White Privilege and the Privilege of Ministry in Gospel Perspective University of Notre Dame Pastoral Leadership Practicum Duchesne Volunteer House, May 20, 2010 QuickTime™ and a TIFF(Uncompres sed) decompressor are needed t o see this picture. QuickTime™ and a TIFF(Uncompres sed) decompressor are needed t o see this picture. Alex Mikulich, PhD, Research Fellow The Quandary of Race in America We don’t know what we are talking about yet many assume we are experts. We don’t know how to talk about it. We, especially privileged white Americans, don’t want to talk about racial privilege and power. Bryan Massingale, Racial Justice and the Catholic Church (Orbis, 2010). How do we contend with this quandary in church and ministry? The Power of Racism Power 1: What racism does to people of color. Concerns disproportionate negative impacts and the deadly consequences of racism. Power 2: What racism does for white people. Concerns unearned, disproportionate benefits and conferred dominance. Power 3: Racism’s power to destroy all of us. Whiteness: Four Themes Language: James Baldwin on the English Language http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7Of0Abi10A (3:14) Terror: Cornel West’s “9/11” http://www.cornelscorner.com/never-forget-911 (3:13) Privilege: Mirrors of Privilege: Making Whiteness Visible Part 1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pAljja0vi2M (5:10) Internalization: Kiri Davis’s A Girl Like Me http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWyI77Yh1Gg (5:16) Analysis Groups of two or three. Each group develops analysis of their theme. Develop your own questions and analysis of the theme: what makes this theme possible? (Ten minutes). Each group presents their analysis to the team for dialogue. Dialogue Groups present their analyses to the team. Problem posing: Facilitator and participants will have brief opportunity to pose problems or questions to each group. Examine the themes and our analyses in historical perspective. U.S. 17th to 20th Century Slavery: exploitation of African slaves was integral to creation of wealth for white slaveholding elite, and from which slaves derived no benefit. Fundamental contradiction between claim of Declaration of Independence to equality and practice of Founders. Indian Removal Act of 1830: By this act of Congress, Native Americans were forcibly removed from their lands and resettled in territory that was of little interest to whites. Their property was then made available to white settlers. This also led to economic impoverishment of future generations of Native Americans. Jim Crow: After the Civil War, there was a brief twelve-year period of Reconstruction that was followed by white resistance that prevented African American participation in the political system, segregated education and social services, and solidified a low-cost labor pool. The Supreme Court’s 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson instituted a U.S. system of apartheid until 1965. Lynching: Terror enforced racial subjugation. 4, 749 known lynchings between 1882 and 1968 recorded by Tuskegee Institute. U.S. 20th Century Exclude Asian Indians from citizenship (U.S. Supreme Court, 1923). Exclude domestics and agricultural workers from Social Security Act (SSA) of 1935. At the height of the Great Depression, the SSA established a basic level of economic security for many of the nation’s workers. However, by excluding domestics and agricultural workers, this new policy effectively denied Social Security pensions and benefits to 75% of black workers. Post WWII: Exclusion of African Americans from benefits of G.I. Bill. Federal Housing Administration’s practice of “redlining” effectively produce segregated cities and suburbs in 1940s and 1950s. Employer discrimination throughout century. A “Post-Racial” Society? The Legacy of the Past in the Present Wealth Disparity: January 1, 2013 marks the 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation--how far have we progressed? In 2005, the median per capita income for blacks stood at $16,629 for blacks and $28,946 for whites. At this rate of progress, income equality will not be achieved for 537 years. Gap in wealth even more significant: As of 2004, white median household net worth was $118,300 and black median household net worth was $11,800. Eighty-five percent of African American households have a net worth below the median white household. Regardless of age, household structure, education, occupation, or income, black households typically have less than a quarter of the wealth of otherwise comparable white households. Due to blatant non-merit transfer of wealth: inheritances, bequests, and intrafamily transfers of financial assets. Residential Segregation and Concentration of Poverty: “Spatial racism creates a visible chasm between the rich and the poor and between whites and people of color.” Cardinal Francis George, Dwell in My Love (2001). Employment discrimination. Historical Pattern of U.S. Catholic Response Lack of social analysis. Lack of passion for dignity of people of color. Lack of listening to wisdom of people of color. Bryan N. Massingale, Racial Justice and the Catholic Church (Orbis, 2010). Brothers and Sisters To Us Persistence of racism: An “unresolved racism” still permeates social structures and individual attitudes. Covert and subtle nature of contemporary racism. Link of racism to economic injustice. Institutional character of racism. Ecclesial racism: “Many of us have preached the Gospel while closing our eyes to the racism it condemned. We have allowed conformity to social pressures to replace compliance with social justice. (#386)” emphasis added. Recommendations for action: 1) Parishes become places of welcome and inclusion; 2) Develop liturgies