PS, That was FDR’s (D) retreat.
That is shameful. Humans are not property.
On a lighter note, Doc Holiday, a friend of Wyatt Earp, has a headstone in Fayetteville, Ga. close to where I practiced DDS. at one time. Meaningless to some.
FDR – Warm Springs, GA.
His cook was an SDA member. Don’t know if any of his other
staff were SDA.
It is a very simple, cozy retreat.
NOT like living at Newport, RI or Hyde Park.
Yes, been there…His other home wasn’t shabby.
The first Georgia Conference “Junior Camp” was down at Pine Mountain before moving to north Ga. Camp “Come be Gay/Cumbegay” and later Cohutta Springs. How meanings change.
There is a very nice state park at Pine Mountain.
First, welcome to the conversation. Thank you for your contribution. I have heard C.D. Brooks in person long ago. There has never been preaching as vital as his. You reminded us of that. Thank you.
PS: You have given me credentials I don’t own (as a psychologist). I am a mother, grandmother, former teacher, and poster on Spectrum, so psychology is mandatory for survival.
It is interesting how some of those past “Rich” enjoyed simple living.
Henry Ford had a simple home [wicker living room furniture] at Williamsburg
while giving millions to restore it. Look at his and Thomas Edison’s home
Early pictures of “rich” taking their early American cars to the Rockies to
live in tents. “actually Roughing it”
Henry actually grew up on a farm with horse and mule farming. Began his ideas
of motors to make motorized farm equipment. Did that, but also changed the
transportation of America. And instrumental in promoting many other industries
because of the “horseless carriage”.
A black person in Chattanooga invented the 1st car recovery [tow truck] vehicle.
[there is a “tow truck” museum in Chattanooga]
George Washington Carver wanted to improve black farming methods. Invented
numerous industrial uses for peanuts, for sweet potatoes, improved cotton growing.
One of his first jobs was “washing” the blackboards for a teacher in her classroom.
Was a perfectionist at an early age. Did NOT let his black person status intimidate
him in being successful. and made speech before Congress in his career.
Other Black persons did NOT allow their skin color status to intimidate them and
became successful, unfortunately, some like MLK became martyrs, and even that
did NOT intimidate them from making the world a better place to live.
Jefferson and Washington weren’t opulent like European and British leaders Either.
Something that ALL SDA church Pastors and members should consider
is once a week after school tutoring programs for kids K-5th grade once
a week. At least here in Macon there is one particular grade school that
only 50-70% of the students pass the State Tests each year.
It is said here in Georgia, that if a child CANNOT read at grade level at
3rd grade, one needs to build a jail cell for that child. Will probably need it.
I have been involved in a Sunday church Tutoring program the past 7 years
on Tuesday afternoons during the school year. 60 to 70% of our students are
from Black families. 30-40% from white families. Quite a number of both each
group are one grade behind in reading when we get them.
Some of the parents do encourage their child to learn, but many do not even
look at their homework folders from public school. There are times when I have
put a note to the parent about the child, and it would still be in there the next
Tuesday. Some children DO NOT have parents who encourage them to learn.
When we think about famous Blacks – men and women – they were inspired
with the desire to learn – Carver, the man who invented tow trucks, MLK and
his leadership friends, the black women who put the man in space [see Hidden
Figures] Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughn, Mary Jackson.
SDA churches with a Tutoring Program would be able to inspire some of these
elementary school kids to achievement, to think about WHO they want to be,
WHAT they would like to do.
Although it’s good to review the problem of racism, racialism, and white privilege in the USA and in the church, this is all old news; academics, missionaries, travelers, and virtually anyone who reads know this. Let’s not forget that J.H. Kellogg was in leadership of The Race Betterment Society as early as 1915; let’s not forget Ellen White’s opinion of Africans, who, she wrote are the “amalgamation of man and beast,” a dangerous and often ill-translated statement. I’m not sure why the obvious needs reiteration. Many Anglo-Europeans who do not consider themselves to be either racist or racialist still, whether they are aware of this, or not, live a life of White Privilege, more or less on the same terms that men—both in the Western world and in Africa’s developing nations (possibly, especially those)—count on male privilege; both notions are based on the assumption of value according to what is embodied. The surprise and outrage at the thought that Adventists are immune to either situation is surprising, itself.
“…Yes, I see the church as the body of Christ. But, oh! How
we have blemished and scarred that body through social
neglect and fear of being non-conformists.” —
Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
[We get a weekly advertising sheet and today this was in it.
ARE we Seventh-day Adventists [part of the body of Christ]
afraid to be non-conformists???
When one reads the Bible story located in Luke 8:26-39, also
found in Matt 8 and Mark 5, of the demon possessed man in
Gadarene. We find that JESUS IS not A SAFE PERSON TO
Things change. and like the people in the community, “WERE
SEIZED WITH GREAT FEAR, AND ASKED HIM TO LEAVE.”
Perhaps we SDAs are like the Gadarenes. Comfortable and
used to the “way life is in the church”.
Jesus is TOO RADICAL for us, THINGS change. We Do Not
feel SAFE around Jesus when He is doing things.
If I may respectfully comment about what you said. To give you some perspective, I’m white (really mixed of many ethnicities but raised white and identify so), I also spent 16 years deeply involved in an American SDA church that was primarily black, but also quite mixed.
As you said, you didn’t read the whole article because you’ve heard it before. May I suggest that this means you’ve already decided the facts, regardless of the evidence?
If you had read the whole article you would have noted that the author noted specific instances of clear racism that he experienced in an SDA Masters of Divinity program and as while preaching in SDA churches. This is not a historical record of centuries past, this was 2017.
You say American society has gone far beyond accepting racism as a norm. I would suggest that if you spent time within African-American communities, including within the church you would quickly find that this is not so. That blacks in our culture today experience extreme racism. In church, in employment, in education, in recreation and in everyday life. Having spent 16 years in a mostly black church - much of that in leadership, I can tell you saw and experienced first hand much of what the author is saying here.
Last comment. Several years ago, I was part of a ministerial planning meeting. We had a black senior pastor, a white associate pastor, a black youth pastor, a Japanese head elder of Japanese ministries and a female, black elder working in evangelism. The white associate pastor mentioned he had been pulled over by the police and got out of his vehicle to speak with the officer. All three of the black participants visibly recoiled at that.Then they shared their stories. The senior pastor, a man in his early 40’s told how he had been pulled over by the police close to a dozen times. He was asked where he was going, where he was coming from and what his business was - then told to drive on. His only crime was DWB - driving while black. The woman mentioned that one summer she had a contract to work in Dana Point, CA - a very wealthy, white community. During those 10 weeks she was pulled over 6 times by the Dana Point, PD, questioned and then allowed to leave. Finally, the youth pastor told how while on his prom, he drove his date down Rodeo Dr. in Beverly Hills to gaze at the store windows (people call that dream-building). The Beverly Hills PD, pulled him over and made him lie down on the sidewalk - in his tuxedo!!! While they questioned him and his date.
Sirje, I would suggest that if you spent hours with African-American people. Got to know them on a personal level. Got to become friends with many of them to they point where they knew they could trust you. You would find that there are two America’s and one is vastly different than the one that you know.
In today’s mail I received the bi-monthly journal of The Therapist, Magazine of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT). Two journal articles in Volume 31, Issue 3, relate to the topic under consideration. The first article on pages 18 – 22 is entitled “Intrinsic Worth and the Cultural Outsider.” The second article on pages 24 – 31 is entitled “Stereotyped.” Both articles deal with the effects of racism and the negative effects it has on individuals.
A second professional organization dealing with recognizing and overcoming racial and cultural barriers is the California Association of School Psychologists (CASP). Since at least the 1970’s, CASP has been at the forefront in increasing the recognition and solutions to living productively and peacefully in a multicultural society with a special focus on what can be done to increase the success of children and adolescents.
In contrast, especially in California with its tremendous demographic changes in the last five decades, there has been little written or discussed within the church about relating to and valuing other individuals of a different race/ethic group. I would hope that this important issue could be addressed in a kindly and thoughtful way and done over a period of time (decades).
