Why We Will Aways Have Segregated Conferences

(Allen Shepherd) #62

I was going to write an explanatory note to you but this example might help explain things.

Would it be fair for you to believe all men rapists because the one man did it? I can understand raging at the rapist, especially if he were to play the victim card. But raging at all men, because they are men?

I might add that I could understand why you might rage at all men and hate the lot of them. That understanding would temper my view of your objectivity about men, however.

I might add that Harry has helped me rethink some things as you have as well. But I do not think it is my duty to accept the guilt of my white ancestors or brothers when I have done nothing to promote their ideas, in fact have done just the opposite. That is why I find Harry’s broad condemnations of all whites inappropriate.

I am not responsible for Harry’s rage nor yours. I am sympathetic of your plight and his. I will bend and help. But I will not be blamed.


Ellen White said that someone who vocally supported slavery should be disfellowshipped.

Now I ask you, was that fair?

(Allen Shepherd) #64

Why should I have a problem with that?

How about disfellowshipping a white person who did not support slavery, because some in the white race supported slavery. Would that be fair?


Could you maybe try to be a little less reactive and defensive, Allen?

I’m going somewhere here, but knee jerk reactions are not the same as dialogue.


(Allen Shepherd) #66

I thought your response was a rather reactive, so I retuned in kind, I guess.

You and Harry believe in implicit racism (I believe). That is, the whole system of western civilization is racist to the core. Any who have benefited from the advances of the this civilization are racists because the advances were made on the backs of minorities, Indians, Blacks, etc. Hillary hewed to the same logic. Therefore, whites must accept the guilt of their forbearers, regardless of whether they had anything to do with it or even support those ideas today. They are reaping the benefits, so should accept the guilt.

I don’t accept that logic. It leads to a blame game and an impasse in the conversation. How does anyone know who owes whom what? Better to work from the stars quo and find a compromise that will work.

For Harry to call me a white supremacist with all the baggage attending that is over the top.

But go at it. Go where you would like to go.


I can easily push too hard, Allen. Tell me where I was reactive and I will happily apologize.

It’s hard to talk heart to heart if we’re both encased in chain maillle armor, don’t you think?


(Harry Allen) #68

Thanks, @Cassie.

You said:

Please do. But, of course, you’re probably going to have to do a lot more than praying.

You said:

In response:

What effects have these activities had?

You said:

In response:

I wonder: Why does he think there was only one Black person in the population of this small Nebraska town?

You said:

In response:

Why did he want to see the towers, why did he want you to go with him, and why were you cowering on the floorboards?

You said:

In response:

What exactly do you mean by “ancestral burden”?

You said:

In response:

What has this listening enabled you to do?

You said:

In response:

How is this working?


(Harry Allen) #69

Thanks, @Timo.

You said:

I think that this is correct, especially for white people who say they are against racism, think it unjust, or otherwise feel white supremacy should not be a system under which people exist.

Far too often, such white people “pull the eject lever” when discussions about racism, with Black people, go past their comfort level. But their comfort level is white supremacy. They should, then, either say that, or not say that they are against racism, because their actions do not confirm this.

You said:

In response:

“Too far”…for what purpose?

You said:

In response:

Or, maybe, in fact, I don’t “come back” to the conversation because the conversation is actually somewhere else.

Put another way, I doubt that when you, @ajshep, @Danny, @Cassie, or any of the other white people on Spectrum “get together,” that you ever talk about how to eliminate white supremacy and replace it with justice.

Yet, when I show up, that becomes the topic. It becomes the topic, despite @ajshep’s deliberation on Black crime figures, @Danny’s focus of the Oxford dictionary’s definition of “racism,” @Cassie acknowledgment of her family’s history of racism, and your own quest to establish blood quanta.

I’m not talking, here, about any higher ability, intellect, morality, or even information that I possess. I am acting and speaking out of need. Of those named here, I’m the only one who has to think about racism; who has to account for it; who has to figure out how it may be developing or mutating today.

When you, @ajshep, @Danny, @Cassie, or any of the other white people on Spectrum forum “get together” to start talking loudly about the things white people say—in homes, banks, colleges, doctors’ offices, Senate back rooms, etc.—about Black people when Black people aren’t around, the conversation will “come back” to you.

