Is the Organization really free from racism?

by dedalus 23 Replies latest jw friends

  • willy_think
    They had their own set of beliefs based on nothing more than their own wishful thinking.

    how does that make the children of hamm any different then the other JW's?

    the ideas and opinions expressed in this post do not necessiarly represent those of the WTB&TS inc. or any of it's subsidiary corporations.
  • crossroads

    Francoise-bashing the south, is relating an experience
    considererd bashing. I asked a question above the ans.
    coming back was 1. I'm glad the society has or has had there token "boy" on the GB. Really how norrow minded all
    of us americans are. The JW's are a world wide followship
    aren't they? FDS-of all colors-where's the"rainbow coalition"?
    Now I'm not saying you are singing 'dixie' but being that you
    seem agitated at the thought of the 'whites' not ruling. Just
    a thought from a 'white' guy who went to a highly racially
    tense high school. In fact were I went to school by Oct.
    we had half days for the rest of the year all 4 years.
    We had such good fights we were not allowed to eat
    together. There was many times this "little white boy"
    was protected by a "big brother" from the other side.
    I thank them all-they all in one way or another had too
    pay for the kindness and strength shown too me.
    I would look forward to them leading the way.
    Everyone would love there momma; be praising Jesus;
    the food would be great;people would hug each other
    upon meeting;we would trully believe we are all brothers;
    and the music-oh the music-Clapton would probably
    be playing rythmn guitar in that band.Seems good to
    me I hope those brothers are right.
    Peace and Love-Mark

  • LDH

    It is NOT just a 'Southern' problem. I grew up in Upstate New York.

    When meeting with my 'judicial committee' (what a misnomer) at the age of 19, upon telling them that I was pregnant, the first question I was asked?

    "What color is the guy?" An 'Elder' by the name of Bill Brigden asked me this. (The gloves are off.)

    When my black girlfriend married her white boyfriend, the elders met with HIM to let him know there were WHITE SISTERS who were interested in him. This only two years ago. Same congregation, same elder.

    Make me puke. It is a farce that ignorant assholes like this are 'protecting the flock.'

  • kimberly

    Hi Dedalus,

    I can only speak from the viewpoint of some one brought up in the UK when it comes to racism in the WTS.

    I personally think that racism is rife in the WTS, but perhaps not in the most blatant forms that it takes in the ‘world’. I do know of a sister who came here in the 1950’s and the Witnesses in her cong. wouldn’t sit with her or work with her in the service, so obviously things have got better than that – on the surface.

    But saying that, about 5-6 years ago, one of the elders in my cong. was so angry that his son had got engaged to a black sister – he decided he didn’t want to serve as an elder anymore. Funnily enough, before he stood down, there hadn’t been one black MS or elder appointed in the cong. When he stepped down, a few were made up – I wonder who was holding them back? That experience made stop taking the idea of ‘racial harmony’ for granted.

    My brother (who never got baptised and left quite a few years ago) was never given any ‘privileges’ – even doing the mikes – and yet he was a lot more intelligent than some of the elders’ sons who were given every ‘privilege’ going. In fact, around the time my brother left, ALL of the other black brothers of his age in our cong. gave up with the ‘truth’, but most of the (white) elder’s sons have stayed in.

    Being a Witness means you have to conform to a particular way of life (i.e. white, middle class) and anyone wanting to be in good standing in the congregation is expected to shift away from their own culture (the way they talk, dress, the music they listen to) and fit in with the WTS. I personally think there’s an underlying impression that anything ‘black’ is to be looked down on. Images in the WT & Awake usually associate any ‘ethnic’ entertainment or dress in a negative way. In fact for a long time, there was no other sort of representation of black people in the publications.

    To my mind, the black brothers have taken this negativity to heart more than the sisters have. This manifests itself in their choice of partners. The majority of black brothers – especially the ones who have moved up the ‘chain’ usually look down on black sisters and choose white sisters to get married to. It’s their choice and I have nothing against it – it’s a good thing, but the fact is, black sisters are definitely the bottom of the pile in the ‘truth’. It’s obviously an issue for me, as a black ‘sister’.

    Black brothers are now able to take on more responsibility in the cong. so even if to the outside world, they’re an office junior, or cleaner or window cleaner – in the ‘truth’ they’re looked up to. A black Witness sister doesn’t have that.

    When I first came to this board I took issue with a poster – JT – for his comments about “those big black sisters – don’t look good, but do a lot of service”, because that is EXACTLY the sort of negative attitude that black sisters have to put up with – particularly from black brothers and I definitely resent it. In London, single black sisters make up the majority of the pioneers – but a lot of them are depressed.