One church that I have attended appears to welcome persons of all races, nationalities, and languages. It is a church that puts forth a tremendous effort to serve others in the community and within the church family. If you are in Northern California, you may want to attend the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Carmichael. I have received a blessing each time I have attended the services.
Do you think that the above quote could be applied to both sides of this debate? It seems like the latest and typical narrative of racial relations in churches today is that white TODAY are RESPONSIBLE for undoing the injustice in the past by means of checking in their “white privilege” at the door. There seems to be a tremendous failure on behalf of the next gen black youth as to why such concept is both naive and unfeasible in concept of modern culture that chosen the route of individuality to resolve various problems that were cause by prejudicial approach to group identity.
And that’s what that “groupthink” ideology is ignoring. There are no “white people”, just like there are no “black people”. This categorization is an arbitrary concept which could be done to any number of attributes that people share. Yes, there are people with white skin, but that’s not what defines a person enough to ascribe “white people” as a group identity. Yes, there are people with black skin, but that’s not what defines a person in order to ascribe some “black people” as a group.
Amplifying these identities isn’t how you get to convince me that we are not that different after all, and that’s the paradox of this discussion. No one is forcing people into cultural cycles that exist today. These are cycles perpetuated by IDENTIFYING WITH THAT CULTURE. I rejected my culture, and that’s why I’m in US today. I don’t like the fact that people in my original cultural context are alcohol-dependent for cultivating relationship contexts. I don’t like the fact the moral relativism is the de-facto cultural “rule of law”, and I don’t really like the obsession with dubious “glorious past” in order to give some justification for dilapidated present. I rejected my culture, because I can see the problems.
So, yes. It’s very true that “white man” is responsible for the “black cultural context” of today. The cyclical poverty and fatherless. Lack of education that perpetuates that poverty and fatherless. The violence and the crime that results in the culture of anger and competitive necessity to “be important” and “be respected”. I get all of that.
I grew up poor, and I had to make my way out using sports which is brutally competitive and violent in some context. I left USSR alone at the age of 15 and grew up in NW Miami. When I was leaving my father said that I have to think of myself as “of lower status than blacks in US”, and I didn’t understand what he meant until I’ve experienced that. I wasn’t allowed to work legally. I couldn’t get a student loan. I had to get “under the table” work here and there at the rates far below the market value, and I had to claw myself to the top destroying my body for entertainment of other… so I EARNED MY PRIVILEGE I have today.
So, naturally, for any person lecturing me about my “white privilege” or those of my children I ask if they would be willing to go through the hell I’ve been to in order to land where I am. I’m not sure I’d do that again. And at the same time there are plenty of white Ukrainians today who would switch places with “poor black people” in the US in a heartbeat. You can’t truly contextualize poverty unless you’ve seen the world.
So you don’t get to cast a group identity on individual context, because that’s how we get to racism in the first place, and that’s where the greatest disconnect in this conversation takes place. I get desperation. I get hopeless states and limiting circumstances imposed by the societal structure. I get the need to band together and appeal for restructuring the society to have a more equal access to opportunities.
BUT. You can’t do that successfully by casting all people into some “privileged class” by merely judging their present state of position in society. It’s like walking up to Mohamed Ali and claiming that his achievements have nothing to do with his path in life and only because of his “black athletic privilege”.
You can’t carry a productive conversation that lacks these nuances because you automatically lose and alienate people like myself… even though I want to support the plight of poor and marginalized people of color. But it’s very difficult to do so when ideological presets of the modern “civil rights” demand one to reject one’s personal achievements and chalk these up to some “undeserved privilege”.
I’ve already heard that narrative somewhere, and that’s the very reason I left Ukraine, which still clings to this Marxist ideological past in many societal contexts, and that’s the very reason why it is in perpetual hole of poverty that it is today. People keep blaming everyone else for keeping them in poverty, while most of their time is occupied with activities that do nothing to improve their state, and perhaps making it worse.
That’s one of the biggest problems with Marxist “solution”. It equivocates inequality and success with immorality. And the moment you swallow that ideology, you are shackling that culture to the perpetual state of dilapidated mediocrity, because it’s a culture of “crabs in the bucket”, pulling each other down in order to feel some “unity and equality”. And I lived in the poverty context to see what such mentality does to people.
