“You Will Never Understand Racism Like I Do”

You seem to think that mere pigmentation of someone’s skin gives someone a special insight into a life of discrimination and hardship?

First of all, if you are an AU student living in the US, a vast majority of the population of the professor Markovic’s country would switch with you in a heartbeat, and would take the skin color and everything. And you would be really surprised the kind of conditions “white privileged people” live in around the world, and that not all of them share the same scope of wealth or suffering. That’s actually true with a lot of white population who doesn’t and will not have opportunity to attend college.

I could guarantee you that the vast majority of the Ukrainian population of where I’m from would swap with you right this moment, skin color and all, even in spite of all oppressive conditions you think you live in.

So, please understand that just because you identify with historically marginalized group by color of the skin or ancestry, it doesn’t mean that there are “white people” who haven’t experienced greater suffering and discrimination that you would EVER face in the US.

So, have some decency to explore broader insight in this situation before being enraged and claim that no one could possibly understand what you are going through unless they share your skin tone.

There is certain course of actions that will improve race relations in US, and that kind of impudent attitude that you showcase doesn’t resolve anything. It will only enrage people who you are falsely accuse, and when enough of students like you do that, you essentially shoot yourself and other members of African American community in the proverbial foot, because no sane business owner or manager would want to keep tiptoing around these issues just to boast diversity. They will find some seemingly legitimate excuse, and then you won’t be hired, you won’t be getting those loans, and you will be perpetually screaming “racism” and no one will care. If you want to fix anything, then the best place to start is your attitude.

There’s right and wrong way to discuss these things, and you are going about it the wrong way.


i agree completely that there’s a right and wrong way to discuss racism, and that what we’re seeing from helga and her supporters is the wrong way…

what i think i’m starting to see happening at andrews - in fact what i hope i’m not starting to see - is what happened at AUC going on forty yrs ago now…at that time, racial tensions became so charged, there was a white flight to other adventist schools that left S. Lancaster decimated, and that ultimately led to AUC’s demise…there was the common feeling at the time that AUC’s close was the judgement of god against the extreme racial tension that was going on…i hope andrews isn’t going down this road…it’s a no-win situation for everybody…

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In part, I think that’s why I don’t come down on Nixon that hard. He has a very delicate role to play in order to prevent AU devolving into any number of liberal student takover examples, beginning with Evergreen and ending with Yale.

Administration didn’t want for that to happen , and it was a rather generic and strategic move on their end, and Michael Nixon is a good choice for that. He is young. He is hip and stylish. He has a legal background to understand where the boundaries are in a of this. And he is a product of AU with a father who is a pastor. It’s a perfect choice. I’m not sure there could be more perfect choice.

So, for those who think that he was hired because he was black, that’s like saying that Obama got elected because he was black, it’s just ignorant to say that.

If I fault Professor Markovic for anything… it would be that statement. Why would you say that, if indeed he actually said that? That would actually be a racist remark, since the implication is that Nixon is not only not qualified to do that job, but the only way he gets it would be because he is black. It’s not because he has a stack of qualifications that would diffuse that situation, but it’s because he is black. Am I missing something? Why would people here, even if they are conservative leaning, imply that it’s a legitimate criticism?

According to Kamia, he is there because he is black. Note what she said about him, and about the teacher, in her opinion, that should be in the position to teach the professors class: A black female. So, according to her, the individual would have to be black, as the professor noted, and competence would be a secondary consideration. That is not to say that it was how the administration looked at it.

But Andrews is one of the most diverse schools in the nation, and was before Nixon was hired. So, he was not hired to make the place more diverse, hardly possible. it was another reason.

Any discussion about racism (and other ism’s) that ignores, deny, or rationalize its systemic and institutionalize manifestation is futile. That is a focus on the individual student and professor has to be understood within a larger U.S. history whose very foundation was built on the othering and violence propagated against First Nations people, for example. Much of this discussion beginning with the author’s article would benefit from the aforementioned knowledge and an analysis of power. To that end, I would like to recommend (on the basis of shared theological belief) a number of helpful texts for those interested (see below). While this is a black/white conversation, the scholarship presented here attempts to move beyond the Black/white dichotomy. It is my sincere hope that those racialized as white who insist that this incident is an isolated act, listen to the voices and the perspectives of people of colour who have a history in this country. As someone raies in Canada and currently living in the U.S., I don’t have the same experience of Black Americans who until just a little over 40 years ago were legally second class citizens. The past impacts the present.