that respect, foster, and incorporate gifts of various races; 3) recruiting, training, and promoting ordained, religious, and lay leaders of color; 4) expand Catholic schools in inner cities; and 5) Implement effective affirmative action program in every diocesan and religious institution. Brothers and Sisters To Us: 25th Anniversary Brothers and Sisters to Us 25th Anniversary Research Report issued by U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2004. The findings: 64% of U.S. Catholics responding to a poll stated that they had not heard a homily on racism between 2000 and 2003. The study finds in part that this is due to the fact that 82% of U.S. bishops have not addressed racism in their dioceses. “White Catholics over the last twenty-five years exhibit diminished--rather than increased--support for government policies aimed at reducing racial inequality.” Despite the clear commitment of Brothers and Sisters to Us to vocational recruitment and retention, and despite the reality of a multicultural population, twenty-five years later the leadership of the church’s chanceries, diocesan offices, parish staffs, schools, institutions of higher education, and Catholic organizations is still overwhelmingly white. The Church’s Racism “What makes the U.S. Catholic Church a white racist institution, then, is not that the majority of its members are of European descent (especially since in many places they no longer are), nor the fact that many members engage in acts of malice or bigotry. What makes it “white” and “racist” is the pervasive belief that European aesthetics, music, theology, and persons—and only these—are standard, normative, universal, and truly “Catholic.” Bryan Massingale, Racial Justice and the Catholic Church, p.80. Response to a New Call In a 2005 meeting of U.S. Catholic Bishops to consider a new pastoral letter, two bishops responded to Bryan Massingale in the meeting this way: “If we say what you want us to say, our people will get mad.” “My people won’t understand white privilege.” Massingale responded: “Thank you for your comments. They are more helpful than you realize. But I need some clarificantion. When you say “your people will get mad” or “your people won’t understand,” who do you mean? After all, I am sure Black, Latino, and American Indian parishoners in your dioceses will not only welcome the document, but also understand exactly what is meant. So, who are ‘your people’? The response of the bishops was silence. Massingale concludes: “through their comments, these church leaders and officials inadvertantly revealed a core reality of U.S. Catholic Church, that is, what they really believe yet seldom make explicit. Namely, that “Catholic’=‘white’ (p. 80-81).” Roman Catholic Magisterium The Church and Racism: Toward a More Fraternal Society Pontifical Justice and Peace Commission (1988). Key points: Doctrines of racial superiority are “scientifically false, morally condemnable, and socially unjust and dangerous.” (Nos. 2 & 33) All human beings belong to one biological species. (No. 18) Critques all of these forms of racism: Institutionalized racism and apartheid systems “that legally or culturally sanction superiority of European peoples over African, Indian or “colored” peoples. Social racism that isolates, exploits, or maintains particular populations in inferior social or economic situations. Xenophobia or racial hatred…or chauvinism against new immigrants. Eugenic racism --ways that genetic manipulation, abortion, and sterilization campaigns racially select particular human beings. Magisterium (continue) Contribution to World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance. Pontifical Justice and Peace Commission (2001) Key points: Globalization has intensified racial divides. (Nos. 4 and 21). Condemns economic, migrant, and sexual slavery. Reaffirms call for personal conversion and solidarity. Reaffirms requests for pardon for the church, so that the church may be purified of “counter-witness and scandal.” (No. 6). Reparation “should erase all the consequences of the illicit action and restore things to the way they probably would be if that action had not occurred.” (No. 12). Magisterium (continue) The Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church. Pontifical Justice and Peace Commission (2005). Key points: Human dignity (Imago Dei) before God begins Christian reflection on race and racism. Jesus Christ is the definitive witness of love and prototype of a new humanity. The Spirit, through baptism, calls everyone to re-discover the unity AND diversity of the human family, and build an effective common good. A New Moral Imagination of Racial Justice Compassion: Cross-racial Solidarity: Interrupt participation in patterns of racial The privileged must lament our participation in the evil of racism, lament with the suffering of people of color, and nurture loving passion for racial justice. privilege and oppression. As Pope John Paul II explains, solidarity demands a constant effort to build a human community where every social group participates equitably in society and contributes its genius to the good of all. Hope: Learn from people of color how “there is a way when there is no way.” There is another way for us to live through conversion, baptism, and Eucharist. Bryan Massingale, Racial Justice and the Catholic Church (Orbis, 2010). The Praxis of Ministry: A Way of Questioning How do I personally resist learning about privilege? How do I contend with institutional and systemic privilege in my ministry? How do I nurture my need for people of color as a way of life? How do I develop relationships of collaboration--both with whites and people of color? When and how do I cross boundaries of privilege and oppression? Thank you!