Dixie Darr

Archive for the ‘Prejudice’ Category

Both Sides Now

In Learning, Resistance, Prejudice on August 16, 2017 at 5:55 am

So it’s come to this, an American president defending Nazis, calling them fine people. We tried to warn you. It was obvious this man was unhinged, undisciplined, unfit, but you refused to listen. “He speaks his mind and says what he thinks,” you said. Now you know what he thinks. Now we all know.

If you still support him, we know what you think, too.

He thinks both sides are equally at fault for the violence in Charlottesville. One side came with torches in the night, shields and weapons and Nazi slogans in the day. The other side said, No. They are not equal. White supremacy is evil. Nazis are evil. The KKK is evil. You can’t side with them and pretend to be Christian, or a good person, or an American. This is over. Whose side are you on?

You thought he would shake things up, and he has certainly done that. His ignorance and recklessness will destroy us as a country if we let him continue; he has already destroyed our reputation and leadership role with the rest of the world.

What we need now is a show of true patriotism and courage from both sides of congress. We need you to admit that this can’t go on. We need you to Stand up for your country and take him down.

We need both sides to work together.

Both Sides.

Now.

The History Train

In Learning, Prejudice, Resistance on August 15, 2017 at 7:31 am

We’ve had a busy few days since Charlottesville, and the fallout continues. Some have called it a breaking point when America can no longer deny what our racist, misogynist, homophobic, xenophobic, ignorant, lying so-called president has wrought. I sure hope they’re right. It would be nice to think we have finally turned the corner on this dark period.
Meanwhile, this happened:
Forty-eight hours after the violence Trump finally said “racism is evil” and denounced neo-Nazis and the KKK in a statement considered weak and cowardly in the mainstream media and celebrated by white supremacists.
Three CEOs have resigned from the White House manufacturing council in protest of Trump’s response to the Charlottesville violence.
TIKI Brand, the company responsible for creating tiki torches, issued a statement separating themselves from the neo-Nazis who used their products at the rally.
The mayor of Lexington KY announced plans to remove two confederate statues from the courthouse.
Officials in several states, including Florida and Maryland have also called for the removal of confederate statues.
Protesters in Durham NC didn’t wait for official action. Chanting “No KKK no fascist USA,” they pulled down a statue of a confederate soldier.
Social media sites are working to identify participants in the Charlottesville rally. So far, one man lost his job, another was disowned by his family, and a third may be expelled from college.
Those who beat up Deandre Harris have been identified and police are searching and will arrest them.
The man who drove his car into a crowd killing Heather Heyer and injuring 19 others is in jail without bond.
Go Daddy canceled the domain name for a white supremacist website. When they registered the site with Google, that company also canceled it.
Texas A&M canceled a white supremacist rally scheduled for 9/11.
And so it continues.
In 1971, Paul Simon wrote Peace Like a River, containing these words, “Misinformation followed us like a plague” and “You can’t outrun the history train” that seem curiously prophetic today.
I know I’d like some peace like a river, even if only for a day or two.

A Little Light

In Church, Learning, Prejudice on August 14, 2017 at 6:19 am

A Little Light
What can I say in 300 words about the white supremacists in Charlottesville and everywhere else, including the White House? I despise you more than words can express and I hope you die an agonizing death–soon–and spend eternity writhing in hell. That just about sums it up in only 43 words. Not very Christian, I’m afraid.

I spent Saturday weepy, clicking through channels and scrolling through Facebook to find information about Charlottesville. The news stations focused on Trump’s threats of war against North Korea and Venezuela and ignored the white supremacists threatening us here in America.

Later, after the man in the White House gave his mealy-mouthed response to the violence in Virginia and refused to call out domestic terrorists, I saw a meme that said, “Not many presidents could make threatening nuclear war the second worst thing he did in a week.”

Sunday morning couldn’t come soon enough. Our movie this week was Wonder Woman and I was afraid Pastor Brad would say something about how we had to love even the terrorists. I knew I couldn’t do that.

Instead, he used Diana Prince’s words, “I used to want to save the world. To end war and bring peace to mankind. But then, I glimpsed the darkness that lives within their light. I learned that inside every one of them, there will always be both. The choice each must make for themselves – something no hero will ever defeat.”

He talked about light defeating darkness and was surprised to get choked up talking about Wonder Woman. I was weepy again through the whole sermon as were several other people. When it gets posted on the website, I’ll let you know. I need to listen to it again.

We closed the service by singing This Little Light of Mine, just like the stalwart clergy in Charlottesville. That will be my lasting impression of Saturday’s events. Not the Nazi slogans or the killer ramming his car into a crowd of protesters. When I think of Charlottesville, I’ll think of the line of clergy of all denominations and races and ages, male and female, locking arms to surround the forces of evil and singing This Little Light of Mine, I’m Going to Let it Shine.
I’ll give the last word to Hillary Clinton, “If this is not who we are as Americans, let’s prove it.”

