Racism Among Traditional Catholics on Facebook – Say It Isn’t So – Part I
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2020 Update – the 2020 Racial Riots
With the recent news events, I thought I’d update my experience, discussed in the post below from 2015. Part II can be found here.
This is not a popular topic among white-American Catholics. In fact, you are called racist for trying to be “divisive”. However, I think it is a conversation we should continue to have.
I continue to see comments from Traditional Catholics celebrating “white pride” and threads that imply Catholicism is somehow linked to Nationalistic thought.
So things haven’t changed that much, unfortunately.
What has been your experience?
Original 2015 Post
“I believe segregation was good. There’s a reason why God had different races. Race mixing is disgusting and ungodly”, so said a white Catholic Facebook group member.
Wait. How did I find myself in a meeting of the Aryan youth? Most importantly, how did I get in with my dark skin? I’m being facetious about numbering myself among the Aryan youth, but over the four years that I have been a traditional Catholic and involved in Catholic Facebook groups, I have found myself suddenly transported into an era where blacks are called animals and monkeys and “Moriscos (Moors), where people are comfortable posting that the black community causes all the problems within America due to the high crime rates and illegitimacy rates (a favorite topic), and implying that they deserve any undue police brutality because “all lives matter”. Don’t let me start on the Jew hate.
Whoa! I didn’t find any of these teachings in the Catechism of the Catholic Church – not even in the Baltimore or Catechism of Trent!
Now granted, all these loud purveyors of heresy – yes it is heresy to believe that God would condone racism when he created us in all of our beautiful phenotype variety – would probably never daretheir mouths offline. Fortunately, most people who have been raised correctly have filters and don’t just blurt out every thought that enters their heads. The anonymity of the internet makes shy introverts aggressive and removes any filter that a decent person might have. Some might say, “It’s the internet. Get over it.” Interestingly, however real friendships are forged on Facebook with people even meeting each other offline. Gone are the days when the internet was not meshed with our offline lives. We are always connected, so it hurts when you see some of the “friends” you laugh with, pray with and counsel, make racially-tinged comments or “like” the comments of their more obviously racist friends.
I am thankful I attend a parish in NYC that has all sorts of races and ethnicities and I very rarely hear any ignorant comments and if one or two slip by, I know it is not on purpose. This is why I was taken by surprise by the rampant racism found on Facebook and it’s awkward as heck to then see some of these same people at different parishes.
By the way, just in case you think I’m making this racist stuff up, a friend of mine recommended this book to me: Desegregating the Altar: The Josephites and the Struggle for Black Priests, 1871–1960.
So what makes the traditional Catholic more likely to be inflicted with this disease? It all comes to exposure.
- Black America is very protestant with 45% being Baptist and only 5% being Catholic. In fact, I was raised Baptist and Pentecostal. So we are a rare breed in Catholicism in the US, but we exist in higher numbers in the West Indies as well as Latin and South American countries.
- Traditional Catholicism is very Eurocentric with a plethora of European Saints and Popes, the soaring beauty of polyphony & Gregorian chant, pious European practices & of course the transforming power of Latin. Therefore there are less African-Americans naturally attracted to the Traditional Latin Mass liturgy.
- Some of these race haters live in areas of the U.S. where they don’t often mingle with blacks and when they do, the exposure is limited to the ghetto variety, so rely on those impressions and statistics, which they love to quote. However, everyone has a “Russell” at their parish who is a dear, black man that everyone loves, of course.
So what is the solution? The solution is many conversations, but the conversations have to come from a good place. Ask questions that do no not have an agenda and use common sense.
Don’t ask a black person, “Why are black people always blaming white people for their mess?” An empowering question might be, “In your opinion, what role do whites or have whites played in the state of black communities today and how can everyone work together to change that?” Now you might personally feel that it’s time for black people to move on, but by asking the question that way you might get some insight. Facebook is a way to bridge the understanding gap but only if everyone is open-minded and sensitive to people’s perceived injuries.
Last thing. Stop using Catholicism to justify the denial of racial disparity. It exists. Catholics took part in the Civil Rights movement and traditional Catholics should have ZERO tolerance whatsoever for racists.
St Martin de Porres, ora pro nobis.
Read Racism Among Traditional Catholics on Facebook – Say It Isn’t So – Part II.
