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3 hours ago, The Nehor said:

No. Brigham Young does not fall in with Confederate war memorials. Brigham Young is not commemorated in the name of the university for fighting for or defending racial teachings. There is a reason protesters are not pulling down memorials to Washington and Jefferson even though they owned slaves and in that sense caused more real harm than Brigham Young who operated mostly in the theoretical in Utah where there were few people there to oppress with the teaching. Confederate war memorials and monuments all came up around the time of Jim Crow laws and during the Civil Rights movement primarily as monuments to institutionalized racism and a warning that some were not welcome. They were also celebrated primarily for their role in the war and not for other less racist achievements. Expecting people to be ahead of their time on racial issues to the point of discounting their other achievements is unwise. Celebrating someone primarily for their regressive views on race and (sometimes) their military ability put to use in treason against the nation “honoring” them is a signal that you want to hold onto those regressive views.

I do not think that there is a credible argument that President Young was the most successful white supremacist in American history. Those titles belong to those who created slavery, fought to maintain it, changed to systematic oppression politically and socially, and fought to maintain it. Giving the title to a guy who taught racist stuff in a pretty isolated area that consisted almost entirely of white people and native Americans seems very forced.

 

Screeds like Tasi’s often reduce to a matter of “the dog that didn’t bark”.  What did Tasi see that he isn’t telling us about—and why the omission?

Tasi witnessed Brigham’s teachings in action when as a lawyer, he saw abused women legally freed to divorce their husbands—as Brigham advocated.

Tasi saw Brigham’s teachings in action when he law children being attentively cared for by their parents—as Brigham advocated.

He saw Brigham’s teachings in action when he saw the construction of solid, habitable buildings and the cultivation of fertile fields and fragrant gardens on land that was formerly a barren desert wasteland—as Brigham advocated.

He saw Brigham’s teachings in action when he saw a Utah culture rife with the arts, painting, music, theater, education—as Brigham advocated.

He saw Brigham’s teachings in action when he saw the Gospel of Jesus Christ preached, brutality condemned, avarice rebuked, honesty and fairness promoted, generosity encouraged, substance abuse abandoned, laziness reviled, marital fidelity extolled, community-mindedness incentivized, covenants made and kept . . . all as Brigham advocated.

He saw Brigham’s teachings in action when he saw the storehouses, the hospitals—the poor fed, the ill tended, the sorrowful consoled, the visits made, the funeral potatoes baked—all as Brigham advocated.

One would think a person of Tasi Young’s experience, of all people, would be especially attenuated to thoroughness, nuance, and presenting all sides of a story . . .

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In the past, when this topic has been raised and I've shared the thread with my West Africa-born housemate, his responses have been unpublishable. He's a generally laid-back bloke, but few things set

Here: I add my meager voice to these.  Thanks, -Smac

Brigham Young was living during a time when some areas of medical science believed blacks had different blood, skin suited to extreme sun exposure, flatter feet, and different skulls that suited them

17 hours ago, The Nehor said:

No. Brigham Young does not fall in with Confederate war memorials. Brigham Young is not commemorated in the name of the university for fighting for or defending racial teachings. There is a reason protesters are not pulling down memorials to Washington and Jefferson even though they owned slaves and in that sense caused more real harm than Brigham Young who operated mostly in the theoretical in Utah where there were few people there to oppress with the teaching. Confederate war memorials and monuments all came up around the time of Jim Crow laws and during the Civil Rights movement primarily as monuments to institutionalized racism and a warning that some were not welcome. They were also celebrated primarily for their role in the war and not for other less racist achievements. Expecting people to be ahead of their time on racial issues to the point of discounting their other achievements is unwise. Celebrating someone primarily for their regressive views on race and (sometimes) their military ability put to use in treason against the nation “honoring” them is a signal that you want to hold onto those regressive views.

I do not think that there is a credible argument that President Young was the most successful white supremacist in American history. Those titles belong to those who created slavery, fought to maintain it, changed to systematic oppression politically and socially, and fought to maintain it. Giving the title to a guy who taught racist stuff in a pretty isolated area that consisted almost entirely of white people and native Americans seems very forced.

