Queries - Virtual Worship for White Friends Confronting Racism
Resources for newcomers: 

5/13/2022 Queries 

“. . . critiquing the way something is spoken is a useful way to avoid discussing the content of their point. Those who can “play the part” of civility, educated, white, and wealthy patricians, are taken more seriously and therefore be heard more clearly, drowning out the cries of the disadvantaged. It is one of the many cultural phenomena that reinforce the hegemony of white supremacy through culture, resisting the truth that language is fluid, and insisting that the “Queen’s English,” or how wealthy white people speak, is the best and in fact the proper way to conduct discourse. Furthermore, those who are oppressed must necessarily resort to civil disobedience and other forms of general incivility to make an impact. If you’re stuck in a trap, you’ll cry and grunt struggling to break free. Pearl clutching about civility and tone-policing are tools of the privileged because one should not and cannot be civil when confronting those who willingly harm disadvantaged groups or the planet. . ..
-Mary Imgrund, Don’t Be Fooled, the Civility Debate is a Tool to Silence Marginalized Voices https://ecowarriorprincess.net/2019/06/civility-debate-silence-marginalized-voices/

  • In an anti-racism context, how has your behavior been civil to a fault? What do you feel makes you drawn to 'civility'?
  • In your body what does civility feel like? What does the thought of rebelling against it feel like?
  • How do you notice civility showing up in your meeting?
  • What do you think helps you move beyond civility?

A resource on language and race: 

5/06/2022 Queries 

In honor of AAPI Heritage Month, this week's quote comes from Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning by Cathy Park Hong:

  • The indignity of being Asian in this country has been underreported. We have been cowed by the lie that we have it good. We keep our heads down and work hard, believing that our diligence will reward us with our dignity, but our diligence will only make us disappear. By not speaking up, we perpetuate the myth that our shame is caused by our repressive culture and the country we fled, whereas America has given us nothing but opportunity. The lie that Asians have it good is so insidious that even now as I write, I'm shadowed by the doubt that I didn't have it bad compared to others. But racial trauma is not a competitive sport. (One World paperback edition, p. 78)

  • What work have you done to become aware of and dismantle the stereotypes that continue to be powerful and harmful to the Asian and Pacific Islander communities?
  • How do you challenge the myth of the model minority and honor trauma experienced by people of Asian descent?
  • What rises for you when you hear the sentence "racial trauma is not a competitive sport"?

4/29/2022 Queries 

  • “The world is full of painful stories. Sometimes it seems as though there aren't any other kind and yet I found myself thinking how beautiful that glint of water was through the trees.” 

  • “I realize I don’t know very much.  None of us knows very much.  But we can all learn more. Then we can teach one another.  We can stop denying reality or hoping it will go away by magic.”

  • “There is no end to what a living world will demand of you.”

  • -Quotes from Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler

  • Queries: 

  • How do we hold both the painful stories and the beauty through the trees?

  • In what ways do we accept our ignorance and our need to learn and teach others about the history and implications of racial injustice?

  • How do we live with the dynamic expectation that much is expected of us in a living world? 

4/22/2022 Queries   

On April 4, 2022, Twenty-six-year old Patrick Lyoya, whose family emigrated from the Democratic Republic of Congo seven years ago was shot in the back of the head by a Grand Rapids, Michigan police officer.  Mr. Lyoya was unarmed.  His memorial service is happening concurrent to this afternoon's worship. Today in our worship let us hold Partick Lyoya, his loved ones, his city and our country in our hearts as his memorial service proceeds. 

If you are led to write a letter of protest this link will take you to Red Cedar’s letter writing kit. https://docs.google.com/document/d/15a_Ju1GV5FEW-KBJFIcqwgZYTmIJBFql/edit

4/15/2022 Queries 

Let us begin to identify and separate the aspects of Quakerism that are not related to the core of our beliefs, the nonessential Eurocentric practices that have become attached to the way we practice our faith. Once they are removed we, people of all racial and ethnic backgrounds working together, can rebuild Quakerism and the world into an equal and peaceful home.