Archive for Sunday, August 28, 2016

Banners supporting Black Lives Matter unfurled at Ecumenical Campus Ministries

One banner proclaiming “Black Lives Matter” and one naming the Lawrence congregations supporting that movement are unfurled Sunday, Aug. 28, 2016 at the Kansas University Ecumenical Campus Ministries building, 1204 Oread Ave. The banners are a result of a yearlong effort to enlist Lawrence congregations in a message of support.

One banner proclaiming “Black Lives Matter” and one naming the Lawrence congregations supporting that movement are unfurled Sunday, Aug. 28, 2016 at the Kansas University Ecumenical Campus Ministries building, 1204 Oread Ave. The banners are a result of a yearlong effort to enlist Lawrence congregations in a message of support.

August 28, 2016


Two banners were unfurled Sunday in the front of the Ecumenical Campus Ministries building, 1204 Oread Ave., in support of the Black Lives Matter movement after a series of speakers spoke out against white privilege and systematic racial oppression.

The message speakers shared with the mostly white audience was to examine their lives for examples of white privilege, denounce it and demand equality and justice for all.

Rev. Jill Jarvis, of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Lawrence, said the banners were the result of a yearlong effort that started with the congregation of that church agreeing to display a banner in support of Black Lives Matter. That banner wasn’t meant to be the end of the conversation, but a reminder to the congregation to confront the casual acceptance of white privilege and the continued oppression of people of color, she said.

With that understanding, the congregation then decided to ask other faith communities in Lawrence to come together in a common message of support of Black Lives Matter, Jarvis said.

“It’s been a year of listening and a year of learning of the continued assault against black lives that confronts us every day,” she said.

The request led to difficult conversations within Lawrence congregations, Jarvis said. After those conversations, the Ecumenical Campus Ministries, First Presbyterian Church of Lawrence, Lawrence Jewish Community Congregation, Oread Friends Meeting, Peace Mennonite Church, Plymouth Congregational Church, St. Luke Evangelical Methodist Church and Unity of Lawrence joined the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in agreeing to put their names on a banner supporting Black Lives Matter. The Islamic Center of Lawrence also participated in Sunday’s program.

Jarvis and former ECM minister Rev. Thad Holcombe said they were confident other faith communities would eventually join in the visible support for Black Lives Matter.

“We believe and we pray more people will join us in undermining the theology of white supremacy,” Jarvis said. “Not since the Civil Rights Movement has there been such an intergenerational movement dedicated to addressing the cultural resistance to ending systematic racism.”

Reggie Harris, a visiting singer-songwriter who recorded with his wife, Kim, “Steal Away: Songs of the Underground Railroad,” through the John F. Kennedy Center’s Partners in Education program, said Black Lives Matter has not only forced the country to confront police violence and hatred toward people of color but has served as recommitment to the fight against social injustice.

Harris reminded the ECM crowd that it was mostly white college students who traveled to the South in the Freedom Summer of 1964 to register African Americans to vote. He then led the assembly in a gospel song from the period.

Edith Guffey, conference minister for Kansas and Oklahoma with the United Church of Christ, said those in attendance needed to be ready to turn the focus back to African Americans when people tell them “all lives matter.” The systematic oppression that decides who is at the table and who isn’t offered evidence in America “all lives don’t matter,” she said.


Glen Stovall 1 year, 9 months ago

Yay! Churches living the message of Jesus.

Jason Johnson 1 year, 8 months ago

So tell me, then, why don't all lives matter?

Hannah Kinmonth-Schultz 1 year, 8 months ago

Of course, all lives matter. Black Lives Matter is a recognition that it certainly hasn't looked that way for all groups. We as white folks just don't see that because, to us, inequality ended with the Civil War and with the Civil Rights movement and with the start of Affirmative Action, and because many of us don't feel outright racist, or we see examples of black people that seem to be doing just fine, etc. I'm grateful for the discussion that this has sparked and have been using the list of supporting churches as a starting place to find my church home.

Scott Burkhart 1 year, 9 months ago

Did Harris also remind the crowd that it was white Christians of the Northeast, the same people that settled Lawrence, that led the abolitionist fight against slavery?

