Tag Archives: Racism

In lieu of a card

 

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My Christmas Card: before dawn, Rochester New York

I probably won’t get around to answering your cards this year, again. Sometimes I have sent New Year’s cards. Or Valentines. Or St. Patrick’s Day cards. 

Instead, here is a list of resources that are helping me face 2019.

At Princeton United Methodist Church, we have embarked on a series called Relationships and Faith, based in part on materials from the Arbinger Institute. to  learn the difference between an Inward Mindset and an Outward Mindset. Pastor Jenny Smith Walz is undertaking the important and difficult task — to talk about difficult questions of gender and race within the church. Her challenging sermon series, titled “The Beloved Community,”  begins this month, focusing on “What God wants for God’s people.”  The ongoing study has workbooks available in the church office. Also here is a link to one of the Arbinger books,

I am also led to discover, and embrace, the work of Julia Cameron. Known for founding  The Artist’s Way, Cameron recommends — nay, requires — those pursuing creativity to write “Morning Pages,” three pages written in the morning, first thing, to clear the addlement from one’s brain. I found my first Cameron book in one of those “free libraries” on the street in DC in October, and it has taken me this long to convince myself it might work.

For the evening, I am trying to use a journaling system called Vertellis Chapters,  This “mix of mindfulness and stoicism practices” is a Netherlands-based journaling system (the Dutch are so smart!) and I found it at my favorite shopping spot – online.

Then, my old favorite, is the Upper Room Disciplines. a book of daily devotions based on the lectionary — the Bible passages read throughout the Christian church. So often, that commentary, that scripture, speaks to a current sadness or gladness of the day. My small group at PrincetonUMC, the Monday Morning Group, uses these readings for informal study.

Am I reading these, writing these, studying these consistently every day? No. 

George was a habit-driven person and I am the exact opposite. He did exercises daily without fail. When it comes to doing exercises daily, I mostly fail. 

But I am trying to create these habits. And I feel led to share them with whoever is out there, just as Jenny, Ginny, Gerri, Aimee, Anthony, Ineke, Judi, Mary Lib, Pat, Deborah, Susannah and so so many more have shared their inspirations with me.  

 

 

 

Danielle Allen: ‘interracial distrust’ vs ‘racism’

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Ask yourself, when you interact with a stranger from another race or background, whether you have treated them as you would a friend.

So said Danielle Allen, the luncheon speaker at the Princeton Regional Chamber on Thursday, March 5, at 11:30 p.m. In an interview with the Chicago Tribune, she explained the difference between the termInterracial distrust” and “racism.” As below:

“Interracial distrust does capture something missed by the word “racism.” Most of us use the word “racism” to denote the antipathy of white people to people of color. Though the word can equally well denote negative feelings that flow in other directions, we tend to restrict it to the attention “white” people pay to “colored” people.

“Interracial distrust,” in contrast, captures the fact that negative feelings flow all ways across multiple racial and ethnic lines. The world is too full to focus only on how one group of people perceives another group. I am interested in how each of us, individually, interacts with people who are different from us and whom we fear.”

Danielle Allen, a renowned author and co-editor, is currently at the Institute for Advanced Study but will soon leave Princeton for Harvard to be a professor and direct the Edmond. J. Safra Center for Ethics.  aiming to guide the center in a post-Ferguson direction.

She is chair of the Pulitzer Prize board, among other honors. Her topic for Thursday: Pursuing Happiness: What the Declaration of Independence Has to Teach Us About Human Flourishing.

The exact same kind of intercultural conversation that Allen espouses — it takes place in Princeton on first Mondays at the Princeton Public Library. Continuing Conversations on Race is March 2 and April 6 at 7 p.m.

 

 

Everyone is a racist at heart, says Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in Time Magazine (5-14-2014).

Says Kareem: Maybe the worst racism of all is denying that racism exists, because that keeps us from repairing the damage. This country needs a social colonoscopy to look for the hidden racist polyps. And we aren’t doing ourselves any good by saying, “I feel fine. Everything’s fine. Nothing to see here.”

“The truth is, everyone has racism in his or her heart. We feel more comfortable around people of similar appearance, backgrounds and experiences. But, as intelligent, educated and civilized humans, we fight our knee-jerk reactions because we recognize that those reactions are often wrong and ultimately harmful.”

Against Racism: Princeton Students Speak

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Click on I, Too, Am Princeton.

If you look at the first photo, you can’t NOT page to the end. Please look, please think.

The introduction:

“In the wake of a post-racial ideology circulating in our society today, it is imperative that the light of the struggles that categorize this nation is not erased. With this circulation also comes the muting of the voices that make up the sound of the U.S. This is an opportunity to turn the volume back up….”

Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America’s Universities

Slavery shaped America’s old, elite colleges, says MIT historian Craig Steven Wilder in his book Ebony and Ivory. Wilder told NPR’s Robert Siegel, host of All Things Considered, this tidbit about Princeton: “John Witherspoon, the president of Princeton just before the Revolution, sent a missive to the West Indians promising that their sons were safer in New Jersey than they could ever be in England, where notorious and mean-spirited men preyed upon wealthy boys in the West Indies. But in New Jersey they would be protected and cared for, catered to and turned into responsible citizens.”

Here is the transcript, and here is the summary article, courtesy of Michele Tuck-Ponder. BF.

 

“I don’t think most whites understand what it is to be black in the United States today,” said Douglas Massey, a Princeton University sociology professor in the Office of Population Research. “They don’t even have a clue. They blame the blacks to a large degree for their own problems.  . . . As a white, I can tell you that whites have a lot to do to make it a fair game.”

White privilege is not an easy concept for many of us whites to understand.  Massey investigates the academic side of it. Tim Wise explains it to the general population with books like “White Like Me.”  Wise speaks on Monday, February 10, at 6 p.m. at the Carl Fields Center. Not in Our Town holds “Continuing Conversations on Race and White Privilege” on first Mondays at 7 p.m. (February 3 and March 3) at the Princeton Public Library

The Massey quote came from “And don’t call me a racist! A treasury of quotes on the past, present, and future of the color line in America,” selected and arranged by Ella Mazel, Argonaut Press, available free for download here.