Thursday, April 15, 2010

Southwest Baptist University

It might be safe to say that the Riders as a whole, walked away from Southwest Baptist University disturbed and sick to our stomachs. I first have to apologize for anything offensive I may say, but after 13 schools where I have endured racism, sexism, homophobia, masogynism, classism, ageism, and different oppressions I am tired of having patience. SBU, while not the worst school in terms of welcome and friendliness, for me were absolutely clueless in regards to systems of oppression, racism, sexism...I can go on.

Where do I begin?

We arrived at the school about 10 minutes early and as we were getting off the bus students, faculty, staff, and administrators began pouring out of the front doors to greet us. It immediately put a smile on my face. BSU was Amanda's stop and in my heart I wanted everything to go so well, knowing she had worked very hard along with the school to schedule the day. As I shook hands and introduced myself to a group of smiling faces, my host for the day, Revecca, found me and Jennifer Luu. Not all schools feel the need to pair the Riders up with student or faculty "hosts", but there have been a few schools that do that. I don't mind. Sometimes it really works out, like it did for me yesterday. I thought Revecca, a staff member in the Physical Therapy department, was smart and friendly a wonderful listener and I greatly enjoyed her company. It always takes me a moment to try to gauge who I'm paired with because schools have done some devious things, like tell their hosts not to bother to engage in debate with us because we are so well "trained" that it would be futile. Yeah, just some really dumb things that hurt any type of relationship even before it begins. Jennifer and I chatted with Revecca for a while, explained Preferred Pronoun Preferences, talked about past campus visits, and discussed the intersections of oppression...all before lunch!

We talked a little bit with faculty and administrators and had coffee and then we all walked to chapel. I really believe that's where all problems began. The service was atrocious. Apparently there was a guest speaker and none of the administrators wanted to take responsibility for the awful things this person said, instead passing the buck or shirking responsibility. I'll paint a picture. As soon as I walked into this huge auditorium there was metal christian rock playing. I was happily surprised. It was lively and fun. We settled down. I sat near Amanda and other fellow Riders and took a moment away from my amazing host to enjoy service. Then a band came on and started singing and playing music. While it was nice I was painfully aware of the lack of representation of people of color. Nothing ethnic whatsoever except for a very offensive shout out of something like "let's begin the Natives are getting restless". It only got worse. A picture of Black babies came on the huge flatscreens and a speaker came out to give a sermon (lecture?). He talked about how he had just come from (Sudan?) and saw how little girls as young as age 8 were exploited, and went into great detail about how often they were used in an hour and daily...and then in the next sentence called that same exploited child a "whore". I almost vomited. Then the very next moment he was saying that people do worse things than that in their heads. What? I was so offended and disgusted and still couldn't understand why there were pictures of Black children on the screen and a White speaker that obviously had no idea what he was talking about (and from comments from the students later that day, they had no idea what he was talking about either). Another huge problem we saw was the "sermon's" emphasis on missionary work. The speaker (sorry I can't remember the name) said that the decision wasn't about whether to go, but whether you should stay. And as I spoke to more people and realized their absolute lack of understanding of other races/ethnicities and cultures...and given missionary works' legacy of cultural genocide and destruction of whole peoples...throwing these kids into this type of work without any type of sensitivity training (what's that?) was disturbing to us. I wanted to get out of there. And I like missionary work! I think it's a great idea to get involved in your world. But not the way SBU is doing it. Not with kids that at 19 and 20 years old are asking questions like, "well, isn't White a color too?" After the awful speech/sermon there was more music full of sexist and ableist offensive language. There was a "boys'" part followed by a "girl's" part and the lyrics were all about "standing for God". Clearly, they don't think about their students who may have trouble with this wording. As one of our Riders uses a wheelchair, they have helped us become more aware of the language we use. I try to tell myself that the school allowing us on campus was a big step in the right direction, but I'm not sure. They are absolutely clueless about how to overcome any type of oppression in their own school although they have been in business for 132 years.

Between chapel and lunch we stopped at the "quad" by the fountain and talked with students. I was approached by a really wonderful young man and his friend and although I am going to respect our conversation, I at least want to commend this person for opening their heart and trusting me with some very confidential information about his past and opening himself up through dialogue to reveal his pain about the racism that permeates SBU. Frankly, I was pissed off when he said that people "look away" when he passes by and then he shared his pessimism that the school could ever change. It saddened my heart and told him that we were here to talk about all forms of oppression and discrimination and that even though he couldn't make it to the panel (the only event opened to all students) I would make sure to speak up for him.

We moved on to lunch after that. Round tables with 6 or 7 people and some really great food. I was hoping to begin engaging in some real dialogue about LGBTQ issues at my table, but I just so happened to sit with Kurt, the Chapel Director, and DJ (bless her heart) blurted out "Who let that guy speak?" And so ensued a conversation about racism and missionary work in which the Dean of Students, the Chapel Director, a Student Representative, Revecca, and four Riders all had much to say. I didn't hold back. I was hurt from the awful chapel service where I was offended from the pulpit as a woman and as a person who admires missionary work, as a person of color that was not represented, and as a person that work against this narrow-minded view of the world. Kurt's response was "we have minorities preach, don't judge on what you see in only one day"...and I lost it. I said, "there is NO excuse or reason why people of color should not be in everything you do ALL the time. It is not about us being included by White people, but about being an integral part of everything that is happening in this world." (None of that verbatim, I was pissed off and I was so appalled at what this supposed Leader was saying, how clueless he was, how blatant the racism...there was no way I could stay quiet. Another racist and stupid remark: "We want people of color to participate but they just aren't interested." WTF? If I walk into chapel and it is heavy metal or ska punk, and the band and singers are White, what they sing and how they sing it does not represent my culture or how I grew up whatsoever, and people from the pulpit are saying some ignorant, racist remarks while displaying Black kids' faces for sympathy... WHY THE HELL WOULD I WANT TO PARTICIPATE IN ANY OF THAT? Most of the diversity population (6%) are there for athletics. So what I gathered is that they take in "minority" kids on athletic scholarships to claim diversity, preying on the fact that most of these kids need it so that they can get a degree, taylor events and activities specifically around White culture or standards, and then BLAME these students because they are not interested in going through more ostracism and mental harm. One of the seniors at our table asked so many good questions, making himself vulnerable, but at the same time...HE'S A SENIOR! Like, about to graduate, and go off into the world and asked questions like: "Isn't White a color?" Had no idea what "White Privilege" was, nor the hint of understanding systems of oppression. This while the Dean of Students and the Chapel Director also could not explain, and were using offensive language as well!

It was a really long day. After that six of our Riders joined a panel discussion with 6 SBU students and faculty. It was awful, too. While Jess, one of our Riders who is a queer woman of color, spoke during the panel another Rider, Jason, sat in front of a Psychology Professor and heard all kinds of derogatory comments about her. And one of the panelists, a professor actually said something like: "The way I love you I call it love and you call it oppression, it's sad." Four of us from the audience yelled back, “YES, it IS sad!” So, kick us out of your schools, out of your communities, out of your families...because that's what you think love is, nevermind how it was that Jesus would love people.

At the end of the day some of us were ashamed of calling ourselves Christians. Personally, as someone that has just found Jesus three years ago and am still growing in my faith I lost my excitement for the first time. I question what Christians believe love is and if that aligns with my vision of love. And how can it be possible that I am capable of loving my friends greater than what God is capable of? How is it that I can love them and find them beautiful and God cannot? I remind myself that God sent Jesus as the ultimate example, and to not look to the different kinds of Christianity or Christians to follow. I try to remind myself. Sometimes the fences and divisions that we encounter along the way make it really difficult for me to believe that God wanted that. Pentecostal, Protestant, Mormon, Quakers, Baptist, whatever. They claim to be more right than others. And then Christianity claims to be more right than Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, etc. I throw my hands in the air and just pray. Pray that God knows we are simple and just need to be loved. And that being loved is not as complicated as we want to make it.


  1. really? As a student this depresses me greatly. As a university we tried as hard as possible to be understanding and respectful, and frankly I do not understand what you are talking about? Especially to bad mouth Kurt as if to suggest that he was racist! Kurt makes every possible attempt to be accepting and encouraging of all races. We have an apathetic minority crowd, and that we intentionally try and plan events that the minorities on our campus will be excited about, and be involved in, yet they still fail to come out. Can we simply, because we are white, be blamed for their apathy? Should we also be blamed for the fact that lots of white kids don't want to come to events either? Is that racist against white people? Also, how you can bash what Mrs. Langford said in simply stating that our worldviews are not the same. Most importantly, because we do love you! We just don't love everything you do, just like I love my best friend Jimmy, but I don't love everything he does either. We are messed up enough as people, because of sin clearly present in our lives, but i don't have to love the decisions he makes, and they are still not mine to make. Would you love that a child molester rapes children? Or that a murderer kills innocent people? Or even that a politician lies? Are we supposed to love those things? I hope not, I still love the people, but I don't have to love the things they do. Yesterday I was happy with how things turned out. Happy that I thought SBU ACTUALLY did a decent job with a tough issue. Now, I'm simply sad that you had nothing good to say about us when we attempted to be so welcoming. I honestly hope you find what your looking for, and start actually loving us(and if you so believe, everything we do, because that is clearly what you want for yourself!), instead of attacking us! hypocrisy comes in all forms, and sometimes the people hurt most by it even are the quickest to speak it.

