You know I would respond but it’s a circular firing squad at best. No winners just losers. It burdens me down
Please go on with your response. Let’s hear it…
I’m standing Beverly. So what do you have to say now?
I will Elmer but not tonight because of just being tired. You ever get that to tired to think deal. That’s me tonight.
I would say the same to you, in kind.
@ajshep, you missed the most critical part of my post: The last part.
That’s the part where I, in so many words, say that you should make a professional commitment, as a representative of the worldwide SDA Church, and as a humane being, to avoid talking about racial matters, and especially about anything tangentially related to the transatlantic trade of enslaved people.
I say this as an African-American male; as a person with a public reputation for talking about racism; as a lifelong Seventh-day Adventist; and as a person who has closely examined your writing in this forum, now, for years.
All of these are people with whom I have had strong disagreements about, and conflicts regarding, race issues. Further, from my position, these disputes remain open and insufficiently countered. In other words, we never reached a point of concurrence on anything of substance. However, I’ve not said that any of them should cease writing or talking about race.
You should cease writing or talking about race. You shouldn’t even mention that the people in your rental building are Black, if you can help it.
Your views are antiquarian and decrepit. They should be stringently avoided, where possible.
I’d welcome any thoughtful and objective reviewer critiquing what I’ve said, here, particularly in comparison, and/or response, to what you have said.
This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.
Good, involved, mentors always make a huge difference. Thank-you for being one of them.
Very well said.
I would rather be confronted with an “angry wolf” than with “a wolf in sheep’s clothing“ who offers me dessert with impurities meant intentionally to destroy me. In the ideally world, I’d rather dealt with someone the character of @Yoyito but we live in a broken world.
Hey Allen Shepherd… it seems that now you are being considered a “fool” too, uh? … LOL Welcome to the club!..
As an unsolicited counseling, I would recommend you to just “shut the door” for good… The best you can do, “believe me, believe me” … (as your favorite POTUS says…).
I am serious; if you don’t “stop writing” - as you have been loudly and unequivocally ordered … - this time you may end up being scorched by the WebEd. Watch out!
Get out of this inferno. Fast!!!
It already is a task to argue with someone who is skilled as a writer but to argue with someone who has honed his God-given skills and with enough humility to even pull the wool over the WebEd eyes makes it doubly hard. Good luck Allen @ajshepp
This is so true and it is the root to all prejudice…everywhere. Here in Japan racism runs very deep and for the same reasons.
Your observations and views are both wise and timely. There are so many who do not understand and by willful ignorance refuse to learn the lessons of history.
Your comments are very much appreciated in spite of some who like Pharaoh of old that have hardened their hearts against the Holy Spirit and shut out compassion and empathy.
Do not be discouraged but continue to speak out as many hearts will be moved as a result and become closer to God.
Just imagine for a moment if you, or I, or Allen, I mean, anyone among “the rest of us” had dared to tell someone to “stop writing!” Cataclysmic, grave consequences! But I guess the 1st amendment is only for the chosen, the remnant! Maybe, just maybe…, “the rest of us” do not matter…
Yes, Good Luck Allen Shepherd!
It should not take a genius to see the raging anger underneath his posts. Imagine the tension and pressure placed upon his coping skills. It is just about to rip and burst. Cataclysmic…
There are some who do not understand, through wilful ignorance the tragic results of their level of thinking and words.
I have been thinking a lot about Kyle Rittenhouse. I know this boy, no, not personally but after mentoring kids over the past 3 decades, I know him still.
High school can be a cruel place for boys - (girls too but this is not about them). Looking at this boy, I am going to guess that he isn’t an athlete - no crowds cheered for him on the court or the field. I am also going to guess that he felt passed over by girls. Looking like you are 12 when you are 17 doesn’t exactly fan the flames of high school girls’ desire. He was probably called fat, maybe stupid at least occasionally maybe regularly because kids are cruel. And I know that this boy very much wanted to be a hero because that is what all boys desire. He wants to save the people, and get the girl. None of that is bad or particularly original. Most of us who weren’t the heroes we yearned to be in high school grow out of those resentments. We learn to define ourselves outside of the unforgiving world of teenage judgement In short, we grow up. This boy did not. He got a gun and it gave him the power and a place in the world he previously lacked. Fueled by Trump’s rhetoric and social media, he took his gun and shot “the bad guys” - innocent Americans. And it worked - at least for now. Right-wing media is lauding him as a “hero.” I suspect five years from now, he may have very different perspective on what he did but right now, he is exactly where he yearned to be.
There are many, many boys like Kyle and they are watching taking their cues from adults in their lives (politicians, pastors, coaches, family) who are calling him a hero and voicing thinly veiled racist rhetoric and threaten violent actions. This will not be the end. Right now, a boy somewhere in America is dreaming of shooting “the bad guys” and getting the girl, the respect from adults that he was never given before. He was dreaming of this before Kyle shot the protesters but now he knows - it can be a reality. Unless the adults in this nation stand up in unison and say “enough,” this will not be the last time where a child shoots American citizens. The next child may be willing to throw a bomb into a crowd, maybe strap on explosives. Politicians, media, and even religious leaders (including our church) are cultivating an American Taliban and we are watching it happen.