– Racial Justice and the Catholic Church by Fr Bryan N. Massingale
– Who Are You? What is Your Faith?: America’s 21st Century Alt-Right and Catholic Social Doctrine
– Desegregating the Altar: The Josephites and the Struggle for Black Priests, 1871–1960
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I will say from the perspective of a white person that most people involved in slavery in America were British, or to a lesser degree, French in ancestry. Those from other backgrounds were not really involved in this so it is difficult for us to all be lumped together and tarred with the same brush. Having said that I will say that whites from all cultures tend to have a tribalistic viewpoint which tends to exclude anyone not of their culture. And this also true of blacks but since in the case of the African Americans they were economically at a disadvantage due their earlier situation (before the United States Constitution was changed to put them legally on an even footing with whites) the impact of their own cultural bias on institutions was all but nonexistent. We all need to work to establish a government which reflects the Christian outlook. It’s going to take efforts from whites and blacks and other ethnicities to accomplish this. Stereotyping blacks doesn’t help make things better. Romanticizing gang life doesn’t help either (and white musical entrepreneurs have, for financial reasons, had a large role in this). We have our work cut out for us for sure. But Rad Trad racism, Antisemitism and misogyny need to be rooted out completely. They give a bad and utterly false impression of Catholicism.
Your post is spot on!
Many of these people could benefit from a severe thrashing. The only caveat I would add is that I suspect such bigotry is exaggerated because they’re on the Internet, and as we all know, people on the internet don’t think of the people they’re chatting with as real. I warrant that these people would never say such things to your face, & I strongly suspect that it would never actually occur to them if they were speaking to you in the flesh, a living human being. I also think that because of the unreality factor of the Internet, they are not as genuinely bigoted as their statements. Not that that excuses this in the slightest, but I find that people tend to adopt extreme positions on the Internet, as if they’re playing some sort of game. I certainly hope, for the sake of their souls, that they don’t believe anything so vile.
I pray that is the case. Most people wouldn’t be so bold, but would they be thinking it?
Catholics walk that tight rope between Ethnocentrism and Universalism. Like a lot of things, the power of the Catholic Faith is to create syntheses, rather than merely chose one at the expense of the other.
We as a people are to value the Virtues, to dispose us to the Grace of God. The Virtue of Humility and Magnanimity (another dynamic tension) are to be celebrated, both within our individual lives and lives of peoples [ie. community, regions, and nations]. The Magnanimity to enjoy the Good we produce, to preserve it, and perfect it insofar as we can. Likewise, with the Humility to acknowledge the failures we do as well – both individually and collectively. In the hopes of achieving not only a more just and equitable society, but also a more sanctified society. — This is the understanding we should have in place for the Ethnocentric Side of Things.
Also, God has made all people in His Image and Likeness as such all are to be accorded with Dignity and Respect. For we know all too well, that the Sanctifying Grace of God was at many times in those who were despised, disadvantaged, and frail [in some way or another] in order to shame the Strong – that is to remind us that Grace is above Nature. With this metaphysical view in place, let it be known that Racism [belief in superiority because of ‘my blood’] is contrary to The Gospel (cf. Gal 3:29) it is inherently materialistic and as such not grounded in the spiritual. Not only is it materialistic, it is also distinctly Jewish (cf. John 8:33-39) mentality and should be thoroughly rejected.
In these times, of greater racial consciousness due threats against those who are unaware of their own ironic racism, we must be careful not to fall into the trap of hating people because of who they are in the things that they cannot control. If you get angry, get angry because they are toppling statues [which is a mix of people mind you] not because they are merely “black or brown or white.” I remind you I know people of varying skin tones who are better Catholics than I and as such I will not permit myself to cover my inferiority with a bloated superiority of my European lineage, to me it is grasping at straw.
Finally, I remind you that at the end of the world, all of the accomplishments and monuments in the City of Man, will be wiped away. I remind you that all knowledge will be turned to dust. Every accomplishment tested in fire. We should be careful not allow ourselves to become so overly attached like as if our home was on earth – like the Godless Heathens think – and remind ourselves thoroughly that our King and His Kingdom are not of this world (cf. John 18:36).
This however, should not be interpreted as cowardice. I would love to stand ready like the Proud Boys and be ready to meet the Heathen Marxists and Nihilists Vandals trying to undo every fabric of human civilization, on the field of battle and go DEVS VULT on their ass.
Ok WHAT? You are aware the Proud Boys are white supremicists right?