Home Forums Noticings… 191113 – Inaction

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    November 13, 2019

    I’m not sure you can be Canadian today and not know about the unfortunate incident that led to hockey TV personality Don Cherry being fired this week – and I’m not sure if you can avoid having an opinion about it. I preached last Sunday about getting our knickers in a knot about difficult topics, such as racism. And then God (or at least the hockey gods) handed me a real life case study. But I have been far more intrigued by the story of Don’s co-broadcaster Ron MacLean. His story, in my opinion, is the far more important one to learn from.

    So I decided to write this week’s Noticings expressing my views on this – and then on Tuesday the Moderator of our United Church of Canada, the Right Rev. Dr. Richard Bott (who you may remember visited us at Faith United earlier this year) posted the piece below, and he (as usual) said it far better than I could have. So I’ve reprinted his piece here. It’s about the ‘Ron MacLean’ in each of us. I hope you’ll read it and reflect on it prayerfully.

    [from our Moderator]
    I wonder if the response to Don Cherry’s racism will do anything to help the Ron MacLean in many of us who are white? I don’t watch Hockey Night in Canada. It’s just not my game. Because I was working to think in French, I didn’t get the chance to look at my social media feed until yesterday afternoon. It was alive with images, memes, call-outs and conversations, all about Coach’s Corner from Saturday.

    Watched the video. Got angry. I was angry at Don Cherry for his willful ignorance and overt racism.
    But then I found myself more upset when I watched with Ron MacLean, a person I respect, not challenging Don Cherry’s words.
    His silence dismayed me.

    Why was I upset with Ron?
    Because I could see white Canadian in what happened in that moment.
    Because I could see *me* in that moment.

    There are a whole bunch of people in Canada who are overtly racist. People who not only judge others by the colour of their skin, their birthplace, their heritage, their language and culture, but are willing to speak and act on those prejudices.

    But what we’ve got even more of are people (and I’m speaking of white folks here – racialized folks have good reasons for not responding to racism) who are unwilling to challenge people’s racism when we hear it and see it.

    I don’t know if it’s our “niceness” or our “not wanting to rock the boat,” or something else – but, whatever it is, we need to deal with it inside ourselves, and we need to realize that our silence is just as racist as the Don Cherrys in their bully pulpits, or the person hanging the black faces ghosts by their necks, or the person who posts anti-immigrant memes on their social media feeds.

    Ron MacLean apologized for his inaction. I’m glad. There have been times I’ve had to apologize for my actions, and my inactions.
    Apologies are important. Starting again is important.
    So is starting now.

    It isn’t going to be very long before the words – spoken and unspoken – on Coach’s Corner are forgotten. They’ll slide off our stream, and something else will take their place.
    But I hope we remember what happened, and, more than that, I hope it’ll kick those of us who need the kick, into being actively anti-racist.
    Into challenging racism when we see it.
    Into learning more about the racism inside ourselves that we can’t always see.
    Into changing this world, minute by minute, and situation by situation, that is just, equitable, and truly loving.

    [Thank you Richard!]

    Family Movie Night ~ Friday, Nov. 15th @ 6 PM

    Join us for Family Movie Nights – There’s lots of room to sit back and relax with your kids and friends. We’ve got popcorn, water and juice. We will be watching Happy Feet (for the younger audience) and How to Train Your Dragon 2, for older children.

    Admission: Free Will Offering.

    Songs For Sunday Night

    Here’s a way to make your Sunday Night Worship experience even better! Here’s a link to the songs we’ll be singing this week. Now you can listen to the songs before you come and enter into worship more fully! And if you can’t make it Sunday you can just click and listen for your own worship time. Sunday Nights at 7:15pm. (Bring a friend!)
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