Thanks, Daniel Xisto:
I enjoyed this essay. I like its simplicity, directness, and plain-spokedness.
I think it presents many facts about the history of Black and other non-white people in a way that is easy to read and understand.
I am going to ask our pastor if I can present it at our church, Waldorf SDA, in Waldorf MD, when I give the sermon. He should say yes, but I doubt that he will do so. I expect it will embarrass and offend many white people to present it. Hopefully, though, if so, it will move them to introspection, and not self-defensiveness.
However, I disagree with the way you framed a few points. For example:
• “Racism and white supremacy” is a redundancy. Racism IS white supremacy, and white supremacy IS racism. Put another way, white supremacy is the only functional form of racism.
• I wholly disagree with the use of the term, “the remnant,” as a colloquialism for Seventh-day Adventists. It’s not true, cute, or endearing. But yet we keep saying it. I wish that this silliness would stop.
• I believe that the chief form of sin on this planet is white supremacy. I mean this, in a way, similarly to what the Bible intends when it says, “The love of money is the root of all evil.”
I think this is a switch and bate argument of the modern “unofficial SJW” movement that equates the racism context of the past with racism context of the present.
The racism context of the past was truly limiting and very difficult to overcome because it was structural. It was a culture that structured laws that treated people of certain races as underprivileged “outsiders”, limiting their access to educate, employment, political and legal representation, and economic activity. As such, it’s very comparable to the caste structure in India, which bars certain groups of people opportunities to climb to the top of the societal hierarchy.
You simply CAN’T make a case that INDIVIDUAL racism context of 2017 is in any way comparable to the structural racism in the past. It’s absurd. Someone making ignorant comments in your direction, or choosing not to associate with you due to their “private racism” is VASTLY different context than laws structured to keep you at the bottom.
With the above in mind, I don’t want to diminish the effects of structural racism of the past that propagate to the present, and I think as a society we should both want and should help people out of cyclical issues that they are effected by. We should seek to improve education in poor communities. We should help certain individuals reach their potential. We should seek to help people who are both willing and struggling to get education and employment, but who are at disadvantage due to the circumstances of the past structural impositions. I’m all for that.
But we can’t cultivate the attitude of predominantly Marxist idea that people who have stuff necessarily gained it through exploiting those who don’t have it. It’s an extremely dangerous idea, and it has proven to be disastrous in the past.
That is, from reading it, it’s clear that many of your ideas about race are incorrect and uninformed. Yet, you state them with an apparent brio that is almost light-hearted, if not flippant.
In other words, you seem to be speaking with the spirit of true—and I’ve gotta thank @RoyMcD for this almost useless word —ultracrepidarianism; that is, in the manner of “one who is presumptuous and offers advice or opinions beyond one’s sphere of knowledge,” to quote Merriam-Webster.
I think, for many Black people, race is a life-defining, spiritually disempowering issue. Given this, to hear people who aren’t Black, especially white people, seemingly approach it with a cavalier, “Snap out of it!” attitude, is to virtually risk detonation.
I think what’s great about this forum is it’s a place where white and non-white people can speak their minds about these and other issues. The downside, of course, is that it’s a place where white and non-white people can speak their minds about these and other issues.
Lol. You seem to think that all white people are of the same ideology and mindset, enough to create a global conspiracy of “White supremacy” in SDA church. Do you understand how naive such view is?
There is no unified “white culture” or “white ideology”. American whites are vastly different from Ukrainian whites in their cultural upbringing, which is vastly different from German whites. Casting all of these into some lump of “white supremacy” as some overlapping “power structure” of the church that only prefers white people… is extremely disingenuous.
Likewise, you seem to think that the only viable context for racism is that of “white supremacy” against other races. There are elements of racism in all scope of human existence even inside racial context there’s racial prejudice against the “shades of black” or “shades of Asian”.
So, let’s not pretend like racism is an inherent problem of “white privilege” or that it’s a prohibitive context for successful coexisting in modern US or modern Adventism.
There are much more important issues to focus on, like the fact that outdated language and fundamentalist narrative drove out and alienated younger generation that left the church, leaving no viable way for church in the US to perpetuate its existence in the next 10-15 years.