Thanks for your kind words, @Kate. I seek to understand and to be understood.
I appreciate you saying this.
This is how I currently see it. I’d be interested in your further thoughts, especially should they ultimately oppose mine.
I do not feel accused. Also, you may share some of my values, since you recognize them.
Particularly, it’s my objective to respond in a way so that, were someone to pick up these documents in a hundred years, they could recreate the conversations and their vectors.
So, when writing, I try to be as explicit and detailed as possible, and to not merely toss off answers.
Also: I respond to every question, and, typically, respond to every piece of text.
This is such an excellent question.
I have to admit that I do not know the answer, nor have I given this as much thought as I, perhaps, should.
If I had to give a guess, I think the so-called “black-on-black crime” narrative gets raised by white people during police brutality cases, for a number of reasons.
I think that:
a) Generally, white people view Black people through the framework of crime; this is, overwhelmingly, their dominant index field for us.
b) Until, perhaps, very recently, the general idea that police were wanton, pertaining to Black people, was completely untenable. That’s because, 1) a), above, 2) to a great extent, white people and Black people are mutually segregated, and 3) the interactions that white people have with police are of a wholly different character than the interactions Black people have with them.
This last idea, 3), has probably been most dramatically conveyed to white people via the notion of “the talk”; i.e., a conversation that Black parents have with their male offspring after puberty, not about sex, but how to interact with police, so as to keep from being killed by them, when out in the wider, whiter world; a discussion that white parents never have, or have need to have.
This idea of white difference has probably been most conveyed to Black people, however, by expletive-laden videos of white people dealing with police in ways that Black people find both visceral and utterly incomprehensible.
This is the classic:
But this is a new classic:
c) Many, if not most, white people view Black racial objections as complaining and whining. They see Black people as a “coddled” class who obtain much of what they have through the largesse of “hard-working” white people. Further, they think, despite this, Black people are ungrateful and hostile.
There are, certainly other factors I, or others, would, or could, identify. But, off the dome, I’d suggest that these three form the core basis.
In other words, given these realities, the white mindset is, “I don’t see you complaining about you killing each other! If you did, maybe the cops wouldn’t have to deal with you!”
I would say that this is the biggest weakness of my general approach, and it’s very visible here on Spectrum.
That is, the way I generally interact with white people, here, is not designed to change their minds, or make them empathetic.
More, it’s a way to look at white behavior objectively. That is, more, it’s a way to get non-white people to look at white racial behavior, without becoming either defensive or sentimental. Both responses are, in my opinion, consistent dangers under the current race system.
For example, one of the questions that has come up, here, frequently, is are all white people racist?
Now, there are all kinds of ways to respond, and counter-respond, to this question. Black people tend to answer it one of two ways:
a) They say, “Hell, YEAH!!”, because an overwhelming number of their interactions with white people have been hostile, or they say
b) “No, not all of them,” because they have a significant number of friendly, white acquaintances.
My response, however, is, “I don’t know.” To me, this is the most objective answer that one can possibly give.
Now, there are all kinds of follow-up statements one can back up to this one, like a trailer to a pickup truck. However, the one that I’ve most shared, here, is this:
“But the existence of racism shows that the white people who are against racism (white supremacy) do not overrule the ones who are for racism (white supremacy).”
If true, which I hold it to be, the first thing this statement does is kill the notion that racism is something only practiced by “a small number” of ignorant or stupid people, which is what white people usually say.
“Ignorant” or “stupid” people could not keep smart people from doing anything that they wanted to do, especially if there was only “a small number” of ignorant, stupid people.
The 2nd thing my response does, though, and the more explosive thing, is that it equates racism with white supremacy, urging that this is the only functional form of racism.
These conclusions, I believe, form a more objective way of looking at the race problem. However, as I’ve found, they are not likely to win white supporters.
Indeed, my contention, made repeatedly, here on Spectrum, that racism is white supremacy and nothing else, is the proposition that has received, by far, the most blowback. To me, however, it is objectively true.
• I do discuss other topics here. Most recently, for example, I was part of a debate about Ellen G. White’s views on masturbation. This is not a specific interest of mine, but I joined in, and found it engaging.
In short, I jump in whenever and wherever I feel I have something to say. That place happens, mostly, thus far, to be about race.
• In terms of my theological perspective, I’m not sure how I’d describe it. This is something I wrote to one of our late members, that I think may express some of it.
This is another post that speaks to my interests in science, but, as well, says a fair amount about me, theologically.
If you have specific questions, I’ll answer them.
• I’ve never really thought of my writing about race as an expression of spirituality, though it certainly is connected to it, and circumscribed by it.
More and more, though, I’m trying to think about how to discuss race in church, particularly given the views I possess, and the variety of perspectives one typically finds in a contemporary Seventh-day Adventist church.
For example, this is the opening page for this week’s lesson, in the SDA Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide:
I suspect many SDAs, white or non-white, have rarely considered that angels are not only depicted as white, but that they are never depicted as anything else but white.
