kenya he kept his mouth shut (Nelson likes adventure and new experiences!) and heard some guys talking about what they should do to him. They assumed he was a Kikuyu or other rival tribe and even considered killing him. At this point he spoke up, in his native Luo language, and said he was as Luo as they were, with an implication they should have been ashamed of themselves, and he continued his travels unmolested. Is that racism- injuring and even killing people not because they are black, but because they are not as black as some others?