When you start acting to repair two hundred fifty years of slavery, ninety years of Jim Crow, sixty years of separate but equal, thirty-five years of racist housing policy, among other crimes, the conversation will “come back” to you.

When your children and grandchildren learn to say, from birth, that racism is white supremacy, this is its only functional form, and it must be replaced with justice, the way they currently say, “my country 'tis of thee,” the conversation will “come back” to you.

For now, you’re like buggy whip makers, down the road from the new Tesla factory, wondering why you’re not getting covers on Autoweek. It’s because you’re not making cars.


(Harry Allen) #70

Thanks, @ajshep.

You said:

In response:

I believe the statements that I’ve made. I’ve made them exactly as I intend.

You said:

In response:

What you’re not saying is that the general logic of the paragraph you’ve written is flawed, incorrect, or does not follow. You’re saying, in a number of words, that it leads to discomfort.

The implication, thus, is that the discomfort of those who hold the benefits you describe is of greater importance than justice for those who were Cuisinarted for the racist system.

You said:

In response:

Respectfully, if you aren’t a retired pastor who left the pulpit with sulphuric disdain for the ninth commandment, you should either:

a) Reprint the text(s) where I called you “a white supremacist,” or

b) Stop making deceitful statements about non-white persons.


(Harry Allen) #71

Thanks, @ajshep.

You said:

In response:

Like what?

You said:

In response:

Quote my “broad condemnations of all whites.” Reprint them.

Please. That is, if you’re not making this up.

You said:

In response:

What’s absolutely hilarious is that no one with whom I’ve actually shared meatspace would ever associate the word “rage” with me.

You said:

In response:

I’m completely uninterested in your sympathy.

Seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless. Plead the case of the widow.


(reliquum) #72

Harry, I fixed your post in the interest of a greater justice.
I will make only a glancing unremark regarding the roots of slavery.
Regarding the the democratic parties crow laws, I will likewise belabor it any more than this.
Re: separate and equal, that is the premise of the cross, where we are called to unity as kin and cousin, not as “separate conferences”.
Re housing policy, I will ask you what hovel have you been consigned to, now, in your quest for flashier and larger manse?
Re your off handed condescension that my quest is “blood quanta” I will ask you how many drops of Jesus blood are required for you, for me?

Seems you would rather believe no white person is willing, capable, or honest in their efforts to eliminate black subjugation. I pray that is not the case.
In closing I must query, how is your attempt at these coercive redefinitions progressing?

He that is first in his own cause seemeth just; but his neighbour cometh and searcheth him.

A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city: and their contentions are like the bars of a castle.

—Proverbs 18

If we throw ourselves open to God, He will reveal. The trouble comes when we have closed areas, locked and barred places in our hearts, where we think, with pride, that we are right.

― Watchman Nee, The Normal Christian Life

Patience is more than endurance. A saint's life is in the hands of God like a bow and arrow in the hands of an archer.

God is aiming at something the saint cannot see, and He stretches and strains, and every now and again the saint says–‘I cannot stand anymore.’

God does not heed, He goes on stretching till His purpose is in sight, then He lets fly.

Trust yourself in God’s hands. Maintain your relationship to Jesus Christ by the patience of faith. “Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him.”
― Oswald Chambers

Here is the path to the higher life: down, lower down!

Just as water always seeks and fills the lowest place, so the moment God finds men abased and empty, His glory and power flow in to exalt and to bless.
― Andrew Murray, Humility

The Christian is one who has forever given up hope of being able to think of himself as a good man.

—Lesslie Newbiggin

See how the Christians love one another.


If you look up into His face and say, "Yes, Lord, whatever it costs," at that moment He'll flood your Life with His presence and power.

—Alan Redpath

Most people catch their presuppositions from their family and surrounding society, the way that a child catches the measles.

But people with understanding realize that their presuppositions should be chosen after a careful consideration of which worldview is true.

The ironic fact here is that humanism, which began with Man’s being central, eventually had no real meaning for people.

On the other hand, if one begins with the Bible’s position that man is created by God and in the image of God, there is a basis for that person’s dignity.

—Francis Schaeffer, How Shall We Then Live?

(Harry Allen) #81

Thanks, @Timo.

You said:

In response:

No, you didn’t. You’re deflecting.