  2. "the lyrics were all about "standing for God". Clearly, they don't think about their students who may have trouble with this wording. As one of our Riders uses a wheelchair, they have helped us become more aware of the language we use. I try to tell myself that the school allowing us on campus was a big step in the right direction, but I'm not sure... See More."

    They say you can't use the word stand because some people are in wheelchairs, then say step in the right direction... Isn't that a contradiction?

  3. Seriously?! This really offends me also! Especially the whole racists part! Okay, so the people leading the worship on that particular day are all white, SO WHAT! However, if it had been an all colored praise team, that would be totally fine, right? Of course it would. Hmm, so we have black history month...which there were posters ALL over campus informing people of black history month, however, if anyone would have hung a poster about "white history" it would have been considered racist. How dare you come to our school where you were welcomed with open arms, and then leave and say things like that. So many people on this campus prayed so hard for each and every one of you Riders. We tried hard to make you feel welcome and comfortable on our campus. It's no secret that we are a Christian campus, and are against any form of Homosexuality. I'm sure you all knew that before coming here. If you didn't want to go through any kind of discrimination you percieved to be here, then maybe you shouldn't have came. And then after everything everyone on this campus had done for you, you still had to create a big scene before you left. If you were really all about love and acceptance, you would have accepted us as a campus and student body, and loved us enough not to try to create a scene, in order to get more attention, and try to embarass us as a school. I think before you go to another school and do the same thing, you should probably reevaluate your beliefs and morals and learn to live what you preach. The Bible says you have to remove the plank from your own eye before you can see clearly to remove the speck from your brothers eye.

  4. I am extremely disappointed in the closed-mindedness and disrespect shown in this blog.
    You took EVERYTHING we said and did as a school and as individuals and twisted it.
    We did everything in our power to show you the respect you deserve as God's children and all we expected in return was to be treated with the same respect.
    Any issues with the way our school is run and the schedule we had for the day you spent here should have been taken up with the SBU administration--NOT posted on a blog, giving SBU a bad reputation that it IN NO WAY deserves.
    needless to say, im enraged that Kurt was specifically mentioned and insulted. He is one of the most incredible Christ-followers I have ever known, and he has changed my life more than anyone else. Not only was it immature and disrespectful to name him specifically, it was also completely unfair to twist his words the way you did. All he was trying to say is that it's wrong to come to ONE chapel and see ONE speaker and make the assumptions you did. Yes our speaker yesterday was white, but does that mean every speaker we have is white? DEFINITELY not! that's a ridiculous assumption to make!
    As for the comment about using the word "stand" offending the people who are in wheel chairs, did you happen to notice that we have students at SBU who are in wheelchairs as well? NEVER have any of them issued a complaint about us singing about standing in worship. the main reason for this is because standing is basically just saying for "standing in awe"--it's assuming a position of reverence for your Creator.
    I guess I'm just hurt that so many of you acted like there was potential for friendship while i was talking to them at SBU, then I logged onto here and onto facebook i see all this negativity towards SBU and the students and faculty.
    I just expected you all to be more open-minded, but you came in telling yourselves that everything we did would be wrong. your preconceived notions changed your entire outlook on SBU in a negative way.

  5. First of all, let me just say, I can tell you are very passionate about the things you addressed here in your blog, but as an SBU student, I find some of the statements to be quite slanderous and offessive.

    I am a student of color, I am not an athlete, in fact I am far from that. I have actively participated in leading worship on stage at Chapel time and there was no "racism" to be seen, nor have I ever felt threatened at any time while attending here on campus.

    While I do respect the things that you discussed here, I feel as though you are only hearing what you want to hear and leaving it at that. As a whole, here on this campus, and this area in general, there are not many people of color, and that's just the way it has been. I'm adopted, my parents are not of color, nor is the majority of my family.

    People of color are the minority, and many of them choose not to be participants in some of the things we do i.e. Chapel, etc. Some people who are minorities just don't feel called/led to lead worship on a stage such as Chapel, so I feel like you can't judge what you saw based on one day of Chapel. As was mentioned, We celebrate Black History Month, and there are other ways for EVERYONE regardless of color to get involved on our campus.

    What it boils down to is this: to love and respect everyone, just as Jesus wold have done, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, age, race, religion, etc. We love(and accept) people regardless of their sin, but we don't love the sin that they are living in. Please don't view our love for hate a/o oppression, etc.

  6. Hey,

    I happen to be one of the students that attend SBU. In fact, I held the door open for one of the riders in the wheel chair as you all came to the door leading to our cafeteria.

    If this week was not such a hassle with all the school work I was barraged with and all the test that needed attentiveness, then I would have more than gladly spoke to some of your riders, including yourself, Sabrina. I just want to tell you something, and I hope this doesn't come out bad at all, but SBU, as conservative/pseudo-Republican a school it is, we have a wonderful student body and a wonderful faculty as a whole/group. To hear all these nasty things about these groups of people is depressing. I wasn't real involved with the planning of your arrival because I am not a person who lives on campus, being that I have lived two blocks away from SBU for 17 years, but if I were any part of the planning, I wish we could have done much better presenting ourselves as men and women of Christ because as a majority, that's what we are really. I may not understand the agony and prejudice (those being understatements) your group has suffered, but I can tell you that we don't see any of you as gays, lesbians, bisexuals, trans-gender, or queer (at least I don't). My best friend recently went through a phase of his life thinking he was gay, but didn't have those feelings anymore and I have a gay uncle in the Philippines. That's a topic I would like to talk about sometime as well (my race = Filipino). More to the point, you know how I treated my best friend when he told me he was gay? I treated him more than a brother and anyone that gave him a hard time served consequences from me. Jesus loved the sinners and rebuked the ones who claimed to be cleansed.

    All I want to say is... we all really do love you. More than you will ever know. You know why you think we don't understand? Because we don't. Our faculty and student body had the chance to meet a group of amazing people for one day... but that's just it. It was only a day. Realizing a person's perspective takes a matter of seconds to minutes... maybe an hour; however, understanding and making friendships takes so much longer than that.

    And I agree with the first person to comment on this... what we call love, you call oppression. That's the way of the world. In order to love is to know suffering and to suffer is to know love. Our world is composed of opposing ideas and they all act like character foils in a book, story, or hell, a television series. Without one thing, the other fails itself job and ceases to exist. That's the logic of God. What may hurt the most should be our love. I promise you that because for that very reason... I love you all as my brothers and sisters because as to where religion is an opiate; a drug, spirituality is my passion and obsession!

    And again, if my week wasn't so occupied, I would have made a chance to know all of you. :)

  7. Several thoughts came to my mind from reading your blog post...I was not there btw. I have a daughter that goes to the school.

    Several words of wisdom from my mother...

    "If you go looking for trouble you will find it."

    "You don't have to LIKE everyone but God does command us to LOVE everyone."

    "Sin is sin whether committed in your mind or by your own hand."

    Clearly I don't think you will be happy anywhere you are looking for discrimination and therefore you shall find it... I suggest reading your Bible and asking for God's wisdom to help clear all the issues to know the Father and learn what He says is right and wrong...ask to be filled with His spirit. This world will never be perfect...our hope is in Christ...and perfection is in the next world where God resides with Christ beside him.
    God bless your journey in this life and hopefully closer to the Father.

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  9. Hey :)

    I just wanted to say that I am deeply hurt. When you guys left yesterday, I could NOT watch that bus leave. I went back to my dorm and cried for three hours. I talked to God and just wept. I felt so badly about the oppression that the queer community has been facing, and felt as if I were a part of it because I am a Christian. But when I heard the things you all said, I couldn't believe it. But I saw your guys' facebook posts and talked to Rob Harris and realized that it was true! I was so angry. There I was, mourning your oppression, when you turned around and oppressed us! You have said SO many hurtful things to us, what did we say to you? that we don't agree with you? Just because I don't agree with you does NOT mean that I am oppressing you. And if that is your definition, you've got it scewed, as well as your definitions of love and friendships. I don't agree with my friends on a lot of things. But am I oppressing them? By no means. For you guys to call us out like this--THAT is oppression my friends.
    It seems to me like this whole thing was for media attention. You don't like something we do, so you hold a "vigile" outside and tell the world how horrible we are. And I bet that every post you read makes you feel even MORE oppressed, which in turns make you feel like God is pleased with you because you are being persecuted. Honestly, that sounds to me like Fred Phelps. He loves the attention, because it makes him think he is doing a good thing by shouting his opinions out. he does not listen to the other side at all. and when someone disagrees, he completely discredits what they say, then post this horrible post about everything wrong with them. Now I KNOW you do NOT want to be lumped into the same category as him. And I KNOW this is hurtful. But this is the way *I* feel. You don't have to agree. And when you don't, I won't feel oppressed.

