A share from putneyfriendsmeeting.org:

“Those of us who have grown up with a white identity in America have a particular challenge in that we have been conditioned not to notice the system of racism and white privilege. Our well intentioned attempts at color-blindness can have the unfortunate result of blinding us to the system of racism in which we unwittingly participate.”

Excerpted from the Minute on Racism ~ Approved at New England Yearly Meeting Sessions 2003

Putney Friends Meeting, in solidarity with the “BLACK LIVES MATTER” movement, has erected a sign in front of the Putney Friends Meeting house on Route 5 in Putney, Vermont. What's important for us is that it's not just a sign, not just a statement, it's a commitment to join with others in doing the work we need to do.

"BLACK LIVES MATTER” is a local movement as well as a national movement. Even in Vermont people of color are disproportionately singled out, treated with suspicion and treated as outsiders. When Putney Friends Meeting agreed to put up the sign, we intended it for the whole community. Yes, we do hope that people of color will know our intentions to be in solidarity, to honor their leadership and support their efforts. And Putney Friends Meeting also wants to remind ourselves and others that this means being actively involved in whatever ways we can to make our Quaker Meeting and our community as a whole a part of the change that needs to happen.

Because Vermont is one of the least racially diverse States, we have different challenges than States with more residents of color. This means exploring the opportunities to support and learn from those who are most affected by racism and bias. All Vermonters are affected in a variety of ways. There are programs and activities that help people learn about how racism and white privilege exist everywhere and how everyone is involved. The goal is to become a community that is truly welcoming, open and affirming, where anyone can come and know they are valued and safe.

Putney Friends Meeting looks forward to working with other religious communities, groups and individuals to communicate and share what they are doing, engage in further actions, and challenge each other to do effective organizing.

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Comment by Kirby Urner on 1st mo. 23, 2016 at 1:59pm

In all this talk about racism I find very little acknowledgement of the work of principled anthropologists to steer us away from the whole concept of "races of man" e.g. Ashley Montagu.

Genetic differences abound but attempts to neatly categorize into "white, black, asian, pacific islander..." is closer to garbage than science, and forces people to think of others as either "pure" or "mixed" (a nasty distinction right out of the box). 

The US Census Bureau does not claim to have a scientific definition of "race" and only recently decided "Hispanic" wasn't one.  The confusion was intense. 

My motto, or mantra as the case may be is:  A racist is someone who believes in races.  The concept doesn't hold water.  It lowers your IQ to just think in those terms. 

Likewise:  a nationalist is someone who believes in nations.  I do believe in nations, but only to fit in and not draw attention to myself.  At bottom, I know them (nations) to be sorry fictions believed in by sad little humans of perhaps too little intelligence to stick around for long.

Nation Free!

Comment by Roger Vincent Jasaitis on 1st mo. 23, 2016 at 2:05pm

I applaud your empirical view of mankind however people treat each other badly based on appearances. What do we do about it?

Comment by Kirby Urner on 1st mo. 23, 2016 at 2:14pm

Maybe just admit that people are imperfect beasts?  Dogs are in general less messed up, as are most mammals (showing some misanthropic stripes here).  We should certainly not take the concept of "races" for granted though.  When you catch yourself thinking in terms of races, think "I am an ignorant slob" and you'll improve as a human being. :-D

Comment by Kirby Urner on 1st mo. 23, 2016 at 5:53pm

I think we need to acknowledge ethnic diversity more, while training ourselves to stop reflexively reacting to irrelevant genetic noise:


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