I’m with her.

Slip Slidin’ Away

In Learning, Prejudice on August 4, 2017 at 8:24 am

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The election of Barack Obama was the last straw for some white people. This included white supremacists and also ordinary working and elderly people who saw the world changing around them. “They’re afraid their way of life is disappearing,” a friend said.
They’re right about that.
In 2014, of the 20 million children in the U.S. under the age of five, 50.2% were minorities. Millennials are the most racially diverse generation ever, and census projections predict that by 2055 the country will not have a single racial or ethnic majority.
The big swath of white voters desperate to hang onto their central and controlling place in our culture brought us the disaster of Donald Trump. They seem to believe that they can turn around the decline of white supremacy by holding on tight by taking actions that
Revoke voting rights of minority communities
Reject LGBTQ equality
Investigate affirmative action as discriminating against whites
Close the borders
Crack down on legal immigration
Demonize religions other than Christianity
Etcetera.
While these things might make them feel better, they’re temporary fixes that won’t change the demographics. Many scientists predict that the future will bring more and more people of mixed race. The more optimistic believe that “by 2050 we’ll witness a country united by its diversity, unique interests, and melded backgrounds.” Then we can relax and accept that we are all just different aspects of the human race.
I wish I could believe that, but experience tells me that, as humans, we will always find someone to hate.

Venus Envy

In Church, Prejudice, Resistance on July 31, 2017 at 6:36 am

“I wouldn’t go to a church with a woman pastor,” a relative told me.
“I wouldn’t go to a church that didn’t allow women pastors,” I replied.
One of the reasons I chose my church is because it had a woman pastor.
Years later, when she left, the (female) bishop assigned a 30-year-old male pastor to our church. I had misgivings, first about his youth.
During the interim period between pastors, we had a guest preacher, a man, who told us we should be really happy about the change because “You’re getting what everybody wants—a male pastor.” I was furious and not inclined to like our new young, male pastor.
I’d been fighting this male bias all my life and at 64, I was long past sick of it.
Luckily, when he came, he won me over right away. As my 80-something friend said after his first sermon, “That boy can preach.” Indeed he can. Another friend thinks he’s “a real man of God.”
He showed me that men can support women and women’s issues just as strongly as women can. Other men in our congregation confirmed it. In my church male or female is a nonissue, as is gay or straight, young or old and other dichotomies that will probably occur to me as soon as I post this.
I can’t say the same for the world outside our church doors, although last week was a good one for women, starting with Republican Senators Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski breaking with their party line and voting against the draconian health care non-bill, even though Johnny-come-lately McCain was (typically) given all the credit. Senator Collins was greeted with applause in the Bangor airport when she returned home to Maine, something that has never happened before in her twenty years in the Senate.
It was a beautiful thing to watch.
Then we got to see Democratic Representative Maxine Waters repeatedly “Reclaiming my time” when Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin tried to squander her allotted time and avoid answering her pointed questions.
It was a beautiful thing to watch.
Most of the (straight, white) men in charge of almost everything still see women as “less than.” But more and more men accept and treat us as equally worthy, and they’re raising their sons and daughters to do the same.
It’s a beautiful thing to watch.

The Color of His Skin

In Church, Prejudice on July 27, 2017 at 6:02 am

“I don’t know why they assigned a black preacher to a church in a white suburb,” she said. “It’s not like he’ll attract black people when there just aren’t that many around.” I agreed that he would not bring more diversity to a congregation in an area that has less than 1% African Americans, but her comment bugged me. I saw the red flag of racism in it and tucked it away. I had things to do and she was a friend. I didn’t want to deal with it.
Twenty-four hours later, I’m ashamed of myself.
I do not know the man or the church in question, yet I know that people are more—much more—than the color of their skin. I should have said so. The church hierarchy strives to put the right person in the pulpit based on his or her skills, talents, and experiences. The right fit will lead to growth, spiritual growth, of both the church members and the minister.
The reasoning probably has little to do with his race.
Or maybe it does. Getting to know people of different ethnic groups increases understanding and decreases prejudice.
This might not always be a lily-white suburb. People of color may very well move here. It’s been known to happen. If it does, the people of this congregation could lead the way to embracing diversity instead of fighting it. Maybe they’ll understand that diversity leads to stronger, richer life experiences. Maybe they’ll learn to celebrate our differences. That would be a wonderful thing. Maybe they already are that congregation.
This minister, who holds a doctoral degree, posted his personal mission statement: “To Help God create loving, open and affirming, diverse and inclusive communities that bring joy to the hearts of all men, women, and children as they discover and claim their rightful place in the family of God.”
But, hey, let’s focus on the color of his skin.
That’s what’s important, right?
It’s the only thing that counts.