  10. I fully respect the Equality Riders coming to the SBU Campus. There are a few things that I want to bring to the attention of our friends from the Equality Riders. I fully agree with the Equality Riders, and I know numerous other SBU students would agree, that the modern day church has completely shunned the LGBTQ community when they (Christians) should be the very ones to embrace this community the most. However, I think it is unwise to assume that all Christians who are not apart of the LGBTQ community are contributing to the oppression of this community. I believe that the moment that we are assumed to be oppressive because we view the issue differently causes many people to react in a negative way, both from SBU and Equality Riders.

    Another thing that really stuck out and scared me as a believe is when one Rider noted in the discussion that "I am the way Christ made me." As one of our professor noted, we are constantly being transformed in the image of Christ. Please take a moment to think of the Fall of Man mentioned in Genesis. Christ created Adam as perfect. However, Adam decided to follow his own desire, and committed sin. Therefore, at that moment we became separated from God and have sinful desires that continue to separate us from God. Too frequently, individuals, including believers, try to read between the lines of scripture and read it the way that they want it to read to cover the guilt that we as humans feel after we sin. If is completely untrue that Christ made individuals gay, queer, etc. Just as it is not wise to say that Christ created individuals to have lustful thoughts, to lie, to cheat, to be murderers, to hate others. The opposite is true. Christ mentioned numerous times in scripture that we are to not leave scripture unchanged, both in Romans and in James. I believe also that scripture tells us not to be stumbling blocks to others. Therefore, if an individual is living in a sinful lifestyle and causes others to stumble, it is wrong. Additionally, Christ tells us to sin no more. This is found in John 8:11. Additionally, since the Bible clearly outlines that scripture identifies homosexuality as a sin (Lev. 18:22, Lev. 20:13, 1 Cor. 6:9-10), individuals must turn from their sinful desires. It does not matter the sinful desire, because I believe (and scripture supports) that every sin is of equal penalty, which is death. Too often, including me, we try to justify sin, but we must simply do what the scripture says. James 1:22 reads, "Do not merely listen to the words and so decieve yourselves. Do what it says."

    Additionally, I believe that SBU did an excellent job of trying to do all they could to have open dialogue. As a communication scholar myself, I fully recognize the need to be an empathic communicator. This is basically the ability to stand in another's shoes and view the issue from their perspective. Now, this does not mean that all individuals involved in the communcative process should agree, it simply means that you must hear each others opinions without bias. I believe that SBU accomplished this, but the Equality Riders came on campus with defensive rhetoric. I believe that for the cause of this group to be heard effectively, they must begin to have open communication.


  11. A communication theory, by Richard Johannasen, that I fully agree with is one that is about the need for open-dialogue in our society. Johannesen notes that in order for open dialogue to be achieved "power and superiority must be avoided." Now, this is where I believe fully that SBU excelled. First, we accepted this group with open arms on campus and took many days and hours to prepare for the visit of the riders. Our administers said numerous times that we want them to come so that we may hear their side. The SBU campus could have not allowed them to come onto property grounds, but they did not do this. Additonally, the SBU faculty, students, and others set up a schedule so that students are confronted with various viewpoints. As a speaker and debater, I fully recognize and agree that we must view things on all angles; SBU did this by providing opportunities for faculty and students to communicate with the other scholars that are part of the Equality Ride. And lastly, the organized the discussion that was attended by numerous students. I know most, if not all, students on campus love our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, and this was proven by the high attendance of this discussion event. Now, I don't believe the Equality Riders accomplished what Johannesen noted. My reasoning for this is that during the discussion, Equality Riders would often use pronouns like "our group" and referred to individuals that had different views as "the others," rather than using open-dialogue words such as "as Christians" and "we". Therefore, the group demonstrated a sense of power that immediately hinders the communication process. Something I believe the Equality Riders need to work on is something that I believe all Christians need to do, which is to kill others with kindness. We need to stop protesting things we disagree on, we need to stop forcing discussion, rather we need to show others the love of Christ, which is not in the forms of rallies, but rather one that is led by example.

    Overall, I do respect the visit and encourage the Equality Riders to practice being empathic and being competent communicators. Too often, believers get caught up in saying that the Bible is true because I believe it to be true. Then they procede to interpret the scripture in a way that does not do justice to the words and phrases the Bible uses. We must stop doing this and realize, the Bible is true no matter if we believe it or not.

  12. Please if an Equality Rider believes that my conclusions reached from scripture are inaccurate, please post a response. I am eager and willing to hear you out as I hope that you are as well.

    I really would love to have an Open-dialgoic conversation with the members of this group.

  13. You say we don't understand oppression the way you do. You say we don't understand very much actually. Yet, we understand a lot more than you give us credit for.

    We understand how to love you openly and admit to you that we disagree. We love you enough to be open to discussions about our beliefs and how they differ. We love you more than you can know because we had less than 24 hours to show you our love.

    I think that by calling out Kurt individually and calling him racist was extremely disrespectful and reflects none of the love that you are talking about. I have interacted with Kurt personally and never has he made any racist comments. Actually he has never made any rude or disrespectful comments about anybody of any color, gender, age, size, etc.

    These comments are very hurtful and they put SBU in a very negative light. As a student of SBU who interacted with SoulForce yesterday, I thought that everybody showed a huge amount of friendliness and love. We are a Christian campus who opposes homosexuality. If you were by any chance offended by that being stated while you were here, then you came in naive.

    I would also like to appoint out that you want to end oppression of all sorts. That has nothing to do with changing beliefs. I personally can love people with all of my heart even when I disagree with their beliefs and actions.I won't oppress them, but I can still have my beliefs and be true to myself around them.

  14. I would say something, but its all been said. I'm praying for The Equality Riders and SBU as well(and yes, I am an SBU student).

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  16. Sabrina, thanks for coming to SBU... I enjoyed talking with you for the few minutes we were able to do so. I hope the rest of Equality Ride's journey is enjoyable for y'all and that you bring glory to God and His kingdom here on earth in all that you do. God bless.

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  18. In the discussion board one of your equality riders said that if he even hints any form of hatefulness or that a person wont accept him 100% that he wont even pursue a friendship. This goes against everything you're trying to do, you want us as people/Christians whoever to love and accept you and we shouldn't judge you just because of your sexual orientation or whatever you want to call it, but you are the same way!

    I completely agree with what Bradley said, he said it straightly and blunt. A Christian is someone who realizes they need Jesus(sure you guys may realize this) realize theyre sinners(you guys dont think what you do is sin???) and then turns from the sin(Youre living in a constant state of sin!) you cannot have a true relationship with Jesus while living in this sin. God cant stand sin, he cant even look at it. I feel sorry for you guys. You have nothing better to do than go from school to school and start up arguments and try and tell us youre right and were wrong.

    Back up what youre doing with scripture, tell me where it says in the Bible that homosexuality is OK. Prove to me that youre a christian. Do these things and ill take back all i say and ill support you guys 100% but until then....good luck!

  19. First thank you so much for your honesty about our campus and school. It troubles my heart greatly that you were so hurt by our campus visit but i am glad that you and the riders came and got uncomfortable with us.

    I don't claim to be able to fight for either side in these issues, not because i have no view, but because it is in no way helpful for us to continue in a Christian brotherhood(sisterhood and family-ship) to argue what is and isn't. Frankly Christ didn't come to argue he came to do, you are right he came to love.

    And in saying this i really hope that Equality Ride will see this step forward as that and possibly return. Communication then i believe is the best thing for us; to increase in this can greatly help us become better Christians and to continue in the Christian Fellowship with one another. I am a firm believer that communication entertwines greatly with Christianity- it can not healthily grow with out it.

    That being said i don't want to argue or state some imperical for sure fact but offer my interpretation of one of your interactions with one of the faculty:
    Kurt's response was "we have minorities preach, don't judge on what you see in only one day"...and I lost it. I said, "there is NO excuse or reason why people of color should not be in everything you do ALL the time. It is not about us being included by White people, but about being an integral part of everything that is happening in this world."
    My interpretation of Kurts response although i was not there and can not claim to be an authority on him or his views was that he was trying to be helpful and offer to you what you desired- equality. Second I think his next comment was that of pure knowledge, in his shoes i would say the same thing not to be offensive but just to interject objectivity into the conversation.
    Admittedly this was probably not the best choice of words but it was seemingly noble in purpose he meant no harm. However regardless of what he meant it hit home to you. I recognize that and i apologize for this, i really hope that he didn't mean to hurt you and i know this doesn't make up for it but i hope it helps. Please note also that we do seclude ourselves into the "SBU culture" forgive us for this too.

  20. My interpretation then for my colleagues that i hope reads this too is that i don't think it is right for us to be sick at Sabrina's response. What she sees too is correct. She is right the White population even at SBU has been far too long predominately White and yes i do understand that it seems like its not the White's fault that we don't have all the races represented but to an extent it is. If we call ourselves Christian and yet we haven't gone to everyone at least on our campus and put them into the leadership roles and in a place to express their race or in general anything what are we. Should i as a Caucasian only disciple Caucasians? By no means no. And if I can only find other Caucasians to disciple or be discipled by shouldn't i try all the much harder to be committed to being discipled or in fellowship with those of the other races i don't have us much contact with. My fellowship definately can't be complete in my little White bubble of SBU. And you(i am speaking especially to my fellow students) know how many on this campus need some one to come alongside and love them regardless of race, or anything in their life, ect. Shame on us and Sabrina I apologize for that to I even more so than these for propigating this racist view of our campus especially by just ignoring those of another race, color, creed, or lifestyle.

    All of this to say thank you for your honesty and despite the oppression that you felt know that through what ever we communicated we do love you. I can't express that enough and yes i understand that we haven't done it properly or necessarily in the way you feel it should be. I know that deep down each student and faculty- especially those that took time to interact with you (for the most part)- love you. Although you might disagree that through our words we loved you but i know that they tried. Forgive us for our wording and don't consider us out of you heart even if you are hurt, Jesus never put anyone out for offending him (and most assuredly i know he must have been offeneded frequently, one of my favorite examples has to be the constant bickering the disciples had over who was Jesus' favorite one). Please consider us not completely outside of your fellowship as we consider ourselves in light of our offensive words. I don't revoke anything said during your visit but encourage an examination of communication as we consider the same and more of ourselves. Let us consider ourselves one in Christ and that this will not deter our love for one another as well as for Christ and know that we pursue you in love regardless just as we hope you do for us not towards a change in thought but a change to fellowship and to be doers of the Word not just hearers.
    Your Brother in Christ,
    Drew Wilson

    P.s. as a personal note please excuse any ignorance that i might have shown through the misuse of any wording. I am new to the idea of not being gender specific in wording and would appreciate some grace in my lack of writing finese in this field. and thank you again

  21. o and sorry that was 2 posts it was written as one it just had to be split up because blogger wouldn't let me put something that long up. lol sorry

  22. Hey Sabrina!
    I don't know if you remember me, but we talked for quite some time on Wednesday and I really enjoyed our time together.

    I've read your blog and a few of the responses and I feel like there are several misconceptions from both parties. But there is only one I feel the need to address. You mentioned chapel, and referenced the little girl being called a "whore." I think there was a major misunderstanding... the speaker actually said "and the horror." The two words are easily misheard and its a simple error with huge connotative differences. I just couldn't let you leave thinking our campus would endorse such an exploitation. I just wanted to clear that up.

    :) Thanks again.


  23. Regarding Drew's post, I agree that SBU needs to reevaluate a few things regarding going outside of our "white bubble." SBU is extremely segregated. Sabrina, you reported that one of the black football players you talked to said that people look the other way when people walk past. That is sad. We do need to do things that get more than just the "white culture". But at the same time, we have a very small minority population. To do something targeted at the minority would displease the large majority (maybe). And not only that, but the minority population here doesn't really get involved in anything unless it is athletics. Athletes typically (not all) don't get involved in much more outside of their sport. Every minority I have seen outside of a sport has seemed to adjust well here. Like Melissa, who is very actively involved in theatre. Or DeeDee, who is a star in the music department. Or Louise, who is active on her hall and probably knows everyone's name. I could name more :)
    I didn't even really HAVE white friends before college, and now I don't really talk to people but white people. I am going to change this. Is it because I'm racist? HECK NO! But for integration at SBU to happen, it needs to happen on all parties. Everyone needs to be a part of it. I don't think the people at SBU are necessarily racist (i'm sure that there are a few), but they have been used to their "bubble" all their life. Let's change this!

  24. Right now, I don't even want to comment on my own personal thoughts on the post, cause I have yet to sort my feelings and I would like to privately discuss them with people on the Bus I (at least thought and still hope we) became friends with. As an SBU student, I feel I have to address my own community.

    Dear SBU students, faculty, staff, etc.
    While I know some people actually thought about what they would say and how they would say it, I can't help but feel at least a couple of your comments were said before you could gather your thoughts and you just lashed out at Sabrina and the Rider's as a whole. As upset as I am about this blog about SBU, I restrained myself from commenting because I did not want my emotions to completley fly off the handle and become a hurtful product rather than a helpful one. I want to come to an agreement on both sides, which will not happen possibly, but is coming in anger any less sinful or hurtful than what they have done to us? How have you shown them that we are different from how they viewed SBU as a whole?

    In response to what Bradley said earlier, The bible says that once we profess to accepting Jesus, we're in his hand, he will never let us go. First off, not all of the Equality Riders identify as being Christian. Secondly, All right, so they continue being LGBTQ and it's believed that doesn't make them Christian. I am engaged, and I will admit to having lustful thoughts about my fiance and I will admit to hating someone and to lying and other sins that are clearly wrong and outlined as sins in the Bible. Does that mean I am not a Christian either? Even if I do not ask for forgiveness because sometimes I forget the "little" sins and go on with my life, it does NOT mean I am not a Christian. I'm sure the LGBTQ Riders who are Christian came to God about what they felt about who they were.

    Please SBU, take care in what you say. Regardless of how you, how we feel about this, the Equality Riders are still *people*, people with *feelings*. Hurtful things are still hurtful even if our beliefs on subjects differ.

    ~Your fellow Bearcat

  25. First of all, I apologize for any ignorance that comes through in this post. I do not profess to know everything or be perfect. These are MY feelings.

    I do not understand why anybody should treat LGTBQ people differently. I am not going to coddle them and make their hurt any different or worse than my own. Reading this blog HURT ME, and I KNOW that it hurt others at SBU as well. LGTBQ people speak equality yet they continually blame the whites or the heterosexuals. Why? Why not speak the truth...that there is blame on BOTH sides. I do not think for a second that a gay person would turn down the opportunity to get on a soap box in front of thousands of people to preach about how being queer is correct. I doubt that a heterosexual would consider it, unless provoked by an event such as the equality ride or if it was a sermon. Also, why can't people understand..that SBU WOULD NOT TURN AWAY A PERSON OF COLOR!!!! I think that EVERYBODY is being ridiculous about the fact that we have minority groups. What school doesn't?! Sorry that our minority groups are really really great athletes. But Sabrina, please remember that you don't know everything about SBU from being here for 1 day. You have NO idea who Kurt is or any of our other faculty. You don't know the depths of the hearts of our students and you couldn't possibly in one day. And please remember that if you want to be equal...treat the people that YOU oppress equally.

  26. _Archangel_, i read your comment, and i agree with you to an extent. Im sure some of these people were very quick to comment because their feelings were deeply hurt. maybe i'm one of those people, but at this moment, i still FIRMLY stand by my first comment.
    The comments made by SBU students have all been honest. These people are saying, THIS HURTS. I for one had trouble sleeping last night because of how incredibly WRONG i was about the Equality RIders-after I met them and until I read this blog, I thought they were a group of people who came to discuss beliefs and explain their side of things, while listening rationally to the opinions of other believers. I spoke to MANY riders, and listened open mindedly to what they had to say. i considered their opinions, and as soon as they left, I went straight to my Bible and studied the issue in-depth to decide if my beliefs were wrong, and theirs were correct.
    I expected that many of them would do the same. I expected that the day was a learning experience for both parties, but it breaks my heart to see that the riders aren't interested in learning more about the issue from a Biblical perspective as I was.

    I guess my main issue with this blog post was the complete disregard for the feelings of those of us who did EVERYTHING IN OUR POWER to reach out and show kindness to the Equality Riders. We tried our best to listen to you and to watch our terminology so as to not offend you, and to offer sound but respectful opposing views. I guess I just had higher hopes for you--that you would show us the same kindness and respect.
    You want to know something? I cried when I read this blog. I bawled like a baby. My feelings were EXTREMELY hurt.
    I apologize for any hurt feelings on the other side as well. It was completely unintentional, and I for one am heartbroken over any pain that we caused you. I just wish you felt the same way about the pain you have caused us--the pain you've caused ME.

  27. So, first of all, Springfield, MO is one of the most least diverse places in the U.S. that is not SBU's fault. Would you defend the lack of white representation in a N.Y. intercity school? I agree some people are racist and dating a black guy has opened my eyes to the racism of the majority of people. What you point out, however, is not racism. The black children were on the screen because the chapel speaker does ministry in know where BLACK people live! That was the only point of the picture to give a face to pray for when we pray for his ministry overseas.
    It's also interesting to me that you harped on racism instead of LGBT discrimination. Why didn't you make a reference to LGBT people not being represented on the stage? Isn't that what the purpose of you coming on to our campus was for. Aside from the fact that I have studied the Bible in an open minded way and never found anything that supports LGBT relationships, why are you so upset over racism???
    Ok, so just one more thing..the "Stand Up" song was not about literally standing up it was about standing up for your belief. Would you not say that you "stand up" for LGBT rights??? The person a wheal chair can just as much "stand up" as a person who has the blessing of being able to walk on two feet.
    I think you were looking for the negative. Maybe you should think about diving into the Bible and see what backing you have to be so hateful.

  28. As a student host of the day I find this post very discouraging. Speaking for the few other hosts and faculty that I spoke to about the day, we felt that it was a great success and a huge step for our campus.
    The claims that you make in this post are very misleading. You give no real context for any of the situations. You have taken things that were said and situations that occurred and twisted them to make your point. That is manipulative. You give no one any credit for the good things that happened during the day.
    What you fail to understand is the sub-culture you are stepping into when you arrived at SBU. You forget where you are almost. You know nothing of why our campus is made up the way it is. And you know hardly anything about our students based on this blog.
    What is so frustrating for me, someone who was there most of the day aside from classes I went to, is that for everything you were offended by that happened in the day you cared nothing for how you were treating our students or our faculty. The claims of oppression made towards us were turned around and committed towards us as well - according to your definition. For your group to come to campus and automatically take the defensive on the way we did things, our chapel, our students, our faculty is not fair. To expect the exact opposite of that from us is not fair. It is unrealistic and by your definition oppressing us, regardless of if we are a majority.
    From our best understanding the day was for dialog. The day was meant for awareness and conviction. And for our campus that is exactly what happened.
    What you do not get to see is the effect of your visit. You still have students talking about the day and everything that was said. We are making an effort to create safe spaces on our campus. We aren't done discussing this in large groups. We have follow up panels scheduled.

  29. cont...

    For you to come to a campus and expect radical change in one day or for everyone to agree with you is utterly unrealistic. It just doesn't happen. No one can go to a place that has different beliefs, different worldviews, different perspectives and expect everyone to bow to their way. It never happens in anywhere anyone goes.
    For me, the day was great. Great conversation occurred between me and some of the riders. Common ground was found and important things discussed. It greatly discourages me that you only see the negative of the day.
    You also fail to mention in this blog how you acted towards one of our professors. You fail to mention how you all bombarded him and accused me of hate speech when you really weren't listening to what he said. While you were accusing him of such things, the very things you were accusing him of were being acted out towards him. For you to say and expect us to act and speak one way it seems acceptable for you to turn around and do the exact opposite. It doesn't matter who anyone is - that is hypocritical and wrong.
    Another disappointing point in the day for me was the last question that was asked from the audience during the panel discussion was never answered. To remind you, the question was "What can we do to bridge the gap or start/further the healing process between the two opinions on this issue as Christ-loves and Christ-followers?" That was my question. I feel that if nothing else, that is the reason you came to campus, yet that answer was never made clear. You did not give an adequate answer, nor one that was understandable or tangible. How do you expect change if you don't answer our questions asking how we can change, how we can show you more acceptance, how we can be Christ to you?
    I hope that my comment has convicted you to change your approach for later universities on your stop or in future stops. Do not treat every university the same. Examine the situation accordingly. And above all else - do not assume things about the students or faculty or the university itself. You end up "oppressing" the human beings you are referring to. And that is something you say you do not stand for, so I encourage you to stay equal on that across the board regardless of the sexual orientation. Because the sexual orientation for heterosexuals seems to be your greatest downfall in treating everyone equally. This a very sensitive topic for both sides – and understandably so. But to approach this in this irrational, emotionally fueled way is not fair to your hosting university.
    I do want to let you know that I do admire the fact that you are creating discussion about this topic around the country in Christian universities. It is something that should not be ignored anymore by the Church and needs to be talked about. I feel that our generation is ready to take this topic and hopefully, someday, create equality for people regardless of opinion or any other difference, as long as it is approached rationally from both ends.

  30. Haha. who gives a flying fuck if there are people of color on stage. we live in asshole, missouri. black people don't live here. the only black people on campus are athletes. so they have better things to do than sing on stage about jesus. like play sports and not care about god. but for christ's sake, don't make up shit about us being racist for not having black people on stage. hahaha, thats reaching for real. I could care less if you are a dude who likes i give zero shits. but don't waste your time coming to bolivar expecting to open the minds of people who are unable to think outside of things said to them from a pulpit. go spend your time doing something useful. Libb High Football RULES!!!!

  31. Okay, the language is NOT necessary. not for in this blog OR, even more so, in the comment by smartiesareforme. We all may have differences, but we are all followers of Christ and that is NOT how we should represent Him.

  32. I'm NOT a follower of Christ. Christianity is a dream. And a bad one. Someone give me solid proof that god exists. Please...and while you are at it, please explain to me why God created evil. I'm not a follower of Christ for many reasons...most of which b/c he never REALLY existed....please enjoy this video. :)

    God isn't real. YOU are in charge of your own life. Get used to it.

  33. I honestly wish I could respond to everyone individually. This is more honest expression and dialogue than I received all day at SBU! I'm not going to apologize for my blog. This was part of the healing from the racism, oppression, and spiritual violence I experienced on this campus.

    You can all find my e-mail address on the Soulforce webpage. If you want to talk individually I'll be happy to answer questions.

    I would like to say that there are so many racist and ableist comments on this page that I have no idea where to begin. There are resources that I am working on posting soon. What this tells me is that there is a lot of work to be done at SBU.

    Here are some examples from the posts above:

    "We have an apathetic minority crowd, and that we intentionally try and plan events that the minorities on our campus will be excited about, and be involved in, yet they still fail to come out. Can we simply, because we are white, be blamed for their apathy? Should we also be blamed for the fact that lots of white kids don't want to come to events either? Is that racist against white people?"

    "They say you can't use the word stand because some people are in wheelchairs, then say step in the right direction... Isn't that a contradiction?"

    "Seriously?! This really offends me also! Especially the whole racists part! Okay, so the people leading the worship on that particular day are all white, SO WHAT! However, if it had been an all colored praise team, that would be totally fine, right? Of course it would. Hmm, so we have black history month...which there were posters ALL over campus informing people of black history month, however, if anyone would have hung a poster about "white history" it would have been considered racist."

    "As for the comment about using the word "stand" offending the people who are in wheel chairs, did you happen to notice that we have students at SBU who are in wheelchairs as well? NEVER have any of them issued a complaint about us singing about standing in worship."

    "As a whole, here on this campus, and this area in general, there are not many people of color, and that's just the way it has been."

    "Clearly I don't think you will be happy anywhere you are looking for discrimination and therefore you shall find it..."

    How can I possibly relay my knowledge on a web post? My plea is that each and every one of you go to some kind of anti-racism training and educate yourselves. I relayed my experience on this campus and conveyed my disappointment of ONE day. There are people on your campus (I TALKED TO THEM) that experience this every day. I urge you, I am begging... Because there are people on your campus that are hurting and are too scared or outnumbered to say so.

    Regarding ableism, this has to be one of the more sublime forms of oppression. Just because no one has spoken up doesn't mean they are happy with how things are. Sometimes there are no words for why we feel "less than" or hurt by others. If we don't educate ourselves we just DON'T KNOW.

    As a Pansexual Feminist Woman of Color I see the world through a certain filter. Yes, as an activist I have become used to seeing discrimination wherever it manifests. This is what I do. BSU depressed me.

    And as a closing note: If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. If you benefit from White privilege and don't work to educate yourself or work against racism, you are just as racist as the person that overtly discriminates against people of color.

    This is not my opinion, this is a fact. Read a book. Take a seminar. Go to forums. Do whatever you need to do to educate yourself...and then educate others.

  34. Um... to address the "not taking responsibility for what the speaker said" issue.. We've had, (just this year), a speaker come to chapel and, in front of all the students, flick them off with both hands. HONESTLY.... Do you *really* think that it is under our control what the speakers do or say?? Second: There isn't really any room to take offense to the picture on the screen. It was a colored child.. there's kind of an abundance of them in africa, and a good number of mission videos or "feel bad for the children of the world" type of videos use videos of african youth.. Again, it was only a video that the staff of Pike Auditorium was told to play. We did what the speaker said. To address the "sexist music" issue.. It was referred to as "guys' parts" and "girls' parts" (when to sing and what lines) only because of the range of voices that the typical "guys" and "girls" have. If you had paid enough attention, you would've noticed that the third singer, who was a male, -was singing during the girls' part- Also... another issue you need to correct.. and pay PARTICULAR attention to this one. Working on pike staff, we have 2 girls, one of them VOLUNTEERING, and the other is Philipino girl(sp?). We also happen to have a latino male working on staff. Pardon us for not hiring minorities... (oh, and just for your information.. it was only *five* Riders and *five* (SBU faculty, staff, and students that attended the speech later that evening.) )

  35. One of my best friend goes to SBU and here is my opinion...

    So from the time that i have heard about the christian faith, i have wanted to feel the "fire" that is talked about so freely. And after much time in "prayer" and "scripture" and let me tell you where it has led me. To a world full of unanswered prayers and false hope. If you honestly think that a man "inside your heart" can speak to you through common everyday actions then i pity you. I have been praying with all of me to understand and feel this "god" from the time I wanted to become a christian. But I have never felt anything. Nothing has ever "came into my hear" and filled me with faith. Other than the fear of hell. And do you know what i heard from "christians" when i asked why i dont feel the fire? I wasnt praying hard enough. I wasn't looking hard enough. Bullshit. I though you ask and you shall recieve. FUCK THAT. WAIT FOR YOUR "CHARIOT OF FIRE" ASCENDING FROM HEAVEN (which are Aliens btw).