 

None of the examples you gave pretended to be prophets who claimed to speak for God.  On the matter of race, Brigham claimed he was speaking God's will.  I think that represents the main issue here.  If someone who is Mormon and black goes to BYU, what is that person to make of the name?  That one legacy of the person who the school is named for is racism.  And that racism was not just a result of him being stuck in his day, embracing popularly held views.  Nope.  His taught racism was said to be from God.  And much of the Church believes Brigham was right.  They defend Mormon racism of the past by saying things like, "it was GOd's will to implement the priesthood ban" or something.  In this way, his legacy of racism lives on in Mormonism--it was at one time God's will (that grand fickle one).  

Keeping Brigham's name leaves doors open that should be shut.  Taking his name off the school, speaks loudly the words the Church wishes to embrace but fails too--we condemn racism in all it's forms.  As it is, any member can look back and say, "Racism is God's will".

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On 6/13/2020 at 2:12 PM, Meadowchik said:

Repentance is more than change. 

Changing to be in alignment with God's will is the most important part. And when it comes to race issues the church has changed - significantly; especially over the last 50 years. 

What else do you want? 

 

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3 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

If someone who is Mormon and black goes to BYU, what is that person to make of the name? 

That it was named after the second prophet of the last dispensation - the one who settled the Saints in Utah and (more importantly) happened to have actually founded the university. 

Just a guess. 

 

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38 minutes ago, Amulek said:

That it was named after the second prophet of the last dispensation - the one who settled the Saints in Utah and (more importantly) happened to have actually founded the university. 

Just a guess. 

 

Sure.  If that's all it was.  Sadly, we've seen too many problems with race to forget his legacy of telling us all racism is God-ordained.  I wonder, though, if the big issue with making the change is simply, we can't close that door to racism because it's still possible God ordained it the way it played out.  If they change the name perhaps in their minds they are admitting that Brigham while claiming to speak for God was wrong.  The ramifications might be too troubling for them to accept?

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1 hour ago, stemelbow said:

None of the examples you gave pretended to be prophets who claimed to speak for God.  On the matter of race, Brigham claimed he was speaking God's will.  I think that represents the main issue here.  If someone who is Mormon and black goes to BYU, what is that person to make of the name?  That one legacy of the person who the school is named for is racism.  And that racism was not just a result of him being stuck in his day, embracing popularly held views.  Nope.  His taught racism was said to be from God.  And much of the Church believes Brigham was right.  They defend Mormon racism of the past by saying things like, "it was GOd's will to implement the priesthood ban" or something.  In this way, his legacy of racism lives on in Mormonism--it was at one time God's will (that grand fickle one).  

Keeping Brigham's name leaves doors open that should be shut.  Taking his name off the school, speaks loudly the words the Church wishes to embrace but fails too--we condemn racism in all it's forms.  As it is, any member can look back and say, "Racism is God's will".

Oh no! Brigham was human?!?!?!  Everyone run for the hills. BY was not perfect like all the prophets in the OT, well, not really those prophets. It was the apostles in the NT; well, not those guys either. Well, he was not perfect like God. 

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2 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

Sadly, we've seen too many problems with race to forget his legacy of telling us all racism is God-ordained. 

What problems with race are you referring to? Specifically, what problems with race do you think a hypothetical black BYU student - born decades after the priesthood ban ended, remember - has seen too much of?

 

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I wonder, though, if the big issue with making the change is simply, we can't close that door to racism because it's still possible God ordained it the way it played out. 

A legitimate "big issue" with changing the name of the university would be something like "brand recognition."

Heck, I read an article about a university in Georgia which changed names and it cost them $4 million just to replace all of the signs. 

Not to mention potential drop-offs with donors for fundraising, etc.

I'm sorry, but the kind of stuff you are talking about is so far down on the list of things that would actually need to be considered as to be functionally useless. 

 

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If they change the name perhaps in their minds they are admitting that Brigham while claiming to speak for God was wrong.  The ramifications might be too troubling for them to accept?

There's nothing in our religious paradigm which requires prophets to be infallible. I honestly don't see why you think this would be difficult for people to deal with. 

 

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14 minutes ago, Storm Rider said:

Oh no! Brigham was human?!?!?!  Everyone run for the hills. BY was not perfect like all the prophets in the OT, well, not really those prophets. It was the apostles in the NT; well, not those guys either. Well, he was not perfect like God. 

