The old refrain that white liberals are the bane of systemic change applies differently when we are looking at the record of white liberals during the first half of this country’s 240-year official history. This was a time when enlightened white reformers—and religiously motivated reformers in particular—exercised actual power. But the use they made of that power comprises a dismaying narrative of faulty assumptions, mixed motivations, and a deep-seated, if unacknowledged, racism.
Yes, I know “they all do it,” but today I’m going to pick on Yale.
Once again, RD’s editors have asked me to think about stories at the intersection of religion and culture that mainstream journalism passes over or treats inadequately. It takes a sour disposition to do this, and I’m pleased to say that mine qualifies. â€‹[We don’t agree, but we respect your right to self-definition. –The Eds.]
Please remember Frederick Douglass.