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rainbow4321 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 08:55 PM
Original message
UU's apologize for racist incidents at annual meeting
Ouch.. being a UU, this article makes me very disappointed/sad...

http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/living/religio...

The board of the Unitarian Universalist Association has apologized for incidents involving apparently disrespectful and racist treatment of youth delegates during the denominations annual meeting in Fort Worth, Texas.

In a July 6 open letter of apology posted on the denominations Web site, board secretary Paul Rickter cited reports that on several occasions during the five-day meeting in June, white delegates assumed UU youth of color were hotel service people.

<snip>

In his letter, Rickter described a confrontation between an adult delegate and a group of young Unitarians during the meetings closing ceremonies. According to the letter, the adult questioned the young peoples right to be there, provoking an angry response from the youths.


In his letter, Rickter described a confrontation between an adult delegate and a group of young Unitarians during the meetings closing ceremonies. According to the letter, the adult questioned the young peoples right to be there, provoking an angry response from the youths. Others say the board overreacted by apologizing for the incident. At least one witness said it was provoked by three young black delegates who entered the closing ceremony without their nametags, ripped up a program and threw other programs on the floor.


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JDPriestly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 09:01 PM
Response to Original message
1. What is this world coming to?
I am a UU. We are supposed to be liberal. Don't tell me we've been invaded by people who adopt racial stereotypes. Horrors.
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rainbow4321 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 09:09 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. "An open letter to UU youth of color and UU people of color" from UUA
From UUA's webpage:

http://www.uua.org/TRUS/050706_letter.html

At General Assembly in Fort Worth , there were several incidents that reminded us that we have much work to do in our journey to becoming an anti-racist, anti-oppressive, and multicultural association. We, the UUA Board of Trustees, want to express deep sadness and regret that these incidents took place.

<snip>

But we have work do within our own community as well. We have been disturbed by reports of other unfortunate incidents during General Assembly within our own Unitarian Universalist family, in which some UU youth of color were made to feel that they were not welcome. There was an incident outside the hall during the closing ceremonies at the Fort Worth General Assembly. Based on the reports of witnesses, the incident involved several UU youth of color, a UU adult who questioned their right to be there, provoking an angry response from the youth, a UU minister who intervened in support of the adult, and another white youth who defended the youth of color and verbally attacked the minister, who responded in like fashion with similar inflammatory language. This was not the only incident. We have also heard that on several occasions in Fort Worth , white UUs assumed that UU youth of color were hotel service people and asked them to carry luggage or park cars. We are troubled that some UUs may have treated other UUs as if they did not belong among us. We can and must do better.

<snip>

As your UUA Board, we pledge to treat all these incidents as a wake-up call for our entire community. We understand that personal stories about individuals' experiences at Fort Worth General Assembly have been recorded and we commit to hear these stories and learn from them. Also, we will work with the General Assembly Planning Committee and other groups to ensure that General Assembly in St. Louis and all future General Assemblies are more welcoming to all members of our Unitarian Universalist family.


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Tux Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 09:01 PM
Response to Original message
2. Takes all kinds
UUs have combat ignorance even in our own ranks.
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Bouncy Ball Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 09:16 PM
Response to Original message
4. I read the article.
Sounds like a few adult UUers weren't on their best behavior. UUers are human, of course. What I like is that stuff like this is actually examined, discussed, put out in the open, etc.

Unlike in other churches, where those kinds of incidents would just be standard operating procedure.

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LeftHander Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 09:47 PM
Response to Original message
5. not surprising really...
Edited on Wed Jul-20-05 09:48 PM by LeftHander
Stereotypes creep into all facets of human interaction....even UUs.

I am a UU and the church I attend is in the western suburbs of Milwaukee. Undoubtedly one of the most segregated and violent cities in america. (Over 70 gun homicides to date this year..vast majority of the incidents were black on black violence.)

Our church congregation is made up of nearly all white upper-middle class families that have lived for the most part a priveleged sheltered life. Though many seek out to enguage the ethni communities many treat the Church as a sanctuary where the "liberal" within can flourish...SOmetimes the church seems like an island in sea of hard line Bush conservatives. (James Sennesenbrenner's District...) Many would be shocked to hear this and would condemn these words outright.

But this is just another example of the real danger of segregation, injustive, fear and bigotry. It slowly invades the last remaining places of genuine goodness and corrupts them slowly, inexoribly.

Yes even UUs can suffer from ignorance. It is sad to think that people still look upon people of color not as humans first but as servants. A seemingly innocent thought can be so wrong and hurtful. It spawns from generations of fear...not unlike homophobia. Our society creates environment of violence that begats fear that begats segregation that begats, racism and oppression.

All the more reason why the conservatives under Bush's leadership must be brought down. The messeges of personal responsibility is simply the same old rhetoric of segregation dressed up for contemporary society.

The questions we need to ask ourselves as an open, liberal religious community is how do we break the cycle of fear and build genuine bonds of friendship and understanding between such vastly diffferent cultures...like the inner city african americans and white suburban middle class?




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KamaAina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 09:55 PM
Response to Original message
6. We try so hard to relate to African Americans...
...you haven't lived until you've heard an all-white UU congregation attempt a Negro spiritual. Happens at least once a year. The results would make even William Hung shake his head in disbelief.

Happens to the best of us: One Sunday morning in New Haven I arrived my usual fifteen minutes early (due to the bus schedule), and there were two African American men in the sanctuary, asking to see the manager. I almost literally tripped over my own shoelaces to run out and get them a copy of "Soulful Journeys", the UU pamphlet aimed at African Americans.

Turned out they were looking to be hired to do yard work...
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Bouncy Ball Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 09:57 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. We have ten African-American members in our smallish
congregation. Along with some Hispanic members.

A couple of multi-racial couples. And two white couples who have adopted bi-racial children.

I like it.

Your post cracked me up, in a sad way.
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