Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Racial Harmony and Civility A One Way Street? (Updated)

         Last week, Church authorities met with representatives of the NAACP, which resulted in a couple of statements being issued. The statement from the LDS Church read, in part: 
         [W]e are impressed to call on people of this nation and, indeed, the entire world to demonstrate greater civility, racial and ethnic harmony and mutual respect. ... 
          Together we invite all people, organizations and governmental units to work with greater civility, eliminating prejudice of all kinds and focusing more on the many areas and interests that we all have in common. As we lead our people to work cooperatively, we will all achieve the respect, regard and blessings that God seeks for all of His children. Thank you very much. 
And from the statement by the NAACP representative:
       ... Unitedly, we call on all people to work in greater harmony, civility and respect for the beliefs of others to achieve this supreme and universal goal. 
        We compliment The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for its good faith efforts to bless not only its members, but people throughout the United States and, indeed, the world in so many ways. The NAACP, through our mission, we are clear that it is our job to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves. And we do so in an advocacy voice, but now with a partner who seeks to pursue harmony and civility within our community [presumably Salt Lake City]. I am proud to stand here today to open up a dialog to seek ways of common interest to work towards a higher purpose. This is a great opportunity. Thank you for this moment. 
         What I question is whether this call is really for all races and ethnicities to moderate their behaviors and work to reduce prejudice and increase civility, or if this message is aimed specifically at white people. It is a valid question since it is currently in vogue among minorities (particularly blacks) that "[b]lack people can never be racist – we never had the tools or power to institutionalise [sic] racial oppression." Thus, the fact that 90% of all interracial crimes committed in the US are committed by blacks against whites may be viewed, by white people, as a problem requiring greater civility, harmony and respect by black people, but ignored or justified by black people.

        Similarly, Bill Whittle has noted:
        According to the National Crime Victimization Survey, in 2010, 62,593 blacks were the victims of white violence. During that same year, 320,082 whites were the victims of black violence. That’s five times as many violent attacks, but that number is misleading, since the black and white populations are not the same size. When 38 million black Americans commit five times as many violent crimes on 197 million whites as they receive, what you discover is that black perpetrators violently assault White victims TWENTY-FIVE times more frequently. When it comes to a specific kind of violent crime -- aggravated assault -- the number of black on white crimes is TWO HUNDRED TIMES HIGHER than white on black crimes. Oh, there’s an epidemic of racial violence in America, all right.  
          Reporter and author Colin Flaherty has taken a cold, clear-eyed view of the statistics that don’t make the news because they are suppressed by the news. He reports, for example -- again in 2010 -- the National Crime Victimization Survey reported approximately 13,000 black-on-white rapes and 39,000 black-on-white robberies – both violent crimes. The statistics show that the number of white on black rapes and violent robberies were so small that they had to be rounded to the nearest whole number, and that whole number was ZERO. 
So, will we see the NAACP or black leaders speak out about black on white crime in an effort to "pursue harmony and civility"? I doubt it since racism is apparently only a one-way street.

Update: Thanks to the Getting Started In Emergency Preparedness blog, I saw this article from The Salt Lake Tribune on the LDS/NAACP meeting. It puts the meeting into more context, and confirms my suspicions that the call for greater harmony and less prejudice is only directed to the white members of the Church. For instance, the article contains quotes from black members attending the meeting/news conference, including this:
         Zandra Vranes, co-author of “Diary of Two Mad Black Mormons,” applauds the exchange but was hoping for more. 
          "I want us, as Latter-day Saints, to engage in what the church has called us to do, which is to have more civility and racial harmony in our communities,” said Vranes, one of the blogging “Sistas in Zion.” “But I also want us to do that within our own Mormon organization as well.” 
          It is hard to “call out the world,” she said, “when we have a [church] that doesn’t have racial harmony. The best way for us to be at the forefront of showing the world how to do it is to do it ourselves.”
        The NAACP can tell LDS leaders what blacks face in general, such as police brutality, but they don’t know, Vranes said, “what we face in the ward.”
And then there was this from the NAACP representatives:
         Wilbur Colom, an adviser to Johnson [the NAACP president], said the group met Wednesday with Clark Gilbert, who shared with the NAACP members information about the church’s Pathway program, an online educational outreach service. 
         "They gave us everything they had and anything we wanted,” Colom said, who then quoted Gilbert as saying, “And we’ll work with you to take Mormonism out, and put Martin Luther King in.”
 I don't know about you, but to me that sounds like a proclamation that the NAACP intends on subverting our Church's doctrine and replacing it with their own.

       Frankly, the whole thing reminds me of the article by Daniel Greenfield, to which I cited today, entitled "The Religion of Racism." He writes in that article that:
        ... What began as a unitary effort to bring together different races around religion has instead become a cult that uses its beliefs to divide us with white people as perpetual sinners and black people as unstained saints. 
          ... Fighting the overt discrimination of segregation turned into hunting for covert bigotry by working backward through disparate impact creating a guilt through lack of association. 
         If black people weren’t ... living in sufficient numbers in Utah, it was evidence that ... Utah [was] racist. Racism was no longer something to be discovered by witnessing its presence, but by noting the absence of some ideal multicultural diversity statistic. Civil rights shifted from lifting state sanctions that mandated discrimination against black people to imposing state sanctions that mandated discrimination on behalf of black people. Like the segregationists, they were abusing government power to impose the version of the ideal racial balance that they wanted to see.
Ironically, Vranes wrote in her blog of when she first came to Utah:
        Here’s the thing, nobody told me that there was actually NO PEPPER in Salt Lake. I feel like it should have been somewhere on the “Welcome to Utah” sign as we entered the State.  Something like (Please read the following in your best flight attendant voice): 
        WELCOME TO UTAH, we are known for and truly do have the greatest snow on earth! Please be aware that the climate is very dry, regular lotion will not work, extended stay may cause extreme ashiness. Also of note, by crossing our beautiful state line you have increased our black population by 100%. Expect to be the only black kid in your class and congregation.
She then goes on to describe some of the poor experiences she suffered as a youth. But while Vranes may have had a tough time being the only black kid in her congregation, she is not the only child to have been taunted or teased by other youths in their congregation. In other words, she is not as special as she thinks.

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