Interdependent Web: Seeing color and fighting racism, out there among the stars

Interdependent Web: Seeing color and fighting racism, out there among the stars

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


Seeing color to fight racism

Doug Muder has a message for white people, like Howard Schultz, who claim not to see color: You can’t fight what you can’t see.

Imagine that you’re a black parent trying to raise a son. . . . [you] tell your black son about Martin’s Dream. But you’re very careful to teach him not to lose sight of the difference between the Dream and the Reality. Confusing the two could get him killed. (The Weekly Sift, 2.18.19)

As her daughter studies sign language, Amy Zucker Morgenstern discovers the racism encoded into American Sign Language.

Sadly, as with white modes of English, white ASL is treated as normative and “mainstream”–note how its name isn’t actually white ASL, but simply ASL–while Black ASL is separate and commonly regarded as inferior. Users of American Sign Language struggled to have their language recognized as a language; do BASL users have a similar struggle within the Deaf world? (Sermons in Stones, 2.17.19)

Tony Lorenzen discovers photos of a minstrel show—including blackface—hosted by the congregation he serves.

[Why] do I write about this racist event? I write so that my congregation is aware of its past immoral behavior. I write so that my community of Hopedale is aware of its past immoral behavior. I write so I can point out that unless we acknowledge and address our white supremacy and racism we perpetuate the myth that we can ignore past injustices; the myth that past injustices have no bearing on the present reality. We are not allowed to dismiss blackface and minstrel shows as “those silly racist things our ancestors did,” sure in our belief that we are not like them. This is white fragility at work. This perpetuates racism as individual acts of prejudice and perpetuates our white privilege. It is painful to admit that people from my congregation or my town did this horrible thing. We shouldn’t use our immunity to keep ourselves immune from the pain caused by racism. (Sunflower Chalice, 2.19.19)

Adam Dyer names the real invasion that threatens our country.

The real invasion
Graduated generations of black and brown people,
From chains to cages
And rewarded Ivy League white boys with wealthy legacies
For raping the economy
And co-eds. (Spirituwellness, 2.16.19)

Out there among the stars

Nancy Palmer Jones responds to the grumbling that often happens when worshippers find a service unsatisfying.

Dear ones, hear me about this: I just long for the day when everyone in our beloved community comes to church knowing that their sheer presence adds to the depth of experience of everyone around them—and that’s reason enough to be there. Knowing that every moment of the service has been lovingly crafted to offer a cohesive experience of a message or feeling or idea that the leaders have felt called by the moment and the world and our community and our faith to share. Knowing that, like everything in life, we must meet each other halfway for any experience to bloom into its fullness. (Facebook, 2.18.19)

Monica Dobbins celebrates and mourns the Mars Opportunity Rover—and encourages us to follow in the Rover’s tracks.

[You]—yes, you! Little old you!—are brilliant, and you deserve to be out there among the stars, traveling at light speed, discovering things no one has ever seen before. What you are learning while you’re here, alive, with us, could change everything. We are anxiously awaiting your report, and we want to share ours with you. What could you accomplish this week, if you knew you had a ground team wishing you well? (Facebook, 2.17.19)

Aaron White updates Emerson’s idea that we become what we worship, incorporating what we are learning about our brains.

With focused attention or deep habits, a substance called myelin wraps around neurons connecting them, making the path between them even faster. What was a residential road between two thoughts becomes the express lane; dial up internet becomes broadband in the mind. . . .

The habit of carrying a book or journal helps your brain jump to creativity or learning instead of social media during moments of boredom. Writing or saying out loud your important skills or accomplishments each day helps your brain associate “you” with worth, and not failure. And like that, a life is made. (Possibility Conspiracy, 2.16.19)