Racism As A Perversion

Image result for racismI think it is dangerous to label people as racists. More preferable is to identify racism in behavior and culture, and label things and actions as such. Of course, some people over-identify with their possessions, acts, and culture. When this happens and such things are labelled, an unhealthy person can assume the label applies to herself or himself. That’s unfortunate. But it’s not the fault of activists or other anti-racists.

Bishop Mark Seitz, in his pastoral letter, tells it as he and others see it. He asks a question in paragraph 11, them moves ahead to answer:

What else explains the perversity of attacks on African Americans, Jews, Muslims, Sikhs and other communities?

12. This mystery of evil also includes the base belief that some of us are more important, deserving and worthy than others. It includes the ugly conviction that this country and its history and opportunities and resources as well as our economic and political life belong more properly to ‘white’ people than to people of color. This is a perverse way of thinking that divides people based on heritage and tone of skin into ‘us’ and ‘them’, ‘worthy’ and ‘unworthy’, paving the way to dehumanization.

In other words, racism.

There is much to unpack in this. First, the identification of evil as exalting one or more persons above one or more others. I’m alive; you are dead–murder. I seek pleasure from someone other than you–adultery. I separate myself from hypocrites in church–apostasy. I deserve your possessions–theft. My truth is more important than yours–lying, fraud, deceit, etc..

The pushback against opening the windows and doors of history, a king of reclamation of Western History/Civilization is also a form of racism when taken to extremes. It suggests that England is more important than Brazil, Germany than Zaire, France than Afghanistan.

Bishop Seitz uses the word “perverse.” I think it fits.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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