Since the discussion has lapsed into a discussion about racism, I might add an observation. The black-white issue is not as simplistic as we make it out to be. I arrived on these shored absolutely neutral when it came to this controversy. I had seen just one back person in my life (age 8) and formed friendships with several, growing up on Long Island. Not until I got to AUC did I see racial bias (on both sides) - racial bias defined as actions based on another’s race. Injustice on either side is un-godly, and I was surprised that it went on in my newly adopted SDA church.
Having said all that, I had an experience just this weekend that taught me something - I’m not sure what yet.
My husband and I went to the AUC reunion - to a school that soon will be no more. When we arrived for registration, there was not one face we recognized from our era. We also attended a family event so weren’t able to be at church, but intended to participate in a musical presentation in the evening, which was to be held in Machlan auditorium. Machlan was where we attended church in our time there, until a separate church building was built on campus much later.
Our memories of Machlan included Friday night vespers with Stanley Walker playing Softly Now the Light of Day on the organ; and, of course, church was held there on Sabbath. The parking lot was full, and cars were parked all over the campus and on the streets. As we got closer, we heard a vibrating thumping of bass that could have blown any speakers. The auditorium was pitch dark, the stage also draped in black with a string of lights somewhere. On stage was a guy seeming to be rapping, about what, I couldn’t tell, to an audience that was 99.9% black as far as I could see. We didn’t stay long. Someone might say we were being “racist” by even noticing that all the people were black. But, hey…they were.
Thinking about this, I realized that my negative reaction wasn’t about the black people, per se, but to their culture of rap music and the total atmosphere that that created. I really wouldn’t care if they had been white or purple. It’s about a foreign culture intruding on mine - not to mention the generational difference. It seems to me that if you grow up expecting racist bias, you will see it. I’m sure I couldn’t convince any black person that my reaction wasn’t about their colour.