Barb Gordon 1 year, 9 months ago

That was much earlier than the civil rights movement, but it is an example of why it's important for white allies to "confront the casual acceptance of white privilege and the continued oppression of people of color." Good point.

Beverly Morrison 1 year, 9 months ago

Lawrence will become another Ferguson. All Terrorists Lives Matter. BLM just refuses to use their true name. George Soros will pay them to destroy our town, but not pay us to repair it. According to God. ALL LIVES MATTER

Bob Smith 1 year, 9 months ago

Are the BM folks still repeating the "hands up, don't shoot" lie from Ferguson?

Julie Lowrance 1 year, 9 months ago

Should read, "supporting" in the title of the article.

Ginny Hedges 1 year, 9 months ago

Thank you for pointing out that misspelling. That was driving me nuts! LOL

Justin Hoffman 1 year, 9 months ago

At least Lawrence now has a public list of churches citizens should avoid.

Barb Gordon 1 year, 9 months ago

What church do you go to? Lawrencians want to avoid it when they visit your city. I'm serious. Whatever they preach to you there, it's definitely not from God.

Bob Smith 1 year, 9 months ago

Spammers should be sealed in metal drums and floated off down the river.

Russell Fryberger 1 year, 9 months ago

Where's this white privilege I keep hearing about? I get up and go to work every day, my wife gets up and goes to work every day. I get up in the morning and watch the news and in the past few years there has been a murder, a robbery and or a shooting every one of those mornings. I guess you people are telling me that the news media show's all of those except for the whites who are murdering each other in the streets and shooting randomly into houses killing kids.

Hannah Kinmonth-Schultz 1 year, 8 months ago

I understand your question. There are certainly white Americans that struggle to put food on the table, or struggle to find work, or live in areas with lack of access to a quality public education -- definitely not privilege if we consider only privilege associated with wealth. White privilege is something different. It's a recognition that because of America's historical trajectory, certain groups have had an advantage. For example, former slaves were given land-ownership rights, but this was messily taken away just a few short years after the Civil War, and people of color have been barred from getting home loans (even with similar financial situations) at rates higher than whites, or "Redlined" into certain neighborhoods more likely to be poor and more likely to have low-quality schools. Landownership, typically, provides more financial stability not just for the homeowner but for subsequent generations through building equity. Access to quality education provides a similar multi-generational advantage.

And then there is the reality that non-whites were perceived as something lesser -- less intelligent, less human, even by missionaries and by abolitionists. For example, many whites felt that freed blacks would still require white leadership after the Civil War. This stereotype persists today. And it's been shown that stereo-types are often subconsciously internalized by the members of groups they are about causing them to perform less well in certain situations than they would at other times. So even if we say, wrongly, that bias isn't a problem anymore, there are still the lasting negative affects that stereotypes have on the groups themselves.

These are just some of the examples of white privilege.

Bob Forer 1 year, 9 months ago

The racists crawl out of the woodwork to comment.

Pete Kennamore 1 year, 9 months ago

The progressives apologists crawl out of the woodwork to offer no cogent rebuttal.

Mike Riner 1 year, 9 months ago

Bob, I guess with your IQ, the "R" word is about the best you can do on short notice? Pathetic Bob. Pathetic

Barb Gordon 1 year, 9 months ago

It's short but descriptive. Maybe next time he'll use a trigger warning to better coddle your white fragility.

Armen Kurdian 1 year, 9 months ago

Barb, just take a step back from that statement. Do you really believe what you just typed out? Progressives do this all the time, throw out the racism terminology anytime you feel like it regardless if there is any or not. I think it's nothing but a tactic, and a bad one at that.

What factual basis do you have that Pete and Mike are racists?

Barb Gordon 1 year, 8 months ago

I absolutely believe every word I typed out, but I believe you read a few more words than I typed. And then you turned it into a whole "progressives do" whine. (eye roll)

So we'll back up a notch here for the sake of the fragile. Bob said, "the racists crawl out of the framework." There's no accusation against specific individuals at this point. Just pointing out that there are racists posting in response to this article, which there are.

