The following is Part 1 of a sermon from Bishop William J. Barber II, DMIN, President, Repairers of the Breach and Architect, Forward Together Moral Movement on white supremacy :
People will denounce what happened in Charlottesville – the death, the person running through the crowd – and say, ” I’m not like him.” But just because you’re not like that person does not mean that you’re not embracing the values of white nationalism and white supremacy. People in this country want to deal with race real quickly. We never want to probe it and deal with it; we want to just kind of say, ” That’s them.” But one of the things I think you have to do is understand it. To denounce hate is not to denounce white supremacy. If statues come down, racism can still be up. There are a lot of people who think that racism is merely by personal interaction. So if they have a black friend or a brown friend and they say, ” I’m not a racist,” in actuality, that is not what systemic racism is.
What I’m concerned the most about the Trump administration is the way he used white rage, racism and hatred. Now, I have to say it is not new. He’s not the first one to use it. It’s as American as apple pie. Many of the statues that are now the focus of attention were placed between 1898 and 1922, which means they were not so much celebrating the Civil War, they were celebrating the return of codified white supremacy in the law. They were celebrating the return of an open white supremacist in the White House, Woodrow Wilson, who played ” Birth of a Nation” to Klansmen, in the Oval Office, to all of his staff and directed them to end desegregation of the federal government. When those statues were commissioned and put up, they were done to say that white supremacy is back. When those statues were put up, every Black member of the US Congress had been removed. Segregation was legalized constitutionally. Every member of the Supreme Court voted on it, except one. You have to understand that to understand why the white nationalists and white supremacists chose Charlottesville. By going there and saying, ” You’re not going to touch this statue, and we’re going to protect it.” they were saying, ” We can now, once again, celebrate that we have a sympathizer.” And the president has shown that he is a sympathizer with his inability to be clear.
Part II conclusion of Rev. Barber’s sermon next time.