Unitarian Universalists recognize our responsibility to reflect, learn and act how we may inadvertently contribute to racism In our community and beyond. In June at the 2020 Lakeshore UU Fellowship Annual meeting, we formally endorsed the following as our 8th Principle:
"We affirm and promote journeying toward spiritual wholeness by working to build a diverse multicultural Beloved Community by our actions that accountably dismantle racism and other oppressions in ourselves and our institutions."
About the 8th Principle
The 8th Principle was created out of the recognition that the original 7 principles were not enough to directly address and dismantle individual, institutional or systemic racism. Led by Paula Cole Jones, the 8th Principle Learning Community was formed in 2019 to support congregations in living the 8th Principle. Endorsed by Black Lives of UU (BLUU) and Diverse Revolutionary UU Multicultural Ministries (DRUUMM), the 8th Principle has so far been adopted by over 30 UU groups.
Why Do We Need To Look At White Privilege As A Part of Our 8th Principle?
White privilege is the reward that white people and white-passing people receive in exchange for participating in the system of white supremacy – whether that participation is voluntary or involuntary. In order to dismantle white supremacy, we must understand how much white privilege is a key aspect of our life, how we benefit (whether knowingly or unknowingly) from our whiteness, what that means for people who do not receive the same benefits, and how we can dismantle it.
WE cannot dismantle what we cannot see.
We cannot challenge what we do not understand.
People with white privilege often do not want to look directly at their privilege because of what it brings up for them – discomfort, shame and frustration. But not looking at something does not mean it does not exist. And in fact, it is an expression of white privilege itself to choose not to see it.
Black, Indigenous and People of Color living within white supremacy, however, often do not have this privilege. As a person with white privilege were you ever told as a child that your whiteness would work against you? That you would have to work harder to compensate for your racial difference? Or was the color of your skin ever referenced when discussing your dreams, or what you would be able to accomplish? Has anyone ever referred to your race with respect to how you would be treated by the world? That is the essence of white privilege.
Adapted from “me and white supremacy” Combat Racism,
Change the World and Become a Good Ancestor by Layla F. Saad