Great.  I'd agree with this.  If it's true that Brigham was wrong about the things he claimed were from God, then let's hear it.  Let's settle the matter right now.  

 

8 minutes ago, Amulek said:

What problems with race are you referring to? Specifically, what problems with race do you think a hypothetical black BYU student - born decades after the priesthood ban ended, remember - has seen too much of?

Racism.    

 

11 minutes ago, Amulek said:

A legitimate "big issue" with changing the name of the university would be something like "brand recognition."

Heck, I read an article about a university in Georgia which changed names and it cost them $4 million just to replace all of the signs. 

Not to mention potential drop-offs with donors for fundraising, etc.

I'm sorry, but the kind of stuff you are talking about is so far down on the list of things that would actually need to be considered as to be functionally useless. 

Absolutely an odd argument considering President Nelson's campaigns against formerly embraced nicknames.  What's a comparative few bucks, as the Church certainly has to spend, compared to the lasting and courageous sacrifice for some of our own?    

 

13 minutes ago, Amulek said:

There's nothing in our religious paradigm which requires prophets to be infallible. I honestly don't see why you think this would be difficult for people to deal with. 

People deal lightly with difficult issues all the time.  But again, if Brigham was wrong about it, then plainly, clearly, unequivocally say so.  The Church can easily say "Brigham was, without a doubt, absolutely wrong to implement the ban, even though he claimed it was God-inspired.  He was plain wrong.  There's no question about it.  Prophets have spoken presumptuously, claiming their words to be God's and as a result have hurt people, have caused us embarrassment and we need to be more careful about that.  This presumptuousness has happened, and it will perhaps happen again, or might be happening currently.  We don't know."  

If the Church would say something like that, then perhaps the name change thing would be less important.  

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Is anyone thinking of changing the name of the capital of the USA,  it seems to have been named after a famous slave owner? 

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46 minutes ago, stemelbow said:
1 hour ago, Amulek said:

Specifically, what problems with race do you think a hypothetical black BYU student - born decades after the priesthood ban ended, remember - has seen too much of?

Racism.    

In church? Poppycock. 

I don't know where you live, but I've spent the balance of the last 20 years here in the South - which is the time-frame you're talking about - and I've yet to see any problems with racism at church. 

In fact, the last time I remember somebody even getting close to that was during a Fast and Testimony meeting several years ago.

Based on how our Stake Conference fell, we ended up having Fast and Testimony meeting on a Sunday right around the anniversary of September 11th. We had a kind, elderly gentleman from our ward get up and talk about how he grew up in the middle east and had to live through constant insurgent attacks from Muslims and how much he hated them. I mean, really hated them. Like, the kind of deep, seething hatred that can only come from seeing your family, friends, and loved ones killed by an enemy. And how that hatred built by seeing the same thing over and over again, year after year. 

Honestly, it was getting really uncomfortable; I mean, he was really going on and on about badly he hated them. I couldn't believe the bishop didn't shut off the mic. 

And then he talked about how the Atonement of Jesus Christ was able to heal him and remove all of the hate and prejudice that he had ever felt from his heart. It was absolutely amazing. 

 

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Absolutely an odd argument considering President Nelson's campaigns against formerly embraced nicknames. 

Only Brigham Young University isn't a nickname: it's actually the formal name of the university

 

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What's a comparative few bucks, as the Church certainly has to spend, compared to the lasting and courageous sacrifice for some of our own?

Lasting and courageous sacrifice? Please. 

Let's bring a dash of reality to this discussion: I have yet to meet a single black member of the church (and I have known many) who wants to rename BYU. Have you?

 

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People deal lightly with difficult issues all the time.  But again, if Brigham was wrong about it, then plainly, clearly, unequivocally say so.  The Church can easily say "Brigham was, without a doubt, absolutely wrong to implement the ban, even though he claimed it was God-inspired.  He was plain wrong.  There's no question about it.  Prophets have spoken presumptuously, claiming their words to be God's and as a result have hurt people, have caused us embarrassment and we need to be more careful about that.  This presumptuousness has happened, and it will perhaps happen again, or might be happening currently.  We don't know."  

If the Church would say something like that, then perhaps the name change thing would be less important.  

In my opinion, there's no need for the church to say anything like that. And as time goes on, it will become increasingly less relevant. 

