A Reflection on Race

I have to say I am shocked at the number of posts here that prove how many church members still have prejudice in their hearts! Roy , my heart breaks for all Blacks in America, and in the church, just as it does for all my LGBTI friends who have been so deeply hurt through the years by the church. I am an old woman now (84) and my parents were working at Washington Sanitarium and Hospital when the Black woman (sorry, I can’t remember her name) was turned away from the emergency room, only to die on the way to another hospital that would accept Blacks! And I was working at the GC Archives organizing old minutes of various committees, when I read how Washington Missionary College refused to allow Black pastors from the islands to stay in the college dorms during the summer to attend the Seminary, because their White students would not stay in a room that had been occupied by a Black. Our church racism goes way, way back, in spite of what Mrs. White and her son tried to do. I find it difficult to understand why people cannot separate the idea that “Black Lives Matter” from the organization itself. Most people who support the cry of racism against Black people are not members of the organization.


Well it’s no small wonder that many black men have abdicated their responsibility as fathers. The rate of birth by unwed black mother’s cannot be just ignored. It is part of the problem these demonstrators just want to ignore or blame it on racism. Excuse me, I don’t buy that copout.

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Very sensible comment, Yoyito. You are probably a respectful and polite person, thanks to your parents. The Watts riots started when the mother of a suspect attacked an officer during her son’s arrest for DUI. “The vain way of life received from our elders.” I went to public junior high in Pacoima in the early 60s. About equal races of students. Never heard racism discussed, didn’t feel it myself in either direction. After the Watts riots racism became more of an issue. The Watts riots, like the recent ones were more about law and order than race i.e., criminals objecting to being reigned in.

Asia is a very racist place with White and Blacks in the minority. The only people hated more than Whites by many Asians are Black people. It’s systemic racism, too. They have printed price schedules as well, one for locals, one for foreigners, which can be several times the locals price. If you are not willing to pay the foreigners price, you may be driven from the premises. If they can’t cheat you, they don’t want to do business with you. Racism is considered a virtue, a matter of personal pride. Report it to the police, they might drive you away with racial epithets. Asians have their N word equivalents and freely use them on foreigners. Older people laugh and encourage/teach their children to mock White people with racial epithets.

You can read Spectrum articles about racial conflict, even genocide in the African SDA church. Burundi and Rwanda in particular. SDA s murdering their brethren. Tribe trumps church membership, for sure.

Glad to hear you don’t subscribe to the “victim” narrative. Good on you

With all due and appropriate respect, these kinds of racist broadsides went out in the 1960s. :rofl:

Smart white people have a robust catalog of reasons for Black social ills, due to intervening research over the last half-century.

Thus, they can mount their suspected white supremacy on a higher level than you are doing, with your regrettable quips about unwed mothers. They make you sound not only uneducated, but proud of it.

You’d have done better by merely answering my questions. Not much better, but better.




Exactly. Perhaps.


It’s weird, @Yoyito.

I’ve read the the mononymic @Hansen’s reply to this post.

And, in a broken-clock-right-twice-a-day, politics-makes-strange-bedfellows way, I agree with his opening two sentences: This is a very sensible comment, and you are probably a respectful and polite person, no doubt thanks to your parents. (The rest of his post should only be mocked, but that’s neither here nor there. :slightly_smiling_face: )

What you’ve written is sensible. But it appears that you are not very informed about race, or how it works.

Some thoughts:

• You say:

What you should realize is that this is the racial equivalent of saying, “My fingerprints are not like anyone else’s.” It’s also the equivalent of saying, “The doctor just said she removed my spleen, but I didn’t feel a thing.”

In other words, when you say what you have said, what you are talking about is only your own story; your life experience, and your internal, mental, subjective response to it. This doesn’t mean that other non-white people are having the same experience that you are having.

However, nor does it mean that you have not been hated, treated as less than, dismissed, discriminated against, or the victim of racism in the US or the church. It just means, like you said, that you’ve never felt it.

You may not have felt it. But when you turn on your TV, you don’t feel all kinds of electromagnetic radiation going through you, either. Yet this doesn’t mean it’s not doing so.

• The claim that “racism” only means, what you call, "white on minority racism” is not based in the notion that other, non-white people to not hate or mistreat each other, or even hate and mistreat white people.

Instead, it’s based in the idea that only white people play “All-Star Major League Racism,” so to speak, while non-white people play "Tee Ball Little League Racism."

Even if we call them both “racism,” they are not interchangeable: A Tee Ball catcher cannot play in the All-Stars, and nor can an All-Star batter play in Tee Ball.

What both kinds of baseball do and require is so different, really, that to call them both “baseball” is really only to mark their obvious similarities; e.g., what role does the salary cap play in Tee Ball? Where are their games televised?

Further, changes in the Major Leagues affect what Little Leaguers can do. The reverse is not true. That’s because Major League Baseball dominates Little League Baseball. It has supremacy over it.

The same is true with racism, which is why so many people who study it talk about it as white supremacy, and not all supremacy, which would be a meaningless term, when you think about it.