    From the time of existence we have been searching for answers to the things we can not explain. Which is exactly why ancient greek and egyptian civilizations created mythological gods and goddesses to help people understand the unknown. Look up the egyptian god "Horus" Educate yourselves pussys. Dont be the sheep following a false leader.


  36. Just a side note to "smartiesareforme" and "benislegend":
    We are talking about what happened at SBU, not the existence of God. If you would like to debate that, please take it elsewhere. It's simply not appropriate for this setting.

  37. To the person at SBU who doesn't believe in God (I think it's "smartiesareforme", I would love to have a friendly conversation with you some time. My name is Matt Tyler and you can find me on Facebook. I would love to set up a time to get together.

  38. Also, I think we have all said what has needed to be said on this post. Sabrina doesn't seem to understand, and what's worse, the author of this blog thinks that it is WE who do not understand. We know the things that are happening on this campus as a result of Soulforce coming and that is proof enough. We have the Truth and were able to speak Truth to them while they were hear. That tells me that this day was a success.

  39. Dear Heather,

    I don't think you should be the judge of who posts what on here. I don't agree with most of the racist comments on here and I still have not censored anything. Freedom of speech and thank GOD for internet.

    P.S. To Anonymous who wrote: "so we have black history month...which there were posters ALL over campus informing people of black history month, however, if anyone would have hung a poster about "white history" it would have been considered racist"

    Do you have any clue whatsoever WHY there is Black History month? Because people of color were OMITTED from the history books, because every American accomplishment was accredited by White people TO White people. Having White History month would be taking up more space than you already have and discrediting the worth of even more people.

    My next post is a really great resource on White Privilege. Check it out.

    Amber, it was great talking to you, too. Sorry this is all hard. While there are some things that may be misunderstandings, these comments above cannot be misunderstood. There is a complete lack of understanding regarding culture, people of color, racism, etc. While we were there to talk about LGBTQ issues...we noticed that the campus is steeped in all kinds of oppression. As human beings that love all people, I can't keep my mouth shut about it. This from one Christian to another.

  40. Can you please tell me in what way my comment was racist? It appears that I need clarification on what your definition is of "racism". Please remember that I am a person of color, and my comment was NOT written with the intention of saying that it's right for our area not to be culturally diverse, I'm just saying that the lack of diversity is the way that it has been.

  41. Can you please tell me how there is oppression? Webster defines oppression as "unjust or cruel exercise of authority or power".

  42. Dee Dee - I would love to explain. Please e-mail me with your comment and I'll explain. As a Person of Color I believe you have been deprived of crucial knowledge by your family, friends, and educational institutions. However, responsibility also lies on you to educate yourself. Also, check out my next blog and ask yourself those questions. I love the one about cover-up make up in "nude" "skin tone" or "neutral". That's just a very small example of how there is a White standard, and everyone else is made to be an "other".

    Please follow the exercise on my next blog. Then I hope you see for yourself how White society uses "unjust and cruel exercise of authority and power". Also, there's a cheap book called "The Heart of Whiteness" that is a fast read and really good.


  43. Sabrina please read.

    Part 1

    1) The chapel was not clarify, the speaker said "these children are being used like whores"...not that they were whores...completely taken out of context. As well, for us to sing a song with a "boys" part and a "girls" part should in no way be grounds for oppression....for 2 reasons.

    A) this campus believes that homoerotic behavior in all of your "forms" (i.e. pansexualism, omnisexualism, transsexualism...ect) is contrary to the will of God...why? because it is. You know the verses, I'm not going to waste my time on that. That being said, in our chapel service at a PRIVATE school we all believe that there are only 2 genders, male and such this is not oppression, but merely a group of students expressing their right to, a term you social activists might be familiar with, RELIGIOUS FREEDOM! Thus we have committed no such offense.

    B) An open LGBTQ community does not exist on this campus because it is contrary to our school's policy...whether that is right or wrong, regardless the fact that we do not have an open LGTBQ community on campus as of the day we sang those songs we have not committed any form of oppression...that is oppression: the state of being subject to cruel or unjust treatment or control (as defined by the Webster's dictionary)...since there is not an LGBTQ community in existence on this campus to be subject to cruel or unjust treatment, then clearly "oppression" cannot have occurred. The only problem with this is that "Equality Ride" happened to be in chapel that day...why? because we let you. As such you are our guests and you go by our standards. That's just common decency.

    2) If you want us to represent one particular group of color in our worship service then you must, you absolutely must, you positively must require us to represent all colored and non-colored cultures...worldwide! Why? because if we don't, well then that would be "othering" and "dehumanizing" to those other cultures...maybe even, i hate to say it, but oppression. Those were you're groups' words spoken at the panel. If you don't want those things to occur, well then we must represent everyone. The core of that idea is just and good...but I see a few major problems with that. 1) we don't have a person from every culture on our campus. and 2) those that we do have don't want to participate. and 3) if you suggest we should only represent those cultures here within our student body, well then I guess it is okay for us to only represent men and women in our worship team and our songs because, hmmm, let's see, that's all we have in our student body. Do you see my point?

    3) As for what the speaker had to say. I personally found it beneficial. If you have a bible, turn to Matthew 28:19-20. I'm sure you are familiar with this passage, "The Great Commission". You see it is Jesus calling us to go into the world and spread the gospel. That was the speaker's point; we have been called, so stop praying for a call, and start praying to ask if you should stay. He was making a point that so many people go overseas just for the fun or adventure, and that they don't really understand why it is they are going. I agree. He was also preaching the age-old sermon that "if you aren't called over seas you are still a missionary to those you work with and those you come into contact with everyday."...I see no reason to "vomit." And he was talking about India, not Sudan.

  44. Part 2

    Other Stuff

    This blog is getting too long, and I'm getting to tired to respond to all of your criticisms, so I am going to sum up what I thought of the day.

    During the panel, several of the Equality Riders stated that they do not seek relationships with people who believe what they are doing is wrong...i.e. us here at SBU. That's a double standard. If you think all we have to do is love and be loved, well then my question to you is "how can we, here at SBU, love you if you can't even take the time to set aside our differences and pursue and friendship/relationship with us?" I was so frustrated when I heard that. Why? because you rudely invited yourselves to our campus and we did what we thought Jesus Christ would do and allowed you to come in and worship, eat, and fellowship with us. We fed you great food. We tried to befriend you. We let you on our campus with the intention of hearing what you had to say and develop relationships with you. We set aside our differences and engaged you as people, not "gay" or "bi" or "lesbian" or "queer" or whatever...exactly as you guys wanted....and what did the Equality Riders, many of whom claimed to be followers of Christ, do? You pushed your agenda on us. You argued with us. You made it very clear at the panel that you didn't want to be our friends or even establish relationships with us. You called us racist and sexist oppressors (pretty demeaning words). You called us those things because we chose not to except your worldview, and your idea of culture, yet you completely dehumanized us and "othered" us by throwing our idea of cultures (as fellow human beings) right out the window. That is SELFISHNESS at its core.

    And as for the "our version of love is what you call oppression" I completely whole heartedly agreed with Mrs. Langford when she said that. I think it is sad, but its the truth. Here's my point. Say for instance my friend was hitting the bottle pretty hard and was just throwing his life away. Would it be love for me to sit by and say "well, he thinks that's's his life, and it's not my place to say anything, even though I disagree with it."...I think we all can agree, Equality Riders and SBU students alike that that is definitely not love. The right thing would be to help him/her get out of it. Plain and simple. That would be me showing love to my friend. My point is that because we feel strongly that homoerotic behavior is sin, talking to someone who struggles with that and helping them out of it is LOVE just like it is in that hypothetical scenario. You don't because you don't think it is a sin. So that truly is the core issue. Is homoerotic behavior sin? YES. Is it right that someone who struggles with it should be excluded and picked on? ABSOLUTELY NOT!...helping them get out of it is LOVE. not oppression because oppression can only exist where there is cruel and unjust treatment. There is no cruel and unjust punishment in that "love" whatsoever.

  45. Part 3

    My main concern is that the Equality Riders overgeneralize all Christians as the "God hates gays christians." I'm from Wyoming, and so I grew up in the shadow of the Matthew Shepherd murder in Laramie. I can still remember the day it happened, Oct. 12, 1998. I completely understand why you are upset, but don't make the mistake of assuming all Christians hate you. WE DON'T! That does not, however, mean we have to sacrifice our principles, or better yet, the bible's principles to avoid falsely being labeled oppressors. Ultimately all I can say is if you claim to be a Christ follower, I suggest you look at what the bible says about being a Christ follower. It is clear that homoerotic behavior is sin, and it is also clear that in order to receive salvation one must repent and turn away from sin, not live in it. Until you see that, we will never ever be able to bridge the gap. We love you, and we want to help you. It's up to you to do the right thing.

