Religion of Whiteness, Part IV

What’s next, and who will lead?

(See also Part I: The Religion of Whiteness: What survey data says about White Christians’ attitudes about race and privilege, Part II: Religion of Whiteness: What is it? and Part III: Stories and reflections from Christians of Color.)

New research data shows that White Christians are twice as likely as other groups to agree that it’s acceptable for White people to have more wealth than other people. And 70 percent agree with the statement: “racial minorities use racism as an excuse for economic inequalities.”

Jim Bear Jacobs, the Minnesota Council of Church’s (MCC’s) Co-Director for Racial Justice, said one of the research’s stunning revelations was that these opinions were uniformly held between Conservative Christians, Mainline Protestants, and Catholics.

“That was an eye opener,” he said.

Jacobs has wavered between hope and despair about the church’s ability to move to a racially justice future, he said. Based on the research, he didn’t think White leadership could get us there anymore. “Racism and White Supremacy is so entrenched in Christian thought.”

“Maybe for the White church, it’s time that we stop sitting hospice and attend the funeral,” he said, citing Soong-Chan Rah. “Rather than trying to do all the work to reform, do we let it die and believe in resurrection?”

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Pine Ridge youth spark temporary ban on Christian missions in response to insulting evangelism

Pine Ridge youth led the charge against the latest manifestation of white supremacy on their lands.

Matt Monfore, a non-Native man from the fundamentalist group Jesus is King Mission, was distributing pamphlets to Lakota youth calling Jesus “the one true God of Native Americans.” It referred to Tunkasila, the Lakota name for “Creator,” as “a demon idol.”

Lakota youth alerted elders to the pamphlets and urged the tribal council “to ‘decolonize’ the reservation by shutting down new evangelical outreach programs and creating stronger tribal oversight of existing missions,” according to an article in America: The Jesuit Review.

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Proposed rule would make support of white supremacist or hate groups a violation of police ‘standards of conduct’

The Minnesota Police Officers Standards and Training (POST) Board is considering a new rule for licensed officers that would make support or involvement in white supremacist, hate, or extremist groups a violation of police ‘standards of conduct.’

It’s one of three rule changes under the POST Board’s review.

Any officer violating the code of conduct is subject to discipline, ranging from a reprimand to termination.

Another proposal would require law enforcement agencies to adopt a policy around police responses to public assemblies, crowd control, and use of force.

A public comment period on the rule changes is open for one more week, until Wednesday, July 20.

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Water Protectors seeing cases dismissed, Indigenous view on the outdoor recreation industry, and more

In this post:

  • Line 3 water protectors seeing case dismissed
  • Native Governance Center online event: Sovereignty and Outdoor Spaces
  • Amnesty International on the U.S.’s ongoing failure to protect Indigenous women from sexual violence
  • Reflections from a white Evangelical on Native American genocide, the white supremacist terrorist in Buffalo, NY, and Replacement Theory
  • Lakota People’s Law Project: Mining is destroying the Black Hills (includes action request)
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Nearly two years after George Floyd’s murder, still looking for leadership on transforming law enforcement

Say thousands of angry citizens stormed the streets because our drinking water was polluted and the government wasn’t fixing it. Police are called in from multiple jurisdictions to quell the unrest. Citizens report multiple cases of excessive use of force.

When the dust settles, would our most urgent task be to figure out how to fix law enforcement’s crowd control?

No. We’d be rushing to find ways to get clean drinking water.

So when angry citizens take to the streets because of police brutality — such as what happened after George Floyd’s murder — why are we focusing on improving law enforcement practices and slow to act on a law enforcement system that makes many people feel unsafe, and be unsafe?

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Episcopal Bishop in MN: The church is dying, and needs to die to move forward

Reject division, white supremacy; return to community, simplicity

The Rt. Rev. Craig Loya, Bishop of the Episcopal Church in Minnesota, said the Episcopal church has been dying for more than 50 years. It needs to die and return to its roots in Jesus’ teachings.

The church, he said, has been co-opted by the state.

“The church we’re afraid of losing is largely one that went along for the ride of the domination systems, of empire and white supremacy and patriarchy and genocide of Indigenous peoples, decimation of the planet, on and on and on,” Loya said Nov. 6 in an address to the Episcopal Church in Minnesota’s 2021 online Convention.

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Racial justice demands continue for Native American, African American communities

Sounds of Blackness sang as part of the one-year anniversary remembrance of George Floyd’s murder.

Tuesday, hundreds and hundreds of people gathered at 38th and Chicago in Minneapolis to commemorate the one-year anniversary of George Floyd’s murder at the hands of city police. Today, another 100 people gathered outside the Governor’s Mansion in St. Paul to continue demands to stop the Enbridge Line 3 tar sands pipeline, a project that creates the most harm for the Anishinaabe peoples of northern Minnesota.

The two events are linked by the legacy and ongoing reality of white supremacy culture.

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Events: The Derek Chauvin trial begins, stopping Line 3, learn about reparations work, and more

In this blog:

  • March 7: Pray for Minnesota: A Gathering for Unity and Peace as the murder trial of George Floyd begins
  • March 8: Global Day of Prayer, George Floyd Square
  • March 10: Art at the Capitol
  • March 11: Rise by the River to Stop Line 3
  • March 11 and April 8: Antisemitism and White Supremacy
  • March 16: Righting Wrongs, Repairing Our Communities
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15th century papal edicts authorized the African slave trade, Indigenous land seizures

The worldview they helped create still is alive today

This blog has written often about the Doctrine of Discovery: 15th century Catholic Church edicts that provided the moral and legal justification for European monarchs and their “explorers” to seize Indigenous lands and enslave, convert, or kill Indigenous peoples in lands which would become known as the “New World.”

The Doctrine of Discovery also includes papal edicts issued decades before Columbus sailed, edicts that justified Portugal’s west African slave trade. Continue reading

White Fragility at the State Legislature: Full Blown Freak Out Over a Sign

The Minnesota Historical Society changed its “Fort Snelling” sign to read “Fort Snelling at Bdote” and some white legislators became unhinged.

“Bdote” is a Dakota word for confluence, or where the waters meet. There’s nothing controversial in the meaning; what’s controversial, apparently, is the use of a Dakota word on the sign.

Sen. Mary Kiffmeyer, who chairs the Senate Government Finance and Policy and Elections Committee, slipped a $4 million (18 percent) cut to the Historical Society’s state funding as punishment for the sign, according to a WCCO news account.

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