    It took so long for the WTS to even have a black member of the Governing Body – and de-segregate congs. in the South and South Africa. One of my friends had a bad experience when she visited a cong. in Australia.

    Everything is done to prove a point to ‘worldly’ people, but I think some are just paying lip service to the idea of racial harmony.

  • hawkaw

    Try it from a bigot's point of view.

    Aerian (Sp?) Nation - africans are considered "Ni__ers" and are inferior to whites (classic race bigot) even though in reality, the only difference is the level of vitamin D

    WT - aposates are part of the devil and evil (classic creed bigot) even though the only difference is one realizes the WT's leaders as false prophets due to past and present false bible teachings.

    Each organization teaches the same amount of hate to a particular group and both use the bible for justification. Yet because of some "religious institution spin" and the amount of press converage on the KKK, the majority of people in this big old world would treat the Aerian (sp?) Nation group far worse than the WT. Yet in reality, the "hate" both groups teach is the same - they are all bigots.

    hawk (who would like to see the bigotry and death stop)

  • DevilsAdvocate_DA


    I like your street wise posting. Makes sense to me, but you would rather have dollars--right.

    Cornstone, are you the same as Dodger over on the old H20? You don't have to answer if you do not want too. But your style and Dodgers is so much alike.

    I throughtly enjoy Dodgers view on life. Fresh and crisp.

    Good posting here, but that is just my opinion.


  • dedalus


    Here we go with south-bashing again. God, that gets old.

    Who's bashing the south?

    We had a wave of southern Circuit Overseers, and yeah, there was a bit of culture shock now and then. So what?

    We had one CO in particular who, in my opinion, demonstrated racist attitudes.

    Nowhere did I generalize that all Southerners were therefore that way.

    In my post I was pretty explicit about my observations perhaps being the result of my hometown's endemic racial problems, and not necessarily the Organizations.

    Nowhere did I claim that black people cannot also be racist.

    No one claimed that racism doesn't occur except in the south. I'm from New England, remember?

    Cornerstone shared precisely one anecdote, a very brief one, about racist attitudes in the South -- which, like it or not, are uniquely troubling and idiosyncratic. Unless you want to pretend that history doesn't matter or effect anyone.

    Here in the south, my congregation was integrated into a formerly black congregation (yep, they were segregated by order of the Tower until the mid seventies).

    Let me get this straight. You admit that the Organization segregated black Witnesses from white Witnesses, then rip into the black Witnesses for resenting it, or reacting badly against it, or whatever. The greater irony is that the Organization (run by white males) ultimately may have fostered racist attitudes against themselves.

    In any case, I don't see what your problem is. You're protesting something that hasn't happened in this thread.


  • Francois

    Crossroads, could you please restate the first three inches of your post? I don't understand a thing you're saying.


  • dedalus


    Thanks for your response -- I found your comments interesting. It occurs to me that if racism is less prevelant in the Organization, it might be for the wrong reasons -- or, at least, not because of some idealistic Christian utopia.

    And I hadn't thought if it in the terms you use; namely, the culture enforced by the Organization is precisely that of the white middle class; I think I'd go further and say it's an American white middle class that best represents the "particular way of life" to which Witnesses are encouraged to conform.

    Absolutely confusing to me are the pictures of Witnesses surviving the apocalypse. Inevitably, they are each wearing their native, ethnic garb! Even in the ubiquitous "picnic" scenes, long after the dead bodies of wayward worldlings have been devoured by birds, the surviving Witnesses are still dressed in native costumes.

    I think the subtext of the propaganda is, "Hey, look, all cultures and races will survive into the new world!" But it sends another message, too: "We're very conscious of race and ethnic identity. We're never getting away from it."

    Of course, I suppose there's an artistic problem of representing the New World Order -- the Society can't go ahead and depict everyone naked, as God intended them to be, right? (Are you reading this, Joelbear? ) And it'd be pretty creepy to depict all the survivors wearing Society-issued uniforms.

    I'm not pretending this isn't a sensitive matter. What I am suggesting, I guess, is that racism is more deeply encoded, especially in a politically correct culture that has eliminated much of the racist language that once pervaded public discourse. Since this language is a fact of the Organization's history, I wonder what ways it's been encoded with Witnesses, if at all (and it seems, of course, that it has).



  • d0rkyd00d

    I always wondered why the governing body was mostly people who were around where russel came up with is ideas. not that i've done much research on the subject. Now that the "truth" is spreading to other countries, why aren't there members of the governing body popping up over there? do they have there own governing bodies? i'm ready to be enlightened on this matter.

    "No cool quote yet. But i'll think of one soon."

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