    Jesus came to love us. He did this through dying for our sins. He interceded on our part so that we didn't have to spend an eternity in hell, so that we didn't have to die. THAT IS TRUE LOVE!!!!! My final point being that if we continue to live in sin, ALL of us, myself included a thousand times over, LGBTQ or straight, whatever sin it may be, whether lying, slander, homoerotic behavior, lust, pornography, adultery, gossip, and so on, how are we following Christ?...If we don't recognize sin and turn away from it, then all we have done is made the love that Jesus showed to us, the ULTIMATE form of love, a wasted effort. That is truly the most saddening thing we can comprehend, if we can even comprehend it. We can never come to an agreement until we recognize that we are ALL sinners and we ALL fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23) We are not made perfect. We are made sinner's, wretches, vermin, terrible creatures. God loves us for who we are but by the same token he wants us to recognize that we are not perfect the way we are. We are flawed, sinners saved by grace; no one person better than the other. So that's no excuse to sit and do nothing. To sit and just say "I can't overcome my struggles, therefore they must not be struggles." The porn addict can't just say "God made me a porn addict...I guess I'll stay that way"....the alcoholic can't just say "God made me an alcoholic...and that's okay, he loves me just the way I am."...I cannot say "God made me a sinner, so it's okay to sin."...we have to be very careful that we understand that we are born sinners and that sin is ultimately inevitable because we are not perfect. We also must recognize that that is no excuse, however, to let it control our lives. This applies to EVERYONE. I think to often all of us forget that.

  46. Part 4

    Some long awaited closing remarks

    I don't think we will ever be able to agree on the subject of homosexuality, or homoerotic behavior. Truthfully I felt like the day you and the rest of the riders were here at SBU went very well, until the end. I think before you continue visiting other Christians schools, however, that you and the rest of the riders should be very careful how you address fellow Christians, or Christ followers...whatever you want to call us. The biggest fallacy I find in your arguments is the assumption that because maybe you or a friend or someone you know was hurt by a Christian that all Christians are going to act the same way. Regardless of what you may think, that is 100% false, and I hope your visit to SBU showed that. Before we point the finger at you we must realize that we are all struggling with sin and that we are all humans living our lives...but by the same token, before you or any of the rest of the riders point your fingers at us and label us oppressors and racist and sexist you must dually realize that we are not all like those Christians who may have hurt you or another rider. Understand this; we all are entitled to an opinion and we all are entitled to a set of beliefs that guide our lives. No one person's beliefs are more important than another person's. Period. You may think oppression is bad, and that our version of love is the equivalent to oppression in your eyes...but remember that we see it as saving another lost soul, or helping a fellow Christian draw closer to God. Our beliefs are just as important as yours. Don't forget that.

  47. To "smartiesareforme" and "benislegend"...I agree with Heather. This is not the setting to debate the existence of God. Honestly there is overwhelming proof of the existence of God. I doubt I can answer all of your questions, but I can definitely give you some evidence of God worth looking into and researching, but not in this setting. Look me up on facebook (Ryan Schaal) and I'd be more than happy to send you some stuff.

  48. Dear ryguy89,

    First, your comments are really long.

    Second, SBU was the 13th school we were at and it was, so far, the most oppressive.

    Third, we don't go to schools to change people's faiths. We go to schools to speak up for people who can't. Because there are students committing suicide and doing very harmful things to themselves because they think they are detestable in God's eyes. Whatever you believe, telling someone that is thinking of suicide that being gay is a sin will only tip them over the will not "save" them. We only try to make schools a safer place for ALL students, not simply the majority.

    Fourth, my biggest issue with SBU was the rampant racism.

    Fifth, ANYONE has the blessing and permission to post whatever they want to post on this blog. You nor anyone else should be judging what is appropriate or not on this blog page...and if I don't mind bigots, racists, and homophobes...than by all means...those who wish to debate God's existence are more than allowed. Everyone, in my opinion, and on my page, has a right to voice their opinion. Everyone is a human being, and everyone has that right. Period.

    Blessings to all :)

  49. You apparently failed to notice all the flags hanging above your head in our chapel as you walk in the front door. Those flags are on display for all the students past and present that attend SBU from different countries.

  50. First of all- the "disturbed and sick to our stomachs" part was probably due to the food you ate. We don't exactly have high standards here, although i heard they treated you to a banquet, which i think is silly- is that why you really do these ridiculous protests? Free food?

    Second- i can't believe you call what you do "missionary work-" you manipulate the Bible to say what you want it to say, and then act as if you do your atrocities in the name of God the Father.

    Third- about being ableist and racist- whatever. I freaking hate SBU, but people here are still very nice and accommodating to disabled people- i know two who are actually very popular, because why? At SBU it's not what you look like, it's not what you can do, but it's about who you are- people care about your personality. And as for racism- i saw your response to my friend Dee Dee's comment, and i think you're a moron. Just because she's a "person of colour" doesn't mean that it's wrong of her to be immersed in the AMERICAN culture. I'm irish- and what i know about my background i've learned on my own. I'm proud to be an american. And as for makeup- if i wore that crap, mine says "ivory-" should i be offended? And i have never witnessed anyone being racist on campus. Just because we're predominantly white (like the rest of America, Britain, Ireland, etc- you know, the other RACIST countries) doesn't mean we hate on minorities. And as for you being a minority that wasn't represented- how is someone supposed to mention every culture, race, or religion in one day? Are you so ignorant you think there's only you, whites, and blacks? There are hundreds- you need to educate YOURSELF.

    Fourth- as for the young man who "opened his heart" to you- i have a past, everyone has a past- my friends know it, and they accept me like the good people they are. Maybe he met the wrong people- not everyone you meet ANYWHERE, not just SBU, is going to be perfectly friendly and open.

    Fifth- Sexism? I agree. Of course there's sexism. There's sexism EVERYWHERE- and i'm painfully aware of it. You should probably take a psychology course, by the way. But sexism is ALWAYS more apparent in Christian settings.

    Sixth- about half the campus doesn't care for Caddy- so shut your face and don't judge us all on one questionable speaker.

    Finally- thanks for dissing a bunch of religions that i'm sure you've closely studied and experienced without bias in your last paragraph. I can't believe someone so ignorant would put out such obviously biased crap on the internet- but i guess i've seen worse- there's Fred on youtube. It's obvious to those of even mediocre intelligence that you have no open-mindedness or knowledge on any of the subjects you speak about. Read about Paul, find him in the Bible and just read- you might learn something. You think that just because you run around on a big bus with homosexual people and their friends and family that you automatically get labeled as "open-minded." Well, take a big look in the mirror, "friend," and try "" to look up such a BROAD term you've decided to make so marginal in meaning.

    "blessings to all :)"

  51. Dear Archre,

    I'll respond to the only part of which I feel needs a response.

    "At SBU it's not what you look like, it's not what you can do, but it's about who you are- people care about your personality."

    It isn't about just who you are because if not we wouldn't have been there in the first place. There are standards at SBU, just as in every other institution, and I disagree with some of those standards. Especially when the standards are: White, Christian, Heterosexual, Male.

    "And as for racism- i saw your response to my friend Dee Dee's comment, and i think you're a moron. Just because she's a "person of colour" doesn't mean that it's wrong of her to be immersed in the AMERICAN culture."

    I don't believe I ever said she was wrong to be immersed in a different culture. I'm interested in all different kinds of cultures, and feel partial through experience and loved ones to many. The point is not to be blind to the oppression of your own culture because of whitewashing or ingrained discrimination. I invited her to write to me because as a Person of Color it can be a painful process being awakened to the racism around you.

    "And as for makeup- if i wore that crap, mine says "ivory-" should i be offended?"

    You are not offended that yours says "ivory" because this is the standard and you are taught to be proud of this.

    "And i have never witnessed anyone being racist on campus. Just because we're predominantly white (like the rest of America, Britain, Ireland, etc- you know, the other RACIST countries) doesn't mean we hate on minorities."

    You have not noticed because you are obviously turning a blind eye to it. Or you have not educated yourself. There is a reason why your school is predominantly White. That is because your school has not created culturally diverse spaces to attract different cultures. Music is white, art on walls are white, the only language is English, most faculty are white. If you have nothing to offer people from different cultures, you are promoting and sustaining an all-White school. This is racist.

    Don't you understand that America was NOT founded by White people? First Nation people were here first and SBU calls then "Indians" and said things like "the natives are getting restless". What is your Native population there? Yet they were here first. What about activities, clubs, organizations for diversity? I heard about Divine and being in transition. So someone tried to form something and couldn't get it off the ground. Do you think this is because you have an "apathetic minority group" or because people are discouraged to be proud of their different culture?


  52. You, Madam, are insistent on taking every comment and twisting it to get the worst possible meaning out of it. You're so focused on being offended or oppressed that you take a figure of speech as a racist or discriminatory remark. Really? You need to take one GIANT step back and take it with a grain of salt.

  53. Sabrina,

    I would love to chat with you as to why my comment was "racist" and what your definition of "racism" is, etc. I don't mind if we do that privately, via e-mail, but I was wonder if you could also share here, so that my other friends- of color, or not, can hear where you're coming from so we're all on the same page?

