The 8th Principle

It seems that the idea is sinking in, in new and deeper ways, that the race problem we have in this country is not only the individual animus or hatred that many people feel toward People of Color (POC), especially toward Black folks, but also the system of race-based thinking, and presuming, and legislating that is necessary to advantage one race, and disadvantage others.

I shocked my Arkansas congregation ten years ago when talking about counting our blessings, I told them, “Well, first of all, we’re white.” There were good-natured but audible gasps.

It’s not just racist or even white-supremacist cops. The system requires a culture of aid and comfort for the individual officers, but also police unions that strenuously maintain the cops can do no wrong, with in-house review of complaints and donations by the police officers’ union to the campaigns of prosecuting attorneys. There are remedies for all these systemic problems, if we have the will.

The 8th Principle

I want to start a discussion of the proposed UUA 8th Principle, which churches are adopting individually while the movement to adopt it denomination-wide goes on.

[We covenant to affirm and promote] Determination to dismantle racism and other oppressions from ourselves and our institutions, building a diverse multicultural Beloved Community.

The UUA has been years ahead of the mainstream on this, but the mainstream is now catching up, increasing talk about addressing systemic, institutionalize race-based advantage/disadvantage. Is this something we can and want to address at UUCE?

Rev. Leland Bond-Upson

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