 

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2 hours ago, stemelbow said:

None of the examples you gave pretended to be prophets who claimed to speak for God.  On the matter of race, Brigham claimed he was speaking God's will.  I think that represents the main issue here.  If someone who is Mormon and black goes to BYU, what is that person to make of the name?  That one legacy of the person who the school is named for is racism.  And that racism was not just a result of him being stuck in his day, embracing popularly held views.  Nope.  His taught racism was said to be from God.  And much of the Church believes Brigham was right.  They defend Mormon racism of the past by saying things like, "it was GOd's will to implement the priesthood ban" or something.  In this way, his legacy of racism lives on in Mormonism--it was at one time God's will (that grand fickle one).  

Keeping Brigham's name leaves doors open that should be shut.  Taking his name off the school, speaks loudly the words the Church wishes to embrace but fails too--we condemn racism in all it's forms.  As it is, any member can look back and say, "Racism is God's will".

The ultimate harm done in the name of racism is saying it came from God.

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6 minutes ago, Amulek said:

In church? Poppycock. 

I don't know where you live, but I've spent the balance of the last 20 years here in the South - which is the time-frame you're talking about - and I've yet to see any problems with racism at church. 

In fact, the last time I remember somebody even getting close to that was during a Fast and Testimony meeting several years ago.

Based on how our Stake Conference fell, we ended up having Fast and Testimony meeting on a Sunday right around the anniversary of September 11th. We had a kind, elderly gentleman from our ward get up and talk about how he grew up in the middle east and had to live through constant insurgent attacks from Muslims and how much he hated them. I mean, really hated them. Like, the kind of deep, seething hatred that can only come from seeing your family, friends, and loved ones killed by an enemy. And how that hatred built by seeing the same thing over and over again, year after year. 

Honestly, it was getting really uncomfortable; I mean, he was really going on and on about badly he hated them. I couldn't believe the bishop didn't shut off the mic. 

And then he talked about how the Atonement of Jesus Christ was able to heal him and remove all of the hate and prejudice that he had ever felt from his heart. It was absolutely amazing. 

I do believe you're missing the point.  If someone who is say 20 and is a black member of the Church and goes to BYU, has experienced racism in his/her life and knows of the racist things Brigham and others, mind you, have said and feels the Church is not being clear about the ban that Brigham implemented and claimed to be from God, then the latent effects from his legacy might still persist.  When I said racism you seem intent on seeing it as something you can see, something you can only identify if you hear it clearly.  That's not always the issue when it comes to this topic.  It is perhaps true that you simply don't have ears to hear.  

6 minutes ago, Amulek said:

 

Only Brigham Young University isn't a nickname: it's actually the formal name of the university

 

Lasting and courageous sacrifice? Please. 

Let's bring a dash of reality to this discussion: I have yet to meet a single black member of the church (and I have known many) who wants to rename BYU. Have you?

Yes.  Do you really think South Korean members are behind this?  I mean some might support it, but, yes there are black members who would like to see it changed.  

6 minutes ago, Amulek said:

 

 

In my opinion, there's no need for the church to say anything like that. And as time goes on, it will become increasingly less relevant. 

 

As we push it to the dustbin of history sure.  But, as it were, it remains a relic of the problem of the religion.  Unless addressed squarely and properly, it'll simply stay bubbling under the surface.  

14 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

The ultimate harm done in the name of racism is saying it came from God.

Thanks Tacenda.  Agreed.

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Stemelbow and Tacenda

Benjamin Franklin owned slaves. Send me all of your Benjis and I will dispose of them for you.

 

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1 hour ago, stemelbow said:

I do believe you're missing the point. 

I don't believe I am.

 

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If someone who is say 20 and is a black member of the Church and goes to BYU, has experienced racism in his/her life and knows of the racist things Brigham and others, mind you, have said and feels the Church is not being clear about the ban that Brigham implemented and claimed to be from God, then the latent effects from his legacy might still persist. 

Again, what "latent effects from [Brigham Young's] legacy" do you think exist at BYU today? 

 

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When I said racism you seem intent on seeing it as something you can see, something you can only identify if you hear it clearly.  That's not always the issue when it comes to this topic. 

Racism isn't some nebulous concept that just floats around like the Ether. It is prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed at somebody based on their (actual or perceived) racial or ethnic group.

