Campus Reform | Theological school speaker: Understand what it means to be White or 'you’re dangerous'

Theological school speaker: Understand what it means to be White or 'you’re dangerous'

Methodist Theological School in Ohio hosted a lecture called “Beyond Good Intentions: The Role White People Must Play in the Work of Racial Justice.”

The person who gave the lecture said that friends of color have gifted her with a challenge to do the “strenuous work of understanding what it means to be White in America” because, if not, “you’re dangerous.”

Methodist Theological School in Ohio hosted a lecture called “Beyond Good Intentions: The Role White People Must Play in the Work of Racial Justice” during the fall 2020 semester, led by the founder and executive director of Allies for Change, Melanie Morrison. 

The event description reads, “our nation is witnessing an alarming resurgence of white supremacy and state-sanctioned violence.”

Morrison said that friends of color have gifted her with this challenge: “I need for you to do the strenuous work of understanding what it means to be White in America, because unless you do that, you’re dangerous.”

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Morrison used the lecture to offer various components of “diving deeper of the deep work as White people.” One component she focused on was the “need to untangle the lethal knot of White fear” because “unless and until White Americans acknowledge and confront the psychic, emotional, and spiritual legacies of this shameful history, we will continue to project consciously or unconsciously, racialized fears, fantasies, rage and scapegoating onto people of color.”

She criticized the failure to indict White police officers, calling them “uniformed murderers.” Morrison then continued on to use an example of a White woman calling 911 on a Black person, saying “it is long past time that those of us who are White bring our collective hearts, minds, and souls to the task of excavating, naming, and untying this lethal knot of fear that resides in White imaginations." 

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“White identity came into existence ceasing, owning, killing, enslaving, codifying, legislating, and insisting not only on its distinctness but on its superiority,” said Morrison.

She said that “every major institution in the U.S. is still rife with racial disparities and inequities.”

Campus Reform reached out to both Methodist Theological School and Morrison for comment but did not hear back in time for publication.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @JezzamineWolk