• I think many people agree with what you say here, above.

However, that’s not a reason to not “speak only of” it, if “speaking only of” it is true.

Even more, I don’t think that it’s necessarily the case that “speaking only of white racism will lead to minorities being racist against white people,” as you say.

I don’t, not only because of what I’ve already said about the “Racism Leagues.” Racism is sin. Recognizing that it’s very easy to be a racist if one is white just means that Christians should be honest with their weaknesses, and bear each other up. (Colossians 3:13; Galatians 6:2; Luke 3:8)

Christ said, “Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” (Matt. 19:24 NIV) Yet, he never said, “Don’t be rich.” He said, “Give yourself totally to God.” (Mk 12:30)

In the same way, the only real obstacle to recognizing that white people have wide advantages, globally, due to an unjust race system, is their own embarrassment over this fact. It does not require them to be mistreated, mocked, or berated. But nor should they be handled with kid gloves, which is what we tend to do with racism.

Our relationships with the people we suspect of racism should be warm, and loving, but frank. This would, no doubt, be different that what passes as “race relations,” today. However, I think that this is a logically better way forward than what it would replace. Your young people may be on the right path. They just need to be guided.

• I strongly suggest that you learn more about racism, and its history, as a social system.

A book I would highly recommend, because of the author’s reputation, and the fact that I interviewed him once :grinning: , is Racism without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in America by Eduardo Bonilla-Silva.

The knowledge in this volume, combined with your own God-led desire to lead your church young people, could be a powerful combination.

God bless you as you live and learn.



Unfortunate that an SDA thought leader produces the kind of race oriented claptrap that he did in this article. He seems surprised that a murder suspect was taken into custody without a scratch while Mr. Floyd died. I’m not surprised that any suspect who cooperates with police is taken into custody without a scratch. People who resist the police, as did Mr. Floyd, are asking for a violent response. That’s why police have guns, tasers, batons, etc. Apparently the writer doesn’t understand the responsibilities of law enforcement personnel.

The language used in the article is chosen for maximum impact. Mr Floyd was suffocated in cold blood by a knee grinding into his neck; he was squirming under a knee digging into his neck. I didn’t notice the “grinding” or “digging” knee. I noticed a police officer restraining a suspect, one who was on drugs and had resisted arrest. Roy cites the trivial acts which drew police attention, overlooking that it wasn’t these acts that led to their deaths. It was the fact that they resisted arrest, fired weapons at police, tried to flee. That’s what led to their deaths, not passing funny money, selling loose cigarettes, sleeping in their car.

Calvin Rock being denied the GC presidency for being Black was a committee’s decision, not the decision of Alf McClure. Was it a race based decision or a decision about money? It’s certainly possible that the majority of the committee were racists. Not doubtful that wealthy and influential members might not support a Black president. That may be more about competence than race. When a correctional captain tells social engineers that housing Black and White inmates together will lead to bloodshed and death, he’s not being racist, he’s simply commenting on the disposition of his constituency. That’s probably all McClure was doing.

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Good to hear you are trying to be objective. However, as you can see with the isolated looting incident in Chicago yesterday morning, Fox News immediately tried to boost the truly tragic events into a much bigger, more threatening and false scenario, as they always do. So you may consider it “homework” to include the Fox News version when it is essentially Republican propaganda deliberately designed to mislead the American people. This is very different that the bias and sloppiness that permeates what Republicans now dismiss as “Lame Stream Media”. What is most concerning, they then include NPR in this umbrella, as well as BBC, which is just plain ignorant and outrageous.

Do you want to end up with what they have in Russia or China? Then don’t call out the propagandistic nature of Fox News. Don’t repeat their false allegations about burning and looting across our country.

You know what actually happened across America? Suddenly, spontaneously, peaceful protests against militarized policing popped up in small, politically conservative towns everywhere…Arkansas, Iowa, Florida, Texas, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania…and of course in the ‘blue states’ too. In many places, these events have become weekly gatherings to call for real action to not only stop militarized policing, but chronic lack of diversity in the seats of power and influence. Disagree with the ideas. Fine. But please don’t repeat false facts about supposed anarchy and looting.

Since you are quite thoughtful, you must realize the motive behind these “fabrications” is based on a Trumpian, anti Jesus “zero sum” view of the world whereby far too many “Christians” fall for the idea that if Black folks get better living conditions, it must be at the expense of the established folks. That is not the American experience - we believe in the rising tide and the loaves and fishes.

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George, you don’t know what you’re talking about. My daughter lives a few miles from Chicago, in a little sleepy town just south of South Bend. Sunday, car loads of BLM hooligans showed up in town, cars decorated and without plates. They rode up and down streets yelling and threatening -ended up at Walmarts, confronting people - going through self check outs, scanning one item but taking two. Larger items were just stolen away. Her good friend is in the police department, and had to deal with the communities safety.