If it's happening, it can be identified. 

 

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It is perhaps true that you simply don't have ears to hear.  

Puh-lease. :rolleyes:

 

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Let's bring a dash of reality to this discussion: I have yet to meet a single black member of the church (and I have known many) who wants to rename BYU. Have you?

Yes.

  If you say so.

 

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Do you really think South Korean members are behind this? 

Honestly, the majority of the people I see talking about it are white males, like this guy here: https://www.change.org/p/lds-church-change-the-name-of-brigham-young-university

As I said before, I have never had a single black friend (member or otherwise) who has cared that BYU was named after Brigham Young. 

 

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As we push it to the dustbin of history sure.  But, as it were, it remains a relic of the problem of the religion.  Unless addressed squarely and properly, it'll simply stay bubbling under the surface.  

Oh, I agree that there are agitators who will persist in bringing it up for quite some time. I just don't think they will be effective - especially as time passes and more and more people have been members of the Church who - throughout their entire lives - has done nothing but preach and teach against the evils of racism. 

 

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44 minutes ago, Amulek said:

As I said before, I have never had a single black friend (member or otherwise) who has cared that BYU was named after Brigham Young. 

Has it ever been actually discussed as a realistic possibility in the past?  If not, why would someone waste energy on something that is not changing?

As far as racism at church, I think those most likely to experience it are more likely to be aware of it than those who would be most likely observing it in passing. 
 

There are other forms of racism besides hatred.  

 

Edited by Calm
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22 minutes ago, Amulek said:

I don't believe I am.

 

Again, what "latent effects from [Brigham Young's] legacy" do you think exist at BYU today? 

I will leave with this bit of explanation.  THis is not an easy discussion to engage in for a number of reasons.  "racism" is thrown out way too cavalierly for one.  Another, the concerns involving race are dismissed way too cavalierly.  It feels like in today's climate there are so many people sitting at the poles of this topic ready to attack based on shallow immeasurable unverifiable miscues.  So with that said, while I agree there is far less blatant racism at BYU then there likely was 30 or 60 or 70 years ago (a sure sign of progress all around) I also do not think we are free from racism.  

22 minutes ago, Amulek said:

Racism isn't some nebulous concept that just floats around like the Ether. It is prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed at somebody based on their (actual or perceived) racial or ethnic group.

If it's happening, it can be identified. 

 

Puh-lease. :rolleyes:

 

  If you say so.

 

Honestly, the majority of the people I see talking about it are white males, like this guy here: https://www.change.org/p/lds-church-change-the-name-of-brigham-young-university

As I said before, I have never had a single black friend (member or otherwise) who has cared that BYU was named after Brigham Young. 

Ok.  if you haven't seen it.  I have.  

22 minutes ago, Amulek said:

 

Oh, I agree that there are agitators who will persist in bringing it up for quite some time. I just don't think they will be effective - especially as time passes and more and more people have been members of the Church who - throughout their entire lives - has done nothing but preach and teach against the evils of racism. 

 

If you say so.  

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oLast night our stake held an online meeting for everyone about racism and what we as individuals can do about it. There were five members that spoke - each was black and had been converted to the church during the last 30 some years.  

One individual, in particular, was interesting to me. The question was what words or actions of racism did they confront on a daily basis. The four found racism in the way they felt entering stores or looked at by their workmates and several far more egregious examples. However, this one individual stated she was from Trinidad and grew up thinking of everyone, regardless of color, national origin, etc., as being one. Her response was none. When some looked angry or ignored her, she stated it was her perspective that they were having a bad day or just woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Her position was it was all about perspective and because of her culture she really did not see racism easily.

This meant something to me because it seems like if there is an interaction between a white and black person, it is racism and nothing else is possible. If we see two people of different colors arguing it is only because of racism and nothing else. If that is really true, racism has lost all meaning. I know what prejudice is; I know individuals who dislike others simply because of the color of their skin. I know very few of these individuals now and seldom interact with them. However, I know far more people who have conflict with many other people regardless of their color. 

I saw a quote on Facebook a few days ago.  It stated, "I am going to ask you to stop calling me a black man and I will not identify you as a white man any longer."  I think we might actually progress if we all did this.