As these alternate covers for Ellen G. White’s text, Steps to Christ, reveals, this preference is not even accorded to Jesus, himself.
How to speak about race, to mixed Christian audiences? I recently found this statement by Bishop Joe Aldred compelling. As well, one of my own recent posts enabled me to touch on some ideas that I’m developing. Perhaps they will be the beginning of a model.
No Allen, Calling anything Marxist is a way of dismissing anything being further discussed. You are the principal reason I have stayed away from Spectrum. I don’t know why I came back, I guess out of curiosity, maybe out of stupidity. I should have learned my lesson but I didn’t.
Racism is very fundamental. On it’s surface, it is simply being suspicious of an individual because of the color of their skin, the shape of their eyes or facial features, or any physical characteristic, or their place of origin.
If you walked into a business establishment and the owner automatically began to watch your behavior because of any of the above characteristics, you are being racially profiled. If you are driving down the road and you are pulled over because the officer suspects that you don’t belong in the neighborhood because of any of the above characteristics, then you have been racially profiled. Racial profiling is simply a form of racism. Acting on the “suspicions” about anyone that is profiled because of what you look like, with no other motivator, is the action of a racist.
It is true that even black police officers profile people of color. This isn’t just a white issue. But it is an engrained issue into the psyche of human beings and it is a learned mechanism.
This mechanism is not experienced in young children who are playing in a diverse community of other children. It is taught, it is engrained, and it is a disgusting reality of where we are as a society. Suspicion of others is the beginning of discrimination. Until you can unlearn to be fearful of a person because of their physical presentation, this problem will continue to exist and it will not go away.
What the past several years have demonstrated throughout this country, and unfortunately throughout our the Adventist church as well is that there is a tremendous amount of racial suspicion and discrimination within our society and passing laws have not and will not make much of a dent in the problem. You can’t legislate away suspicion. You can’t legislate morality. We’ve been at it for well over 100 years and we haven’t made much progress.
Allen, you seem to look for ways to dismiss the behavior of people who marginalize others simply because of what they look like, or where they come from. Your presentation of facts and figures suggest that you, not only want to excuse the repression of people by others, but that you want to maintain a status quo that is unjust.
I truly feel sorry for you. But, Black Lives Should Matter.
Wooooooooo! Scary! Thanks for the free mini-session, @elmer_cupino!
And since I’m on the couch, man… I never shared this with you, but will, now. This is gonna be fun!
In truth, I’m a fairly introspective person, and I think deeply about the criticisms others make of me.
When you consider it, if I wasn’t like this, there is no way that I could respond as completely as I do, here, to the objections others write about what I say.
And ponder this: One doesn’t have to agree with what I say to grant this point. All they have to see is that my responses are fairly thorough.
Anyway, when you first said to me “that you are one angry person,” it seemed an absurd charge, and I told you so:
"If the people who share meatspace with me were to see this, they would all have a good laugh.
“No one who knows me thinks of me as ‘angry,’” I said. “It’s not a temperamental charge that’s ever levied against me.”
I wasn’t merely deflecting. It’s true! Said another way, I’ve talked about racism to a lot of people, in a lot of places, for a long time. As far as I can recall, I’ve never had anyone ask me, “Why are you so angry?” Never.
And I need to be clear: I don’t consider your “A”—angry—a scarlet letter. Not at all. Unlike a lot of Black people, I’m not humiliated by this charge in the least.
In an August 1965 edition of TIME magazine, James Baldwin, the esteemed writer and intellectual, said, “To be [Black] in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in a rage almost all the time.”
Believe me (to quote @GeorgeTichy): Being Black, I trust what James Baldwin has to say about the righteousness of anger petahectares more than I do you.
So, if I was angry, I’d have no problem doing what the guy, at the beginning of Public Enemy’s 1988 “Prophets of Rage,” does, when called “hostile”: I’d simply say, “I’ve got a right to be hostile, man: My people been persecuted!!”
But, like I said, it was an odd criticism, so it stuck out. Was I missing something about myself?
So I reached out to someone whose really known me, super-well, for decades, and to whom I speak often.
I asked her. “Am I angry?”
She looked at me, quizzically. “Are you ‘angry’?” (Like right now?)
“Yes: Am I an angry person?” I told her why I was asking.
Her face softened. “No, you’re not an angry person.”
Then she asked, “Is this a white guy?”
“Yeah,” I said.
“Oh,” she said, as though waving her hand, dismissively. “That’s their first comeback!”
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha…
When you say, “You’re angry,” what you’re responding to, Elmer, is the feel of my words.
You might say that my written words do the work that my metabolism avoids.
Hasta la vista, baby!
I have not been interacting with you, and I won’t. I only would ask you the great kindness of, when you are referring to me, please, please do not use the “@” because it triggers a notification. I am not going to read the material anyway, and it’s really annoying getting those notifications. I don’t care if you mention my name at will, but please spare me from the notifications.
I hope you will be sensitive to my request.
Thanks. Be well.