🌟Rotary's Four Way Test🌟
1) Is it the truth?
2) Is it fair to all concerned?
3) Will it build goodwill and better friendships?
4) Will it be beneficial to all concerned?
Before my most recent Rotary meeting, the president approached me privately and asked if I'd like to say a few words. (I'd been making a respectful but vocal stink about Rotary's response/ lack of response to George Floyd's murder and the Black Lives Matter movement. You can read some of that exchange here.) So I did say a few words, and let's just say that feathers were RANKLED. I was interrupted many times, often to be told by the speaker that "I won't sit here and be preached to." And yet. I held my ground. I anchored to my palace of peace. I took deep, meditative breaths and would not sit down and shut up as they so clearly hoped I would do.
After the meeting, I had a group of anti-groupies waiting to speak with me.
One white man who had almost abandoned the meeting earlier from being so piping mad at me, said: “I’ve been in Rotary for fifty years, and it’s not for everyone. You should take a good look at yourself and ask if Rotary isn’t a good fit.” I asked if I could quote him on that and he agreed. The thing is: I ask myself who I want to be with every breath I take. With every sentence I utter. I made that promise to myself when Marshall died. I sure know who I am and I thought I knew what Rotary was about... but maybe there's an unwritten code? Maybe Rotary just says they are all about making the world a better place, but what they really mean is 'as long as you don't rock the boat'?
The next man, who also gave me permission to quote him, said he had some advice for me. This seemed odd, as I hadn’t requested his counsel, and yet, I listened. “If you want people to listen to you,” he said, “you can’t be so accusatory.” I asked him in what way I had been accusatory. He said “when you say ‘white privilege’ THAT is accusatory.”
Our district governor, who I’ve reached out to on multiple occasions, and who has only responded once, is slated to be our guest speaker at Rotary this upcoming week. The president of the club has explained to me that she’s not going to really “get into” the racial injustice stuff.
I’ve seen multiple futures in my crystal ball, but I would LOVE to know what YOU think of all this. Honestly, dear reader: what would YOU do? Comments are welcome, dissent is encouraged, meanness is NOT tolerated. In peace,
Rotary district 5100, Jo Crenshaw ,institutional racism, racism in rotary, is rotary racist, speaking truth to power, standing up for what is right, stand for something even if it means losing everything, antiracist, anti-racist, example of white privilege
Just maybe TRY saying it with love in your heart instead of anger. Maybe just TRY saying those words in a different tone, with a different heart. I can promise you something: miracles will ensue. #alllivesmatter #miracles
Her'es another pitch for a segment of a variety show:
1. Gather anonymously-submitted "is it racist?" questions. For example: "is it racist naming your white child after a Black hero?" or "is it racist to say 'can I get an AMEN?' after you've said something passionately in public?" or "is it racist to ask of someone's boyfriend, who is South African, what color he is?" or "is it racist when you ask your Indian friend an Indian question, but the question is about a tribe that your Indian friend doesn't belong to?"
2. Film the host of the show reading one of the questions.
3. Cut to any number of responses from "experts." In my imagination, it's Ava DuVernay and Maha Dakhil and Cornel West and Ali Wong and so on... But really, anybody who has personal experience and/ or academic/ life knowledge would be qualified.
4. Sit back and watch the REAL questions roll in! And watch how many of us will be eager to know the answer(s) to questions we've been too afraid to ask. (Feel free to LEAVE YOUR QUESTION ANONYMOUSLY IN THE COMMENTS BELOW!!!)
5. Yes, I know, this is not about ME and MY fear. I'm just saying. I'm white and I want to help. And this is where my heart guided me when I asked 'what is MINE to do here?' Yeah that's right. My deepest heart was like 'VARIETY SHOW!!!!'