Traci Blackmon Visits Hawai‘i Conference
Traci Blackmon, UCC Executive Minister for Justice and Local Ministries, was in Honolulu November 9-11, as the 2018 Watada Lecturer. She attended a clergy gathering at Kaumakapili Church and spoke at Church of the Crossroads and the University of Hawai'i Kamakakūokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies Halau.
Rev. Traci Blackmon with the family that endowed the Watada Lecture Series.
Rev. Traci Blackmon shared on Facebook a text excerpt of her talk at the University of Hawai'i Kamakakūokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies Halau on November 10, 2018.
After laying out the story of how race came to be..
... There is a passage in the Bible that says “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.”
Race is like a vise that constricts our spirits and damages our psyches.
Both whites and non-whites, have been scarred in their daily lives by the racial images to which we all have been conditioned. Blacks were stripped of their country, their names, and their culture through slavery. Indigenous people...Indians, Hawaiians, even First People of Australia have been robbed of their land and subjugated on the land of their birth.
The disparities I suggest are not a function of race, but of racism. Pathology is not endemic to black people or poor people, though the dominant culture has too often framed it as such.
And the sin of racism has had deleterious effects on those that identify as white, based on the color of their skin, by creating within them an internalized expectation of superiority (white supremacy) that is non-existent and therefore unachievable.
Racism is a sin with a root system that so acutely damages non-white people all over this world and cannot be contained in designated locations, nor can it co-exist with other viable, life-giving ways of being in the world.
Knowing the truth about our history and our scriptures will help to free us from the beliefs and attitudes about human differences that were deeply embedded in our culture with the invention of "race" and "races."