My response to this thought provoking article:
Having read the text of John Metta’s sermon, I feel strongly the need to comment on it. His sermon focuses on the topic of racism. Let’s start by a definition of racism:
The belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races.
Now just so you know, John Metta is a black man and I am white transgendered woman. I have read his sermon multiple times. I agree with some of what he says but not all. Let me preface my discussion by stating that I think he is a good writer and he likely wants to make a difference in this world and provide meaning to his life. As for me, it is not my plan to use this critique as a soapbox for GLBT rights, but it should be known that I have experienced prejudice, which is not the same as racism, but it is a shared misjudgment of a person or population by others, and in that sense we have this in common. In all fairness, this critique should include all minorities, but that might require more time to ponder and write than I am willing to exploit energy for at this time, so pardon me if I keep the discussion confined.
Mr Metta writes:
White people in general decide to vigorously defend their own personal non-racism, or point out that it doesn’t exist because they don’t see it.
This is an overgeneralization in my mind; there is only a minority of white people who don’t think racism exists. Do whites have more privilege than blacks? Probably. I won’t deny that and like Mr. Metta’s aunt, I can’t change the race I was born in to. The prejudice I have experienced as a transgendered woman has taught me though that we need to learn to see people without our physical senses; we need to judge them based on how they foster love and kindness toward others, and how they respect nature and the planet (for without the latter, we would not exist).
I’m not sure I get the whole Star Trek analogy but that’s okay. I still liked the show a lot, and keep in mind its origins were almost 50 years ago. A lot has changed.
Take the Confederate flag for instance. I kind of liked the looks of it growing up (not really paying much mind to what it stood for back then). It was nostalgic, it was the Dukes of Hazard, it was our history. But when those nine black people in South Carolina were murdered, and its symbolism came to the forefront, I as a white individual, and the predominantly White South Carolina General Assembly, realized that it should come down. We realized that because we have learned some things since the 60s. We are trying to be less racist and the majority of us want peace and harmony.
I understand “The Angry Black Man” and I am white. I understand this because as a transgendered woman, I too often keep silent. To speak up too loudly often brings rebuke and I have learned that to change the system, I must first gain the acceptance of those I interact with. I do this by being a good citizen, by treating other people the way I would want them to treat me, and by teaching them to see me in a different way.
Although I take issue with a few things in Mr. Metta’s sermon, I judge him to be a good man. Within the universe there are both positive and negative forces at work. You can call them good versus evil if you like. I have my own calling and sense that Mr. Metta and I share some commonality. But it is not just black people that feel alienated in this country; its Asian, Latino, American Indian, and yes the GLBT community as well, to say a few. We must all learn to work together for the greater good.