Racism continues to be in the news. The NY Times reported that White Russian youth chased and attacked Black African students, fatally stabbing one this weekend. Over the last few years we’ve seen race riots in England (Bradford, Oldham and Burnley), post-September 11th attacks on American Muslims and Sikhs, racial discord in over 400 French cities, and most recently the racial attacks of mobs of White youth in Australia. While there still is general disagreement as to the meaning of racism and the ways to meaningfully address racism, even in the most progressive of circles, the Australians have done something useful I believe in researching and publishing "racial attitudes" and geographically mapping them. This is a job I’d like to do, and something that anti-racist organizations here in the United States might consider engaging in. The lead researcher Dr. Dunn told a conference this month
There is a strong and ever-urgent need for the realities of racism to be acknowledged. Without doing so, it is impossible to develop anti-racism
The Unitarian Universalist Association’s Anti-Racism work, which regularly begins with the Jubilee World Workshop, echo’s Dr. Dunn as it attempts to bring participants into a collective acknowledgement that racism is still a reality. In progressive circles, which I primarily live and work in, the failure to understand, address and ultimately become culturally responsive to racism is in my opinion one of the most difficult challenges we face to building the beloved community. Racial civil rights has been achieved on many levels, we have legal rights and processes for redress of racial inequities. Below the surface however, racial attitudes and behaviors are largely unchanged from the White supremacy of pre-1960’s America from my experience. There is even a growing reluctance to re-authorize racial justice government efforts and few if any long-term efforts at positive race relationship building in civic institutions. Our state of affairs is not good.