I often say that everything is connected. It’s not only my theology, but also the 7th Unitarian Universalist principle. The thing is, the interconnection of everything means that both good and evil can travel throughout the interconnected web of all existence.
That is how I view the evil of racism. I believe that racism underlies every social ill that we are fighting against: poverty, economic injustice, sexism, transphobia, homophobia, climate chaos. It’s all connected. So, we can’t combat any of them without combating racism and the belief that supports racism: that one race is better-–white supremacy. It is black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) who are disproportionately affected by the effects of climate change. It is BIPOC who are most likely to suffer the effects of economic inequality. It is BIPOC who suffer even more when they are the targets of other forms of discrimination.
So, if we really want to address poverty and houselessness, we must examine causes with a racial justice perspective. If we want to address climate chaos, we must create solutions with racial justice in mind. If we want to combat any of the forms of discrimination that plague our people, we must reform the systems that support racism: education, legal, medical, social.
Every time we work for justice of some kind, we impact the interdependent web. We don’t necessarily have to stop what we are doing to help those in need or educate ourselves or advocate for change, but we do need to be aware of the underlying racism that contributes to the existence of the need in the first place. Only then will we be able to make lasting change.
Here are a couple of resources about the interconnection of racism, poverty, and climate change from Grist and The Sierra Club. I’m with the growing number of people who say, “We’ll never stop climate change without ending white supremacy.” What do you think?
On the day that you get this edition of The Spark, I will be participating in the local GreenFaith event sponsored by the OUUC Environmental Action Team (EAT). The EAT is joining us with people of faith from around the world who are committed to protecting the planet. You can find more information here. I am honored to be part of this effort and I’ll be there committed to ending racism and climate change. A huge thank you to Wendy Steffensen and the EAT for their good work.
Blessings on your week.