But once you point out the racists, lordy, the white male fragility sure kicks in. Which is what Mike demonstrated with the immediate name calling. Read my response. Did I call him a racist? Nope. I called him fragile. I said that Bob's words were short but descriptive, which is NOT the same as saying "Bob was talking about you." Because that's not what I said. That's what you said.

White fragility is “a state in which even a minimum amount of racial stress becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive moves. These moves include outward display of emotions such as anger, fear and guilt, and behaviors such as argumentation, silence and leaving the stress-inducing situation.”

Huh. Sounds a lot like what several people are doing in this thread.

Armen Kurdian 1 year, 9 months ago

That is a patently inflammatory statement. It does not advance the dialogue.

Barb Gordon 1 year, 8 months ago

I see several posts up thread that were incredibly inflammatory and didn't even try to "advance the dialog," but you didn't go try to shut those down. Interesting.

Bob Forer 1 year, 9 months ago

there is nothing to debate with a racist.

Bob Smith 1 year, 9 months ago

Racist = anyone who disagrees with a disappointed progressive.

Bob Forer 1 year, 9 months ago

I am not disappointed Bob. I expect such drivel from you.

Scott Burkhart 1 year, 9 months ago

You've got a lot of nerve, Forer. I've seen a note you wrote to someone who shall remain nameless but is married to a woman of Asian heritage. You 1) Made the assumption that she is not from a "modern world." (your words) 2) She is subservient to her husband. (your words) 3) Her husband abuses her. (your words) You're arrogance and smug attitude is nauseating. You accuse others of racism (which is the wrong application of the word) when you, yourself, are a huge bigot. Men of your cowardice were, at one time, called out for your cowardice and received the justice that cowards like you deserved.

Armen Kurdian 1 year, 9 months ago

What the hell is wrong with you? In all seriousness. Why are you deliberately trying to inflame emotions here? Things are bad enough as it is, and getting worse w/o this flatly unnecessary hostility.

Bob Forer 1 year, 9 months ago

I think that question should be directed at Scott.

Bob Smith 1 year, 8 months ago

Over the past few months, the number of posters who on this site who go directly to personal insults seems to have declined. I keep hoping that Forer will go the way of the dodo.

Bob Smith 1 year, 8 months ago

"...At any time and at its sole discretion, LJWorld can remove any User-Generated Content (as defined below in the Intellectual Property Policy) that it deems objectionable, including, but not limited to, ...disrespectful or threatening to other users, consists of inflammatory attacks of a personal nature..." LJW is asleep at the switch the last couple of days.

Greg Cooper 1 year, 8 months ago

Those words draw more "clicks". Can't blame them. Not defending, just explaining.

Jason Johnson 1 year, 8 months ago

There was no hint, mention, or assumption of threat anywhere in his post. Simmer down, son.

Jason Johnson 1 year, 8 months ago

Black death by white cop is even an smaller fraction of what this chart shows.

Hannah Kinmonth-Schultz 1 year, 8 months ago

I'm addressing this to Russell's comment of Privilege and crime and to Jason, above. I respect your questions and comments. I lived in a neighborhood in which there was quite a bit of gang violence. Kid-on-kid shootings, drive-by shootings that sometimes happened on residential streets and near popular parks in the middle of the afternoon, in one instance a white man was caught in the cross fire and died. I was often scared for my family. These things are terrible. But then at the same time, in the neighborhood's school -- integrated on the surface, but segregated in the classes being taught because white families had the connections, wealth, and knowledge of the system needed to play the game and get their children into the higher-quality classes, providing their children better opportunities when they graduated. That was also terrible, considering that quality education is one way out of poverty and that gang violence and violent crimes are associated more with poverty. You can imagine that inter-generational poverty brings with it it's own set of challenges -- depressed people take to substance abuse to cope, family structure is broken down, people are angry, some find a sense of belonging in gangs -- yes, there's crime. But the root causes are solvable. I should mention also that crime is what we see on TV and notice outside in our neighborhoods because it's alarming, but this isn't the face of most of the black population. Unfortunately, our society tends to be still widely segregated in practice, so we don't get the chance to see the other faces -- this perpetuates bias.

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