Interdependent Web: Subtle and pervasive roots, machinations in Washington, the structure of things

Interdependent Web: Subtle and pervasive roots, machinations in Washington, the structure of things

A weekly roundup of blogs and other user-generated web content about Unitarian Universalism.


Subtle and pervasive roots

The Rev. Theresa Soto responded to a recent column by Martin Marty, which discussed “the Unitarian Universalist diversity crisis.”

So, how does Marty observe Unitarian Universalism and our recent conflicts and recoilings for five paragraphs and never once mention racism or white supremacy? . . .

Those are the concerns and their precise names. Was Marty uncertain that’s what UUs of color were talking about? . . .

We Unitarian Universalists are learning what it means to root out and heal unexamined preferences for whiteness; we do indeed invite the world to join us. (Medium, May 17)

The Rev. Linda Hart acknowledged her struggle to address white supremacy.

Trying to sort out the subtle and pervasive roots and tendrils of white supremacy is a fraught exercise for me as a white person. I fear stumbling and getting it wrong, offending the people I want to be in solidarity with. . . . And that’s my white fragility showing through.

So, having stumbled again, I recommit to not allowing my fear to stop me from doing what is right. I recommit to being uncomfortable. I recommit my own journey of self-discovery which means hard lessons and confessing and asking forgiveness. (Tahoma UU, May 12)

The Rev. Ken Collier wrote about the UUA’s legacy of slavery.

Our parent organizations, the American Unitarian Association and the Universalist Church of America, were not exceptions. They too benefitted from slavery. And therein lies our turmoil. There is a conflict lying at the heart of the UUA. On the one hand two of our most cherished ideals are the inherent worth and dignity of every person and the interdependence of all beings. And yet the UUA is descended from older structures that embodied slavery and the Association has inherited, albeit unwittingly, a considerable amount of that embodiment. And we are loath to acknowledge that fact. Thus the conflict. (The Colliery, May 15)

Machinations in Washington

In light of this past week’s revelations, the Rev. Jordinn Nelson Long ran out of patience for those still defending their vote for Trump—or against Clinton.

If you're still saying, to yourself or out loud, "better than Hillary," what is it that you think Hillary was?

And why do you think that? And who encouraged you to?

And what social narratives are in place that make it ok for you to say that for a woman, a track record of leadership doesn't ever count, and that for a man, a track record of incompetence doesn't ever matter?

Your vitriol is misogyny. Your willful non-seeing is sexism. (Facebook, May 16)

If you’re struggling to keep up with the barrage of political news, Doug Muder’s column, The Weekly Sift, is a treasure; each week, Muder (a UU World contributing editor) writes an overview of many of the week’s news stories and several in-depth posts about its most pressing issues. (The Weekly Sift, May 15)

Kim Hampton reminded us that, while the news about the Trump White House is attention-getting, black and brown bodies continue to suffer disproportionately at the hands of the state.

Let’s talk about the policing of black bodies, shall we? . . .

I know that the machinations in Washington, D.C., suck up all the air in the room most days. But I think it’s important to point out that the state has been going wild on certain populations for generations.

There’s work to do, friends. There’s work to do. (East of Midnight, May 18)

The structure of things

The Rev. Evin Carvill-Ziemer addressed a group of parents left out by Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.

Dear Moppies, Maddies, and Babas; men who have given birth; women whose children still call you Daddy; queer parents of all genders and none,

There isn’t a holiday set apart for us. We’ve just been through part 1 of the annual reminder that the world doesn’t see us.

But I see you. (Facebook, May 18)

The Rev. Ken Beldon responded to the scorn hidden within a meme about men wearing rompers.

Too many of us who identify as male are fed an unending stream of junk gendered messages about what it means to have to measure up as a man in this culture, and are policed and punished if we miss the mark. It's a crazy-making game where we're taught that we only win if someone else loses, and it atrophies our humanity. Shamed or pushed into rigid confines of maleness, many of us cause harm to ourselves and others. (Facebook, May 18)

As she researched wages for caregiving jobs, as part of a Mother’s Day sermon, the Rev. Cecilia Kingman discovered a painful truth: “The vast majority of workers in this country make scandalously low wages.”

Those of you worrying over how to pay your bills, or save for retirement, or put yourself or your child through college, or care for your elderly parent, let me say this to you: You are not “not making it” in this world. You are barely getting by, struggling to survive and provide for others, because of how the economics of our system are structured. Your pain, as a worker, as a caregiver of children or elderly people, as a human being, is not some kind of failure on your part. The structure of things is suffocating us all. (Facebook, May 13)