You’re positing sexism as being in need of greater remediation than racism, so that you can stop having to talk about white supremacy.

But if sexism were the case—the predominant issue—white women would act for the benefit of non-white women before they did so for white men; i.e., this is what would tend to happen, much the way that if racism were what Black and white people both did, white people would broach the subject in public as often as Black people do.

Clearly, they do not, and clearly, they do not.

I’ve said already: Most females are non-white. Ask them if they suffer more because they are female, or because they are not white.

You said:

In response:

In the spirit of clarity, you should forego attempts at poetic, or soaring, speech, and, instead, just write simply.

I don’t understand what you are saying. Most of it appears to be an attempt at avoiding the discussion I urge, by my example, and that white people usually avoid: The discussion that racism is white supremacy.

For example, you say:

What in the world does this mean? That there has not been thirty-five-plus years of racist housing policy, here, not to mention elsewhere? Is that what you imagine? Is that the conversation that you don’t want to have?

In other words, what is your response to the contention that there has been 35 years of racist housing? Is your response, “You probably live OK, Harry. Do you want a bigger house”?

Making fun of non-white people is a very common racist tactic.

I’m not saying that you are a racist. I’m saying that, to the statement, “There have been thirty-five years of racist housing policy in the United States,” the response, “Well, what hovel have you been consigned to, now, in your quest for flashier and larger manse?” is the kind of thing a white supremacist would say.

They would say this for at least two reasons, that I can detect:

a) To minimize the non-white speaker, so as to put an already minimized person “in his place.”

b) To avoid having to talk about white supremacy, to the degree that talking about it leads to eliminating it.

You said:

In response:

Q: How do you know that your child is willing, capable, or honest in their efforts to clean their room?

A: When, an hour after you say, “Your room is dirty. Please go clean it,” they call you, say, “Take a look,” and it’s spotless.

What most white people do, instead, is say:

“If you didn’t talk about the dirt in room so much, it wouldn’t be a problem.”

“The room is dirty because you commit so much crime.”

“The problem isn’t the dirty room. The problem is we have a dirty ladies’ bathroom.”


“What hovel have you been consigned to, now, in your quest for flashier and larger manse?”

In other words, I believe that the white people who eliminate “Black subjugation” are willing, capable, and/or honest in their efforts to eliminate “Black subjugation.” No one else is credible, or yet credible.

You said:

In response:

I don’t know what you mean by “these coercive redefinitions.”

I think, for example, you mean when I say, Racism is white supremacy, or make statements of that nature; ones which take words, or ideas, around race, and “give” them another meaning.

But it’s not clear why this holds so much apparent distaste for you. As I said to @Danny, what you apparently mean, when you say “racism,” is not what I mean when I say racism. So, the only appropriate response you should have is, “What do you mean when you say ‘racism’?”

So, they are “redefinitions,” but of only the most benign sort.

As for them being “coercive,” you’re not bound to define racism as white supremacy. In fact, if you are a racist, you most likely will not do so. Further, if you’re not a racist, you don’t have to agree with my definition. If you don’t, I would simply ask you the same question: “What do you mean when you say ‘racism’?”

Now, because my notion is that racism functions, to a great extent, via words, I’m going to listen to what you say, and I’m going to say if I think that yours is a correct definition, or not, and why; i.e., does it help eliminate racism, or does it establish, maintain, expand, or refine it.

If you’re a person who truly seeks the elimination of white supremacy, you should welcome such a dialogue. If you’re a person who thinks that racism is better than the alternative—justice—perhaps because, directly or indirectly, you get benefits from being white, you will probably resent such a discussion. You might, to begin, pretend to be open to it. But this charade will, eventually, cease.

So, to the first part of your question: As it pertains to white people, my efforts regarding words seems to be going in the same way as usual; i.e., the ways demonstrated on this forum are blandly typical. However, white people are not my audience, primarily, either.

As it pertains to non-white people, many find that these truer meanings conform with their experiences. Others find them jarring. But I am always encouraged by non-white responses to these ideas, because they always seem deeply captivated by them.

I think, for many, this is the kind of conversation that they’ve always wanted to have on a life-defining subject—the life-defining subject, for many—but one they rarely get, if ever, from white people, who tend to dominate the discussion of life-defining subjects.