Our Racism

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Dear Editor: From cover to cover, the September/October 2018 edition of Western Friend made plain the grievous suffering caused by racism. Our racism.

The “Editor’s Desk” listed seventeen countries with active armed conflicts this year. Every nation listed is made up of people of color who have been invaded, conquered, and colonized by white nation states.

In her keynote presentation (p.30), Vanessa Julye made clear: “Our past is not divorced from our present.” Today, along the U.S.-Mexico border, we are witnessing the crossing of families, by the hundreds, seeking asylum from three of the listed countries in active armed conflict. It should come as no surprise that our southern neighbors are fleeing oppression fomented by racialist U.S. economic policy over decades, nay, centuries, not just by the current administration.

Racism does not reside solely in the halls of political power. However unknowingly, our Quaker meetinghouses, too, our sacred spaces of worship, reflect European descent culture, faith and practice with all its baggage.

Carin Anderson (p.27) poignantly reminds us how our lives are interwoven. All of ours. Colonized and colonizer. Oppression and suffering know no borders. “We are connected to those lives, and we are connected to that suffering,” Anderson wrote.

Finally, Friend David Chandler et. al. in their Letter to the Editor remind Friends that our term “concern” is a spiritual leading that constitutes an imperative to action. May Light lead us onto this path, as Eileen Flanagan, (p.16) proclaimed: “Faith and Practice, Practice, Practice.” And may our Holy Silence find Voice and feet in and outside our meetinghouses.

– john heid, sojourning member, Pima Monthly Meeting (IMYM)