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anti-racism

help stop racist and homophobic "punk"

The unitarian church is hosting a 90's hardcore band who is openly racist and homophobic this upcoming Saturday, June 6th. While not openly neo-nazi themselves, this band has a huge current of neo-nazi followers. If you want more info on why its important that this be stopped, read the email that follows.
FORWARD WIDELY:

I wrote a letter to email to as many unitarian churches as I could look up, but I need your help. To try to reach as many people in the church as possible, email all the unitarian churches you can look up in your state, then pick another state and email it to them.  http://www.uua.org/aboutus/findcongregation/index.php can be your friend in looking up congregations. Feel free to use my email, change my email around and send that, or write your own email. Just remember, it's Unitarians we're emailing, so tailor your language to your audience. If you don't know what language to use with Unitarians, look at the tone I take in my email... I really think that's the way to go.


----------- Begin Email ---------

Hi. I'm with a group of concerned anti-racists trying to get to the bottom of a show in Philadelphia by a band called One Life Crew. If you're unclear why we would be taking issue with this band in particular, we'd like to point you to some links and lyric samples provided (for clarity sake) at the bottom of this email. We've tried speaking with Reverend Walker directly, but can't seem to express to him the urgency of this matter. We hope that you will take this matter seriously and examine how your power as an active member of the Unitarian Universalist church can be utilized through an action as small as a phone call. Please at least treat this with enough respect to delay the show until all the issues can be hashed out by the church as a whole. Issues that have the potential to affect the whole church, must be decided by the whole church.

In an issue this serious, there are a number of things to consider:

1) The danger: Whenever neo-nazis, racists, and homophobes gather in one place, there is an implicit danger. There is a danger of violence at the event, but more likely is the danger of violence after the event. It's never an intelligent move to get hate groups together in a room and get them amped up. After events of these kind, queer-bashing, immigrant-bashing, and other forms of right-wing hate-violence is a common occurrence. Rev. Walker claims his interest is in opening up a dialogue with these people who have opposing points of view. If this is the case a safer option would be for him to sit down and talk with them personally, in his office or in a public coffee shop. It is possible to open up a dialogue without lending tactical support.

2) The privilege: I shouldn't have to explain to a church like Unitarian Universalist that most of us have a certain amount of privilege, some earned, most unearned. By virtue of being, straight, white, male, financially-well-off, able-bodied, first-world, or some combination of these things, we have certain advantages. It is difficult if not impossible to completely eliminate these privileges from our day-to-day life. Even if we sincerely don't want them, we're given them by virtue of the society we live in. If we are to justify our actions as progressives, we can only seek to use our privilege as gatekeepers, using them in a way conscious of those who don't have the same privilege we do. By giving your privilege-megaphone to a racist, homophobic band with a neo-nazi following, you are making your church a non-safe-space for people of color and queers. We have a limited amount of resources at our disposal, in this case stage-time, and by allowing this event you are making a conscious decision regarding your church's priorities. This should come as an obvious statement to you, as it is written in your bylaws (Section C-2.3. See Bottom)

3) The reputation of your group: We live in a society that expresses itself beautifully via music. At this very moment there are surely hundreds of musicians who would love the opportunity to play in your beautiful Philadelphia ministry building. Out of all the potential musical acts to pick, you are choosing one whose politics are suspect at best. While in your heart-of-hearts you may disagree strongly with the message that OLC attempts to spread, there is no practical distinction to the outside observer between someone who supports racism ethically and someone who supports racism materially. This indiscretion will not soon be forgotten, and will tie the church's name to a brand of hatred I have no reason to believe it wishes to associate.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and remember: it takes a lot more work to undo a mistake of this caliber than it does to prevent it.

You can reach reverend Nate Walker at his cell at (215) 701-9072 or via the church office at (215) 563-3980, and if this is something you truly stand against, don't hesitate to call others in the church.

Links:

About Mexican immigrants:
"Bringing your infections/
don't infect our people/
we pay out of our pockets/
not for your fucking free rides"
* link to www.lyricsmania.com

On straight-edge violence
"why's the edge go so dull?/
I must make the BLOOD SHED RISE"
* link to www.lyricsmania.com

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_Life_Crew

Section C-2.3. Non-Discrimination.
The Association declares and affirms its special responsibility, and that of its member congregations and organizations, to promote the full participation of persons in all of its and their activities and in the full range of human endeavor without regard to race, ethnicity, gender, disability, affectional or sexual orientation, age, language, citizenship status, economic status, or national origin and without requiring adherence to any particular interpretation of religion or to any particular religious belief or creed.