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3 minutes ago, Storm Rider said:

know what prejudice is; I know individuals who dislike others simply because of the color of their skin. I know very few of these individuals now and seldom interact with them. However, I know far more people who have conflict with many other people regardless of their color. 

It is not just about conflict.

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43 minutes ago, Calm said:

It is not just about conflict.

We can call conflict many things: prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism to hatred. Conflict is not physical; belittling other races may not be always overt. I don't think it is necessary read the word conflict through a strong sieve; it is just laziness on my part in not fully explaining the full definition about a word everyone here grasps pretty well. 

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Did you watch the video I posted?  While from a humorous approach, do you see the corresponding real life experiences of those examples as "conflict"?

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1 hour ago, stemelbow said:

I will leave with this bit of explanation.  THis is not an easy discussion to engage in for a number of reasons.  "racism" is thrown out way too cavalierly for one.  Another, the concerns involving race are dismissed way too cavalierly.  It feels like in today's climate there are so many people sitting at the poles of this topic ready to attack based on shallow immeasurable unverifiable miscues.  So with that said, while I agree there is far less blatant racism at BYU then there likely was 30 or 60 or 70 years ago (a sure sign of progress all around) I also do not think we are free from racism.  

I appreciate your thoughts. And I agree that we aren't living in a post-racial society.

I just happen to also believe that having BYU remain being named after its founder has no meaningful impact on our progress toward that end. 

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Please visit my post outside this here dogpound:  

 

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1 hour ago, Calm said:

Has it ever been actually discussed as a realistic possibility in the past?  If not, why would someone waste energy on something that is not changing?

When you get people talking they vent their concerns - even about things that will never realistically change. 

Not to get political, but as an analogy, my friends all know that I vote Libertarian each election - even though I know full-well that my vote doesn't really matter and that the two-party system will probably never change. But despite the fact that it will never change, I continue to vote the way I prefer and my friends all know it.

I think the same holds true with my minority friends with respect to race related topics. I've listened to their large and small concerns over the years. And during that time I've heard plenty of complaints about BYU, but none of those have ever had to do with the university being named after Brigham Young.

While there may be some exceptions, I honestly don't think it's a big deal for most people. And I think a big reason for that is due to the fact that, despite some modern efforts to focus on his comments regarding race, Brigham Young was much, much more than those comments. He still appears in US History textbooks to this day, and that doesn't have anything to do with race. 

 

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As far as racism at church, I think those most likely to experience it are more likely to be aware of it than those who would be most likely observing it in passing. 

To be clear, when I say I don't see racism at church I am talking about institutional racism (i.e., preached from the pulpit, endorsed from the lectern, etc.). 

I obviously cannot observe every single interaction taking place between everyone who has ever entered the building.

 

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There are other forms of racism besides hatred.  

Thanks for sharing that video. I think it may have come up before in a previous discussion. Regardless, I found it just as humorous as I did then.

Question though: Do you think all stereotypes based on race are, by definition, racist? 

 

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2 hours ago, Storm Rider said:

oLast night our stake held an online meeting for everyone about racism and what we as individuals can do about it. There were five members that spoke - each was black and had been converted to the church during the last 30 some years.  

One individual, in particular, was interesting to me. The question was what words or actions of racism did they confront on a daily basis. The four found racism in the way they felt entering stores or looked at by their workmates and several far more egregious examples. However, this one individual stated she was from Trinidad and grew up thinking of everyone, regardless of color, national origin, etc., as being one. Her response was none. When some looked angry or ignored her, she stated it was her perspective that they were having a bad day or just woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Her position was it was all about perspective and because of her culture she really did not see racism easily.

This meant something to me because it seems like if there is an interaction between a white and black person, it is racism and nothing else is possible. If we see two people of different colors arguing it is only because of racism and nothing else. If that is really true, racism has lost all meaning. I know what prejudice is; I know individuals who dislike others simply because of the color of their skin. I know very few of these individuals now and seldom interact with them. However, I know far more people who have conflict with many other people regardless of their color. 

I saw a quote on Facebook a few days ago.  It stated, "I am going to ask you to stop calling me a black man and I will not identify you as a white man any longer."  I think we might actually progress if we all did this.

It's certainly a fair point.  Perceived racism is a problem sitting amongst us, I think.  how much it is so, is hard to say.  

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