Facing Race FAQs

Q: Why are we doing this?

This work aligns with our UU principles and our covenant to affirm and promote, in particular, these principles:

  • The inherent worth and dignity of every person
  • Justice, equity and compassion in human relations
  • The goal of world community with peace, liberty and justice for all
  • Journeying toward spiritual wholeness by working to build a diverse multicultural Beloved Community by our actions that accountably dismantle racism and other oppressions in ourselves and our institutions. [Proposed 8th Principle]

 

Q: Why are we doing this now?

As a group, the Facing Race Stirring Committee believes that the WBUUC community needs to reach deeper and farther to learn and understand the institutional racism that exists in our country and culture. This work is closely aligned with WBUUC’s Sanctuary work.

This is our collective response to the appalling deaths of black and brown people at the hands of police and civilians as a result of racism, hatred, and fear. These horrors came home to us in the Twin Cities in November 2013 when Jamar Clark was killed by Minneapolis police officers, and in July 2016 when Philando Castile was killed by an officer as he sat in his car in Falcon Heights.

A recent guest minister charged us, the WBUUC community, to educate ourselves on the history and all-encompassing presence of white supremacy and racism.

 

Q: Why do you use the term “white supremacy?”
We are not like the KKK or the white nationalists we hear about in the news. This makes me uncomfortable.

The following is excerpted from several articles and books by Robin De Angelo, including “White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism.”

White supremacy captures the all-encompassing centrality and assumed superiority of people defined and perceived as white, and the practices based upon that assumption. White supremacy is not simply the idea that whites are superior to people of color (although it certainly is that), but a deeper premise that supports this idea — the definition of whites as the norm or standard for human, and people of color as an inherent deviation from that norm.

Many people, especially older white people, associate the term white supremacy with extreme and explicit hate groups. However, for sociologists, white supremacy is a highly descriptive term for the culture we live in; a culture which positions white people and all that is associated with them (whiteness) as ideal.

When race scholars use the term white supremacy, [they] do not use it the same way as mainstream culture does. Nor, do [they] use it to indicate majority-versus-minority relations.

 

Q: What is white privilege?

The following is excerpted from the article “What Is White Privilege, Really?” by Cory Collins in Teaching Tolerance.

White privilege can be viewed as a built-in advantage, separate from one’s level of income or effort. White privilege is both a legacy and a cause of racism.

Francis E. Kendall, author of Diversity in the Classroom and Understanding White Privilege: Creating Pathways to Authentic Relationships Across Race, comes close to giving us an encompassing definition: [White privilege is] “having greater access to power and resources than people of color [in the same situation] do.”