Seeking Community amidst White Supremacy

I ended yesterday’s DM with a suggestion that we surrender our naivete about racism in American.  The response of Americans of all races to march peacefully to protest the killing of Mr. Floyd by policemen and to protest other atrocities in our justice system is a sign of hope, of transformation on the horizon.

Black Lives Matter march. Photo by Jakayla Toney on Unsplash

We dare not forget or mute our outrage at the fact that an avowed white supremacist has an office in the West Wing of the White House, his salary paid by all of us.  Stephen Miller has the president’s ear on a daily basis, even drafts some of his speeches for him, and had lots to do with the policy of separating babies from parents at the border.  His own family has disowned him for his long-time racism.

While we are on the subject, have we forgotten that a policy of separating children from their parents goes back a very long way in American history? 

“Slave auction in South Carolina.” 19th-century engraving by Austa Malinda French on Wikimedia Commons

Slavery embedded that practice into the everyday lives of black people the moment they were put on the auction block and it only increased as a regular practice as slavery spread and made our nation prosper (economically, not humanely or spiritually).

The same policy played out with Native Americans.  Tens of thousands of children were taken from their families and put into boarding schools often located hundreds of miles from their parents (and often run by religious groups and often ripe with abuse).  Why? “Becoming civilized” was sometimes the pronounced reason. 

Pupils at Carlisle Indian Industrial School, Pennsylvania (c. 1900). Source: Frontier Forts. On Wikimedia Commons

My friend Buck Ghosthorse was such a child, stolen from his home on the Lakota rez in South Dakota when seven years old by Mormon missionaries who raised him, cut his hair, forbade him to speak his language and of course forbidding any exposure to his culture’s rituals.

Nor should Mr. Miller’s presence in the White House be ignored when we hear how the current administration has put out a declaration that there should no longer be any racial sensitivity training in our federal departments of the government.*

“Citizens United by Kai.” Photo by wiredforlego; mural by Kai, on Flickr

Just as no one is to use the terms “climate change” in Trump’s government, as of this past week such terms as “systemic racism,” “white privilege,” and “anti-harrassment” need to be deleted from governmental discussions.  A workshop on “Structural Racism and Environmental Justice” scheduled at the EPA was cancelled.  A leader at the National Park Service declared a “chilling effect” is in the offing.    

“White Privilege” Photo by James Eades on Unsplash

The realities of racism in American history call attention to the accomplishment of Black Lives Matter which is to awaken us to how racism is baked into so much of American history.  It is time to rebel, which is to say, to change course. 

Call it “metanoia,” call it “transformation,” call it an historical turning point, call it people voting, call it what it is: An opportunity for America to grow up and be honest about its past so we can build a saner, less imperial, less patriarchal, more communitarian, more caring and more just future.


See Matthew Fox, Sins of the Spirit, Blessings of the Flesh: Transforming Evil and Soul and Society, pp. xxxf., 202-206, 209, 273.

Banner Image: What are the values we want our society to demonstrate? Image by Matteo Paganelli on Unsplash

Queries for Contemplation

Who defines “becoming civilized” for us?  Isn’t it wonderful that we are living in an historical moment when we are challenging one another to redefine what community means and that racism is not part of the future like it has been of the past?  Does this bring a deeper meaning to your own life and work and citizenship?

Recommended Reading

Sins of the Spirit, Blessings of the Flesh: Transforming Evil in Soul and Society

Visionary theologian and best-selling author Matthew Fox offers a new theology of evil that fundamentally changes the traditional perception of good and evil and points the way to a more enlightened treatment of ourselves, one another, and all of nature. In comparing the Eastern tradition of the 7 chakras to the Western tradition of the 7 capital sins, Fox allows us to think creatively about our capacity for personal and institutional evil and what we can do about them. 
“A scholarly masterpiece embodying a better vision and depth of perception far beyond the grasp of any one single science.  A breath-taking analysis.” — Diarmuid O’Murchu, author of Quantum Theology: Spiritual Implications of the New Physics

Responses are welcomed. To add your comment, please click HERE or scroll to the bottom of the page.

Share this meditation


Daily Meditations with Matthew Fox is made possible through the generosity of donors. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation

Search Meditations





Receive our daily meditations

5 thoughts on “Seeking Community amidst White Supremacy”

  1. Avatar

    Wonderful to hear this message amplified here. Thank you for all you work on this project. I also appreciated the visuals and links on each meditation.

  2. Avatar

    I was moved by today’s and yesterday’s meditations on racism, which made me think of some remarks that Bob Dylan made some years ago, before Trump came into office. He commented in an interview that the U.S. hasn’t come close to dealing with the effects of slavery. He saw evidence of the racism that is definitely still part of our culture. He didn’t say this, but his second wife, from whom he is divorced, was African American, and he has an African American daughter. After that interview, Dylan was excoriated, as truth-tellers often if not always are. One way of putting this is to say that we have not yet grown up to admit to the racism in both our past and our present. In some ways, Dylan foresaw what is happening to us now, some years later. In his youth, when he was just beginning to make a name for himself, he addressed this issue in a number of songs. Later, in the 70s, he also wrote about boxer Hurricane Carter.

    1. Rev. Dr. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
      Rev. Dr. Richard Reich-Kuykendall

      Thank you Norbert for your comment, and for reminding us of the prophetic role Bob Dylan has played in our time and culture…

Leave a Comment

To help moderate the volume of responses, the Comment field is limited to 1500 characters (roughly 300 words), with one comment per person per day.

Please keep your comments focused on the topic of the day's Meditation.

As always, we look forward to your comments!!
The Daily Meditation Team

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join us in meditation that supports your compassionate action

Receive Matthew Fox's Daily Meditation by subscribing below: