I was raised in a larger city congregation. There were many black and white families and there were other nationalities in the area.For the most part, I do not recall seeing obvious prejudice manifest in the congregation. Have you seen or experienced prejudice from congregation members?
PREJUDICE---HAVE YOU BEEN AFFECTED BY IT?
no, never overt signs... but i have also never seen a black or hispanic elder, and i live in the southwest. also, my sister, her husband and niece, all practicing jw's, are very prejudiced. they make very snide, prejudicial remarks all the time about blacks, which i won't repeat here, but i did actually order my niece out of my house one time for speaking that way in front of my son. disgusting little hypocrites...
No, I didn't see it where I lived. My sister is still a Witness and her daughter married a black man.
Yes I have seen plenty of it...but I have also seen the opposite. It just depends on the people you mix with. I associated with several congregations during my jw lifetime and I encountered a lot of racial prejudice over a wide range of issues, from choice of clothing, hair styles, food preferences, living standards and hygiene...I could go on and on. But I also so harmony between races also. For as long as we are human, you will find racial prejudice exists within all pockets of society.
I have heard that white brothers shouldn't have moustaches but blacks and hispanics could.....late 60's, early 70's.
For the record, the WTS was one of the LAST "Christian" religions to eliminate segregation in their congregations. Although they've always welcomed people of all flavors to sell their books, forward the money to Brooklyn and gain new recruits, they've had a checked past about how they viewed non-Anglo people over the decades.
They did not fully integrate their congregations in the US South until after Civil Rights legislation was passed in the 1960's. They didn't want to "stumble" folks. Therefore, their congregations remained segregated until it was "safe" not to have them segregated. Their changes were not brought about by their Christian consciences, the Bible or anything else that might be considered decent. No. They were brought about by political correctness. The WTS has no moral compass. In fact they have NO compass. They live and exist to serve themselves and themselves only.
PREJUDICE---HAVE YOU BEEN AFFECTED BY IT?
Yes, I have. Dubs hate my guts. I often wonder why.
Edited by - Farkel on 4 August 2002 23:8:45
Jim, you are correct. Until the laws of the land were changed, JWs had segregated KHs and assemblies. I attended several segregated KHs growing up in the south.
Here is the answer:
w52 2/1 94-5 Questions from Readers
If the Watchtower Society is free from racial prejudice, why does it tolerate segregation at its assemblies in certain sections of country? Is this not a course of compromise?F. C., Wisconsin.
Why do we tolerate the segregation laws and policies of certain governments and organizations of this world? Because Jehovah has not commissioned us to convert the world, which is wicked beyond recovery and hence will be destroyed. Jehovah has commissioned us to preach the gospel. Now what should we do? Drop preaching to fight racial issues? We never have separate meetings and baptisms when we can have them together. But when impossible, shall we have separate meetings and baptisms, or none at all? Shall we serve spiritual food to all, even if separately, or serve it to none? Shall we provide baptism for all, even if separately, or provide it for none? Should we buck Caesars segregation laws, when they do not force us to violate Gods laws? God does not forbid separate assembly and baptism, and he commands assembly and baptism. (Matt. 28:19; Heb. 10:25) So should we disobey God to fight a racial issue? To buck the segregation laws would bring on disruption of the witness work, halting of it, mob violence, and possible loss of life. Only laws prohibiting gospel-preaching will we buck at that price.
Some may argue segregation is prohibited by God, citing Galatians 3:28 (NW): "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor freeman, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in union with Christ Jesus." That Paul spoke in a spiritual sense and not in a literal, physical sense is obvious, since actually there were male and female, slave and free, Jew and Greek. Because of the existence of Jew and Greek he specially accommodated himself and his preaching to such classes. (1 Cor. 9:19-22) His recognition of slave and freeman we will consider in more detail, since it bears directly on segregation. How so? Because segregation is rooted in slavery, is the outgrowth and hangover of slavery. Segregation, the stain left by slavery, is a lesser evil than slavery. So if the Bible does not instruct Christians to fight slavery it would not sanction them to battle the lesser evil of segregation, at the expense of gospel-preaching.
Even within the Christian congregation Paul did not protest the slavery of his time. Onesimus was Philemons slave, and both were Christians. (Philem. 10-16) Paul wrote Timothy, who pictured the society of witnesses today: "Let as many as are slaves under a yoke keep on considering their owners worthy of full honor." Why? "That the name of God and the teaching may never be spoken of injuriously." Kingdom preaching and Jehovahs vindication are the issues to keep foremost, not creature equality and racial issues. "Moreover, let those having believing owners not look down on them, because they are brothers. On the contrary, let them the more readily be slaves, because those receiving the benefit of their good service are believers and beloved." (1 Tim. 6:1, 2, NW) Here again note that the slavery of those times existed even within the Christian congregation.
