The above story and some posts here have saddened me. To recap:
A visiting black minister chooses to call the President of the United States of America a racist and xenophobe among other divisive, slanderous, and demonstrably false accusations from the (bully) pulpit of Andrews University. (Dr. Benjamin Carson may have a slightly different viewpoint .) As instructed by the NT the minister could have been calling for prayers and Godly intercession instead (see 1Timothy 2:1-3).
When the inevitable push back resulted in the University apologizing for his remarks some Black students felt hurt. A group of them, abetted by the African American Chaplain, then put out a grievance video alleging “systemic racism” and demanding certain things such as “providing classes that are taught from a perspective other than the perspective of Eurocentric values;” the inference being that racism is an ongoing institutional problem at Andrews.
However, the main examples set forth refer to decades past events such as a segregated cafeteria and cross burning. The prima fascie evidence is that a true grievance was recognized and rectified some 40 to 60 years ago when cafeteria desegregation occurred. The fact that crosses were burned on campus in no way implicates Andrews University systemically as instigator or condoning such behavior. A further charge was that Black worship was being “demonized.” You can decide for yourself if calling out a person, black, brown, asian, or white, for using partisan and slanderous language from the pulpit is “demonizing worship.” If a white person said those things about President Obama what would have happened to them? AU pushed out an apology video in less than a week to meet the demands.
I believe President Luxton had at her disposal a wealth of substantive, significant documents which would have put a much needed historical narrative on the table. In medicine when perception fragments from the context of reality it’s called Schizophrenia. What happened at AU needs context. It’s a failed, chaotic, and incomplete thesis without it. I suspicion much of what the group demanded apologies for have already been addressed years ago! In short, has “systemic racism” not been addressed until now at Andrews or is it only the perception by some that it hasn’t been addressed?
There is no doubt racism in the SDA Church occurs. The events at AU are small ball compared to the real issue.
It’s a dirty little secret that there is a powerful group of North American Division SDA leaders who will not integrate their Black or White led Conferences and Unions even now, in 2017. Why?
How can the Church hold legitimate conversations about gender, women’s ordination, or racism when our leaders choose not to unite and consolidate? It is a convenient, chosen apartheid.
Please pray for the Church and our government leaders. I personally hope AU will choose to provide classes that are taught from a perspective other than the perspective of Eurocentric or Afrocentric values; namely Christcentric values.
And, by the way, we’re all “people of color.” That type of separatist attitude is what got us into this mess.
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” MLK Jr., (from his “I have a Dream” speech, 1963)
As the old Apostle said “…there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.” Romans 10:2.