Robin DiAngelo’s, White fragility

Ibram X, Stamped from the beginning

Derrick bell, Faces at the bottom the well

Michelle Alexander, the New Jim Crow

David Roedigder, The abolition of whiteness

David Roediger, How Race Survived U.S. History,

James cone, the cross and the lynching tree

Why all the kids sitting together in the cafeteria (Forgot author’s name)

Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, racism without racist

Jemar Tisby, The Color of Compromise,

Ed Morales, Latinx, The New Force in American Politics

Maria Chavez, Everyday Injustice: Latino Professionals and Racism

Lani Guinier and Gerald Torres’s The Miner’s Canary: Enlisting Race, Resisting. Power,

Dean Chavers, Racism in Indian Country

While it is interesting to read the different perspectives, I am still reminded that unless a person was there and actually witnessed the incident, it is all speculation. Even witnesses, outside the room, are going to have different ‘remembrances’ and opinions based on their own perceptions. That is why we have a justice system to sort out all the different ‘stories’ of an event. Both the accuser and accused make their cases, but in the end a jury makes the decision as which is right and wrong. Hopefully AU is able to have a fair ‘trial’ to settle the matter.

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An excellent reading list, Karen. Thank you.

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Eye for an eye and the whole world will turn blind. Gandhi

Miroslav Volf wrote a book, The End of Memory. The only way to overcome the resentment caused by past atrocities and sufferings is to immerse my memory of that particular pain into the context of the bloody suffering Servant at the Cross. When I look at the Cross my memories fade away and I have become transformed. I do not suddenly experience amnesia but gradually my memory of the atrocity will be weaker and weaker until I am able to LOVE the representative of the race or nation that caused me harm.

Unfortunately, leaders of some communities teach their followers to keep this memory alive and remember to the point of repeating the same mistakes of the past, hatred for hatred, eye for eye…New generations are not transformed and we come to the painful realization that everything is always the same. Vicious cycle of remembrance of atrocities and victimization mentality can be overcome only by immersing my memory into the context of the amazing love of God. I am then healed.
We need healing and moving on, not repetition of the constant memory of pain that justifies the vengeful spirit and wrong cry for justice.

Healed people inspire, motivate, create…
Resentful people put down, disrespect, destroy…


I think if you would do some reading in Karen’s book list, you might come to understand that the black experience in America is not merely one of a past wound but of an ongoing wound that is repeatedly inflicted in the present, so that “healing” and “moving on” can be quite difficult. Not because black people are constantly rehearsing and nursing some past, painful memory, thus playing “the victim” (as some characterize), but because actual injustices continue to occur on an almost daily basis. For me, your suggestion that “some communities” (in this context, I assume you also mean “some black communities”) intentionally repeat painful memories in order to justify a “vengeful spirit” and “wrong cry for justice,” is unfortunate or at the very least likely to be misunderstood. A much more nuanced and racially sensitive account of wounds, wounding, and resurrection (healing) theology can be found in Shelly Rambo’s book Resurrecting Wounds, in a chapter entitled “Surfacing Wounds: Christian Theology and Resurrecting Histories in the Age of Ferguson.” She honors the ongoing nature of racial wounds and woundedness by focusing on the appearance of the wounded-yet-resurrected Christ to Thomas. Writing in the wake of Ferguson, she says that when historical wounds surface again in the form of present injustices, Christians often misread the ensuing situation and seek to quickly apply “sacred bandages” that force them back into invisibility. The Thomas story, she says, “provides a glimpse of the formation of a community that can encounter these wounds”–and even reckon with our participation in creating and sustaining them–in the context of a transformed Life that bears wounds and sees value in inviting us to touch them.


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