Paul also wrote: "In whatever state each one was called, let him remain in it. Were you called a slave? Do not let it worry you; but if you can also become free, rather seize the opportunity." If Paul could say this regarding slavery, how much more so can it be said to those discriminated against by segregation laws: "Do not let it worry you." It is no cause for Christian concern or anxiety. But if the Lords people are in locations where they are free of segregation laws or policies, they rejoice in the greater freedom and delight to be together in assembly. All are slaves of Christ, as Paul goes on to show: "Anyone in the Lord that was called a slave is the Lords freedman: likewise he that was called a free man is a slave of Christ." (1 Cor. 7:20-24, NW) Surprisingly, some colored brothers have strenuously objected to this, protesting as offensive the use of the word "slave" in the New World Translation. Any who do not wish to be Christs slave, whether white or black, can cease such service at any time; but they will be slaves nonetheless, only slaves of Satan and sin. (Rom. 6:16-23, NW) Those who magnify human importance soon hide from their view the really vital issues.
Jehovah is no respecter of persons. Neither are his people. But the world in which we live is. Whites are prejudiced against colored, colored are prejudiced against whites. In some colored communities after nightfall a white person would enter at the risk of his very life. To justify this on the grounds that the whites started the discrimination is not Scriptural. (Rom. 12:17) Now, where the danger is extreme should white persons enter these hostile communities and suffer beating and possibly death to prove they have a democratic right to be there? Should a white witness endanger his life to attend a meeting of colored witnesses in such places, or stay overnight with his colored brothers there, just to prove his democratic right to do so?
Many colored persons practice color-prejudice against their own people. Lighter-colored Negroes will shun the darker ones. Some from the Western Hemisphere look down upon the very dark ones from Africa. In South Africa, whites discriminate against the mixed coloreds, the mixed coloreds against the native blacks, the native blacks against the Indian coolies, and in their native India the Indians discriminate against the no caste or outcasts. Who is innocent to throw the first stone? Can we not see that all classes of the human race are evil, that if we start reforming we shall be lost in an impossible task, with endless discriminations and many varieties or injustices to beat down, which crusading social and political organizations of this world have hopelessly fought for years? For us to become like them would be to fail with them, consume our time in such reforms, lose out as Jehovahs witnesses, and please only the Devil.
So let us please God by preaching the gospel despite the undesirable conditions the Devils world may make for us. Let us not be sidetracked by Satan and caught in a subtle snare camouflaged in lofty motives and ideals. Can we not wait upon Jehovah to avenge the wrongs we suffer now? Really, our colored brothers have great cause for rejoicing. Their race is meek and teachable, and from it comes a high percentage of the theocratic increase. What if the worldly wise and powerful and noble look down on them as foolish and weak and ignoble, not on an equality with self-exalted whites? It is to Gods ultimate honor, for he confounds the wise of this world by choosing those the world considers foolish and weak and ignoble. Let us boast in Jehovah and in our equality in his sight, rather than wanting to boast in equality in the worlds sight. (1 Cor. 1:26-31, NW) In due time the exalted ones will be humbled, and the humble ones will be exalted. (Matt. 23:12) All of us await this vindication from God, which will come in his due time. Until then, as Paul advised concerning slavery we advise concerning its lingering trace, segregation: "Do not let it worry you." (1 Cor. 7:21, NW) When possible we will meet together, when not possible we will meet separately; but in either event we are always united in spirit, brothers equal in our own sight, in Christs sight, and in Gods sight.
Farkel, you are absolutely right. They did not take the moral high ground. They avoided the issue. I learned this first hand at an assembly in Baltimore in or about 1960, when a sweet young thing I met, Becky Shellnut, a southern belle, told me that the congregations in the south were segregated. I had no idea.
well blondie, it's all about preaching the good news! Who cares if there's segregation? We only care about preaching,and we don't get involved with worldly issues....besides the coloured brothers are meek and teachable and provide much of our increase.....so forget about it!!! UNBELIEVABLE
Once thing I can say that I appreciate about my rearing was that I was not taught racial predjudice. The JW's do not teach racial predjudice but I'm sure it manifests itself regardless depending upon where you live. My best friend in the congregation was black and we were practically inseparable when we were younger. Not being raised as a bigot has allowed me to marry my beautiful wife who is black.
I live in Utah (which is not the whitest state contrary to popular opinion) where there is not the racial tension you might find in other parts of the U.S. Also I was born in 1971 so I did not have any experience with segregation. The 1952 WT quoted previously is one those that JW's just try to forget about, and many now would not even know of the existance of that article (or consider it old light).