Apparently there are two different Americas - your Fox News America where you magnify the bad day your daughter had and totally dismiss the reality of very real, continuing thoughtful discussion and peaceful demonstrations. What is happening in your own town? They are happening in my town, all the neighboring towns and within my family. The only place it isn’t happening is within our local Seventh-day Adventist Church because when the topic comes up, the Fox News line arises, the anger arises and the conversation is shut down. Much to the consternation of our lovely black members. But it’s ok, according to you, since they have learned to be quiet and to stifle their own experiences and observations for the constant need to treat white folks with kid gloves.

True, there are black activist types who also need the kid glove treatment, but really, which group has the greater grounds for complaint? Anger among whites when they lose privileges which are often (but not always) unfair really doesn’t seem very godly to me. Not these days.

The conversation and mood I’m talking about Is fully available to you. All you have to do is tune into ABC or PBS to hear it constantly. Constructive dialogue. Not your fear mongering. Which has resulted in militarized police using all the excess weapons not needed in the Iraq war.

Speaking of daughters and militarize police, my own “black” (mixed) daughter, when chased by a bizarre raving tow truck driver while she was in Med School, ran to the police headquarters for safety, where, based solely on the testimony of the same tow truck driver, they arrested her.


OK, we’ll just call all the mayhem and theft “reparations” as did the head honcho of BLM. As and Adventist, (I assume), where KEEPING THE LAW matters above all else, that’s an odd stance.

There are horror stories on both sides, and I’m truly sorry for what happened to your daughter. To be naive, “two wrongs don’t make it right”. I can see if you live by the OT law, an" eye for an eye" this all might seem OK.

Fox News has become a copout. Like Biden said, in one of his incoherent mumblings, “We go by ‘truth’, not facts”. Yes, facts no longer matter - just whatever fills the narrative - that is the “story” you tell yourself. Let’s just see where this all ends up. I guess we deserve what we vote for.

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And why did all these Black men resist arrest? Because they knew from experience their lives were in danger.


Thank you, Roy, for an insightful and courageous essay. The systemic racism in America is rampant and pervasive. I do have hope that racism can be reduced, although reading many of the comments here, it seems dubious, even—perhaps, especially—in the Christian community. We cannot count on a heavenly blood transfusion. This is something that must be worked on consciously, conscientiously, with humility, in the place of the Spirit.


That is one possible reason. Fear is a big motivator of behavior. People of color may be more afraid of law enforcement than white suspects, but people of any color may also be resisting arrest or fleeing because they are intoxicated, high on drugs, have a warrant, do not want to go to jail, do not want to go back to jail, are in possession of illegal substances…etc…

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Yes, there may be a variety of reasons, but it seems to me Mr Casey is talking about a primary reason. Recently, on an online SS class, several Black persons spoke to this issue, not a single White person had that issue.

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You are right. I was reading it to mean the only reason.
I can see how people of color may be more afraid of law enforcement than whites. I’m surprised no white people in SS had that issue. I suppose as a person who attends AA, I have possibly known a more varied type of white people. Ones who panic at being pulled over by police because they have had experience with police and do not want to go back to jail, people who do not want to interact with police because they were in possession of illegal substances, or because they have violated some rule of their probation. So fear, but not because of fear for their life. I do see the difference. I was thinking of resistance in general, and fear in general.

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It seems to me this is a chicken-vs-egg situation.

Back in 1966 my dad bought himself a Pontiac GTO. Up until then he’d been driving a Dodge Dart without a ticket to his name. He was a 50 year old white man; but, driving the GTO he was followed by police cars pretty much everyday coming and going to work. What does that say about anything…


I gave you a like on your reply, because you were correct about your post. It doesn’t say anything abut anything. If you don’t understand the fear of a Black person, then just say so without trying to insinuate it is not real or not a real event. You know the old saying…walk in an other persons shoes…


Let me first say I am completely against the militarization of the police force. I feel that it represents the start of totalitarian regime control. The black uniforms, the boots, the armored personnel carriers, the war weapons and the bold lettering on their clothing, it is all about promoting fear and controlling crowds. These SWAT teams started all the way back in the 60’s and frankly, they are a real threat to democracy. If you pay attention to the presidential executive orders by Obama and Trump however, they are not much different in how they continue to curtail and reduce our freedoms. None of this has anything to do with race or color or even the BLM, We are certainly moving into a totalitarian one world government, and it may be here as soon as November/December depending on what happens with our “free and fair” election process.
This type of talk would label us conspiracy theorists just a few years ago right here in this very forum, but now that is clearly upon us my recommendation would be: to stop watching Fox, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, and yes, even PBS. I turned the news off in 2009, right about the same time I joined Spectrum, after it became evident it was affecting our friendships, even those that were not multi-racial.
I am not living in a cave either, I carefully select sources of news where I can confirm shared value systems and mostly we are focusing on deepening our knowledge about what is happening in the world with a biblical perspective.

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I did not say that, nor did I “insinuate” it. I don’t insinuate. Of course the fear is real. There may be someone who understood what I meant. Obviously it wasn’t you.