by Marcy Langrock
My family and I joined East Shore in 2013. East Shore is my first experience with the UU tradition. I was drawn to this community by its dedication to service and its advocacy towards justice. These qualities for a church were in stark contrast to the fundamentalist church of my youth. I saw UUs putting their beliefs into action and making a difference in the larger community.
UU history is filled with people and churches who stood on the right side of change, supporting Civil Rights and Marriage Equality as examples. In 1997, UUA passed a resolution at GA to become an Anti-Racist, Anti-Oppression, Multi-Cultural Organization. This was 24 years ago. If we are honest, what steps have we made towards this resolution? It is time to renew our commitment to being an Anti-Racist community by passing the 8th Principle.
While being part of East Shore, I found myself being challenged and becoming more curious and open. I have been able to live most of my life and not see any of the racism or oppression around me. I will be forever grateful to East Shore for hosting a White Supremacy Teach In. It ripped off the veil that was clouding my perspective and exposed a new, truer view. I am not being hyperbolic when I say, this experience was life-changing for me. I see our country’s racist history and the oppressive systems at work and learn more each day. I am committed to a future where we have created a beloved, anti-racist, diverse community. I would love to share this work with my fellow UUs at East Shore.
White America is divided. White America must decide to give up white supremacy. UUs can serve as an example of a faith community which commits to dismantling white supremacy and racism within ourselves and our community.
This is not an intellectual exercise where we can stand back and watch. There is a backlash happening against racial justice in this country. As a society, we are moving backwards, and we cannot let this continue to happen. If you need an example, take look at the draconian voter suppression laws being enacted across the country. The fight for racial justice is not someone else’s fight. This is all our fight. If you are considering waiting to join, ask yourself, if not now, then when? If not me, then who? We are the right people at the right time for this work. It is time to put ourselves and our church in the front and let everyone know what side we are on. We are on the side of Racial Justice. Passing the 8th Principle makes it clear where we stand. We will work to dismantle oppression and racism in everything we do. This may be scary, but if we walk it together, we can lift each other up. We do not have to be the entire chain. We just need to be the strongest link we can be. Our actions on behalf of justice, love and life will be transformative. We do not have to know how to do this work perfectly before we can start. As we move forward, we will learn more and grow in ourselves and in our knowledge of the world.
We are not to blame for racism, white supremacy, or any other systems of oppression. We are responsible and accountable for dismantling them.
I will leave you with a quote from Ijeoma Olou. She says, “You have to get over the fear of facing the worst in yourself. You should instead fear unexamined racism. Fear the thought that right now, you could be contributing to the oppression of others and you do not know it. But do not fear those who bring that oppression to light. Do not fear the opportunity to do better.”
Marcy Langrock, current Treasurer and Board member of East Shore