Thanksgiving is over, and now people turn their attention toward Christmas.
In many communities across America, if it hasn’t emerged already, the season will be a time for the Salvation Army’s army of volunteers to ring their bells and encourage passersby to help its anti-poverty cause with donations to its familiar red kettles.
It’s the time of year when the longtime Christian charity is most visible in the communities where it operates.
But after 130 years of trying to help the poor with its kettle drive, the Salvation Army is trying something different with the 2021 campaign.
It’s playing on white guilt.
The idea actually surfaced quietly a few months ago, when the Army released a document called “Let’s Talk About Racism.” Although approved by the organization’s international wing, the publication noted that “this resource is designed to foster conversations about racism and race so that we can join together to fight the evil of racism and create a more just and equitable society,” and did so “within the context of the United States of America (USA), and in particular the African American experience.”
“Racism is very real for our brothers and sisters who are refused jobs and housing, denied basic rights and brutalized and oppressed simply because of the color of their skin,” the document says. The Army noted that it is “with regret, that Salvationists have sometimes shared in the sins of racism and conformed to economic, organizational and social pressures that perpetuate racism.”
And under the heading “What do we hope to achieve?,” the Army added as one of its goals for donors, “Lament, repent and apologize for biases or racist ideologies held and actions committed.”
There is little doubt this is targeted at white donors, considering the organization developed the document about racism within the “context” of the “African American experience.”
In another section – entitled “What is Whiteness?” – the Army offers guidance to white Americans on their collective shortcomings. And as some advice to overcome their “whiteness,” the Army recommends steps such as:
- Stop denying the existence of individual and systemic racism, which not only exist but are “still at work to keep White Americans in power.”
- Quit being defensive about being called racist. “We have to stop taking discussions about racism as a personal attack and instead be open to hearing about our blind spots. We all carry some bias, and the only way we will get past it is to talk about it.”
- Check whether they “operate in completely White spaces.”
- Become aware of their bias. “None of us are free of bias, we are all fallen, so earnestly learn about how you need to change.”
- Stop denying that White privilege exists and learn how it supports racial inequity. “You may not feel privileged, but it is likely that you have been excused from numerous negative experiences, as well as benefitted positively simply because of your Whiteness.”
- For a second time, understand that “Racism is not an individual act, it is systemic and institutional. … It began with slavery … and it is still strongly felt in every aspect of American life.”
- Additionally, stop trying to be “colorblind.” “Being colorblind ignores the discrimination our Black and Brown brothers and sisters face and does not allow us to address racism properly.”
And in case you thought you could see the world as black and white on race – or brown and other hues, depending on whom you encounter each day – the Army wants you to understand you are wrong.
“Race is not biological. It is a social construct. There is no gene or cluster of genes common to all Blacks or all Whites,” the document states. “A person who could be categorized as Black in the USA might be considered White in Brazil or colored in South Africa.”
In response to an inquiry from Newsweek about the Army’s new woke bible, a spokesperson denied it represented anything new, saying “Our beliefs have always been rooted in scripture, and they still are. That includes our complete rejection of racism, which is in stark contrast to the biblical principle that we’re all created in the image of God. We believe that, as God loves us all, so we should all love one another.”
Of course, as shown by the guide’s bibliography, the Army’s inspiration is not drawn from history-making “anti-racists” like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks and Roy Wilkins, but rather the new high priests of wokeness, including Kendi, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Michael Eric Dyson, and Robin DiAngelo.
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