A Brief History of Racism in Watchtower Publications

by cedars 56 Replies latest watchtower scandals

  • Juan Viejo2
    Juan Viejo2

    BTW - I forgot to finish my story. My wife and I did get married at the Kingdom Hall and it had more attendees than a Sunday evening talk by the CO. It was packed. My wife eventually was baptized and remained a JW for a few years after I left the religion. We were together for almost ten years and have three daughters.

    But the whole controversy surrounding our Kingdom Hall wedding was one more straw on the stack that eventually led me to leave a few years later. Norvell and his sister's family moved to Georgia to serve where the "need was greater." I'm sure they saw a lot more discrimination in Athens, GA then they ever did in Riverside, CA - but still - discrimination is wrong no matter where it is practiced or how it is applied. A little bit of discrimination is just as bad as a lot of discrimination in my book, no matter who practices it.

    If the Watchtower was truly "God's nation," it would not have allowed discrimination due to ethnicity or race in any of its Kingdom Halls or as far as who they chose to be among their leaders. Good for Samuel Herd, but there should have been several on the Governing Body by now. We've have Australians and Germans and even (God forbid) and Irishman. With blacks, hispanics, Southeast Asians, and Pacific Islanders making up most of the growth in the organization, I would hope that they find their way to the highest ranks of the WTBTS soon.


  • blondie
  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run

    This thread raises an issue that always perplexed me. My experience of the Witnesses was that it was primarily a religion of black women. I never could see the attraction. Why choose to be discriminated against on the basis of race and dominated by men. My local KH was 75% black female. The conventions were more mixed. The concentration of single white females did not seem so great as the concentration of black female. Something was compelling with the Witnesses. I wanted to marry despite the Witness admonitions. The majority of black women were doomed to spinsterhood.

    Any black male was enveloped with special attention.

  • Knowsnothing

    JW argument: Peter was a racist too. So? We live and learn, and then get Luvs ®.

  • Scott77

    marked for reading

  • cedars

    Hi everyone, thanks for the kind words. As Juan Viejo2 said, I could probably have written a book on the subject. Even my "brief history" is quite lengthy at nearly 6,000 words (not including quotes) and doesn't really do the topic justice. Hopefully the article at least introduces thinking Witnesses to a little-known aspect of the Society's past that they have done a great job of concealing. I've deliberately used clippings from the original magazines wherever possible to prove that I'm not just making it all up.

    As I mention towards the end, what REALLY baffles me about it all is how they can point the finger at the catholic church for racist comments they themselves made only decades previously - and using the very same magazine that published those remarks! How anyone can see through all the hypocrisy and "worldly thinking" and find an organization worthy of God's sole direction confounds me, although there will always be some who feel compelled to overlook everything.


  • BluesBrother

    Certainly if it had been directed by Holy Spirit, the WTS would have been treating all men equally from day one.. but it was not and very few people on here will say that H/S was involved.

    What we do see is the product of the prevailing attitudes of the times, nothing more, nothing less, just the thinking of men. Can we really expect them to have manifested twenty-first century attitudes in those days? Were other (white) churches any better?

    I ask the latter question in all seriousness and would be glad to see any confirmation if that were the case .....

  • wasblind

    Band on the run,

    I agree with the point you brought out about black women fillin' the Kingdom Halls

    I noticed that to. Hopefully they will run across this site and see how foolish it is

    to belong to a religion that forbids them the same things civil rights leaders fought

    for them to have

    A good education is the only means to improve thier lives

    If enough black folk start headin' for the door I believe a nice dent would be seen

    as long as posters are willin' to keep a civil discourse on this subject I believe

    we can continue to wake folks up. Black folk most definitely need to wake up

    put down the WT mags and read up on some history

    As long as they remain in the WTS they have enslaved themselves again

  • cedars

    wasblind - it would certainly be nice if more people could be educated on this topic. I think it would help them to see the Society for what it is - just another human organization. I was in the dark as to the Society's history of racial discrimination until only recently when researching this article.

    BluesBrother - you raise an excellent point, possibly THE point. The Society can easily shrug its shoulders and say "we weren't perfect, who was?" but we are talking about an organization professing selection by Christ roughly right in the middle of when all these offensive remarks were being printed. I feel that's why the Society will quite happily chirp away about having celebrated birthdays at bethel and worn the cross, but it remains eerily silent on what its racial views were back then. Very telling.


  • Knowsnothing

    Cedars, if I'm not mistaken, the Society criticized the Civil Rights movement as well. Don't take my word for it, but researching that would be nice as well.

Share this