  54. My apologies for the long thoughts never come out as short as I intend them too...I will try harder to make this shorter and more understandable

    1) You never show how SBU is oppressive. Many of us, myself included, have presented dictionary definitions of the word "oppression" and have shown how oppression does not take place on our campus. You have failed to provide any proof of oppression. Probably because it doesn't exist here in the way you believe it does.

    2) We have no recorded incidents of suicide or violence towards a gay or lesbian ect. individual on campus. As well, 9 times out of 10 the reason they are toying with the idea of suicide is not because of something a Christian has said, but usually a family member or someone they know through work or school. Ultimately there are some Christians whose outbursts towards these individuals I do not agree with but in nearly all cases the incidents you speak of are a result of how our culture views the LGBTQ community. Not how the church views the community. A resent study, done by Battlecry showed that only 4% of our generation identifies as evangelical Christians. Therefore we can see that the vast majority of people that oppress the LGBTQ are not even Christians!!! So what standard can you hold them to? None! because they have no standard. As well I would never ever handle a situation like the one you presented by slamming it in a person's face that homosexuality is wrong. That is not at all what I am advocating. I'm simply standing up for my school and the oppression that is taking place towards it by you and your fellow riders.

  55. And 3) As for racism.

    This is a ridiculous claim. You never present any evidence of racism here on our campus, yet all of us posting have shown you over and over how we aren't racist. Enough said. Don't make unwarranted assumptions you can't prove. Your arguments and points are so stricken with fallacy's in their claims that we can't even begin to argue the actual issues. Here's an idea...why don't you practice what you speak? That's a good place to start if you want to gain any respect. You call us racist oppressors while you surround one of our professor's and slam him with hate speech after all the hospitality we have shown you? That certainly sounds like ministry work to me...that's definitely have Paul and Peter, and need I say Jesus went about doing their ministries. I think not!

    This is pointless. Until you show us how we are oppressive and racist and until you stop being oppressive towards us, we can never even begin to bridge the gap. Period

  56. Just another thought. Sabrina what you advocate sounds a lot to me like Affirmative Action. not just for race, but for this whole ridiculous gender spectrum thing as well. Do some research and you will see that affirmative action is even more oppressive than racism itself. Again, start practicing what you speak and maybe someone will listen.

  57. Just another thought, in response to your comment on "White, Christian, heterosexual, male"...the male to female ratio at SBU easily tips to more females than males...once again, do some research.

  58. Oh, by the way-
    My friend Amy pointed out that the speaker said that it was a "horror-" not that the children were whores.
    but i can forgive that:
    I guess you are just so good at manipulating people's words that you're doing it subconsciously, now.
    And i LOVE that while trying to stomp out the imaginary racism you find in places you're promoting. It's all ironic. People weren't very nice to the Irish when we first got here- and black, white, asian- i would be proud of my race no matter what my make-up said. You keep twisting words, even silly things no one cares about like "nude" or "natural," and you're going to end up so misguided you won't know which way is up anymore- if it hasn't already happened.

    I'm not commenting anymore on this crap because anything this poorly written is obviously done for attention.

  59. Sabrina, at this point what is frustrating me the most is that you're not giving evidence for your claims. You keep claiming that on this campus while you were here you experienced Spiritual Violence, Racism, Ableism, and Sexism. Your evidence for ableism is, for lack of better words, weak. Just because a song says "stand" doesn't mean you have to literally stand. But I will admit that after spending time with Minda, a quadriplegic on campus, we need better handicapped accessibility. As for racism, I talked to a few people on campus about this. It seems to me that after discussing this, there isn't racism on our campus, but ignorance. And it seems that the people who complain the most about racism, are the ones who don't want to talk about it or do anything about it (apathy). It's as is asking questions is rude. One thing I appreciated out of the Riders is that I could ask questions without you guys getting offended. You provided me with an opportunity to learn about things I was ignorant about, but not out of choice. On this campus we need to be more honest and open period about race and culture. I separated race from culture because just because two people are of the same race, they don't necessarily have the same culture. I do not know anything about the culture involved with living in a small town or on a farm. I have a teacher that likes to use terms that I ALWAYS have to ask what he means. Last year, I learned that "equally yoked" didn't refer to an egg. I also learned that wells don't require buckets nowadays; pipes connect it to the house. Still blows my mind :) But other people don't know things about my culture. So for everyone, it's a learning experience that must take place.

    So, I have drawn a few conclusions to the racism issue (or culturism?):
    (1) People here need to venture outside of their own culture and learn about others, no matter whether it's a different race, country, ethnicity, etc.
    (2) People need to be open in dialog and not be so easily offended when people ask them questions. Sure, they are asking out of ignorance, but it is not offensive.
    (3) If you are going to complain that you are a minority, work so that you are not unseen. There are plenty of people who shine as stars who are of the minority.
    (4) Nobody is a "minority" in God's eyes.

  60. "Music is white, art on walls are white, the only language is English, most faculty are white. If you have nothing to offer people from different cultures, you are promoting and sustaining an all-White school. This is racist."

    For one thing, did you know there are some people who would consider "white" to be an offensive term? I'm not one of them, but then again I also do not consider singing about standing to be offensive to someone in a wheelchair, so what do i know?
    but anyways...
    When you say the "music is white", im not sure exactly what you're talking about.
    If you're referring to the chapel music...
    The praise band was all white, yes. But that doesn't mean that every single week, every single chapel, we have all white kids up there. This is EXACTLY was Kurt was saying when you jumped all over his back for it--you CAN NOT ASSUME that we NEVER have people of color up there leading, in chapel or anywhere else! Dee Dee is only ONE example of a person of color who has taken an active leadership role. She is not an athlete! She's a music major, and an INCREDIBLY talented one at that! She's been up there on that stage many times playing piano and singing, utilizing the gifts God blessed her with. Please don't jump to conclusions--keep in mind that you were here for ONE chapel--I've been there for hundreds of them.
    The art on the walls. OKAY. I'm not sure what art you specifically are referring to. But, I have noticed a lot of paintings around. And may of them WERE painted by caucasian artists. You want to know why? BECAUSE THEY'RE CLASSIC PIECES! Painted in the Classical and Baroque periods by artists who were alive back then. How many artists back then were POC? Honestly. Yes, there was severe racism in those days, and the fact that there are so many Caucasian artists makes it very difficult to find art that is NOT by a white artist from that time period.

    The only language being English.
    That would be because everyone on our campus speaks English. Personally, I did not take a foreign language class. EVER. Now you're going to be telling me I'm oppressive because I can't speak another language. I disagree, but I'm not here to argue about that. The point is, if we had people here who did not speak English, I'm sure there would be more push for another language to be spoken. But honestly, WE ARE IN THE MIDWEST. The only other language really spoken in these parts is Spanish, but even that is decently rare.

  61. There are people here who don't just speak English. There are people here who's first language isn't even English. But because it's an American School, and English is our national language, English is the language that we teach in. I talk with a latina friend of mine in Spanish, in fact we've played Spanish Scrabble in my room. And also, like I pointed out before, it's not a white-black-latino-etc. thing, it's a cultural thing. And I hate how there are "white" stereotypes. I mean, "white music"--really??? That sounds pretty racist to me, to say that a type of music is only for white people. I don't really like "white people" music, whatever that means. To put stereotypes on things is racist in my opinion. Why do we have to put labels on things like "black" and "white", etc?

  62. Hi All,

    I wish I could continue some of these conversations. Some people are truly opening their hearts and minds. However, I have to move on. I'd like to post about Bethel College (Indiana) and tomorrow we head to Lincoln, I can't keep responding here.

    To Dee Dee - It is easier to continue back and forth conversation by e-mail. It's hard to do so while fishing through other people's comments. If you want you and I can communicate and you can post the e-mails on here. I don't mind if you don't mind.

    To others that just cannot understand and comprehend what I'm saying...I'm sorry for you. It truly makes me sad. Words cannot express.

    By English is the only language I'm talking about lack of interpreters, lack of signs in other languages, bulletins and programs only printed in one language, etc. Come on people. Is this third grade or are you in college?

    I thought I could help, but the truth is that most of you will have to educate YOURSELF.

  63. I'm originally from Miami and there are so many different cultures there that I wasn't really in tune with terms like racism, systems of oppression, liberation theology, etc. I didn't think I needed to be. So, I've tried to put myself in your shoes; the other side of the coin where you all are in a predominantly White area and thought you never needed to learn about this either. The difference is that when someone pointed it out, I listened. I used to say stupid things like "reverse racism" and didn't understand Affirmative Action at all. To be honest, I also didn't understand why we had Black History month and thought things like "playing the Race card" was something that could be used by all races. It never occurred to me that in the newspaper they will never say that a "Christian robber" was found, but they will specifically mention if it is a "Muslim robber". I didn't see these things. Then I began to educate myself. Really take notice of my surroundings. See movies like Avatar and Legion and notice that the "savior" is always White or White people. I began watching tv and noticed that POC were not represented. I might have agreed with one of my White friends if they exclaimed, "isn't White a color, too?"

    We can choose to continue in a bubble or we can choose to learn about these things. I don't have all the answers, but in my outrage I am glad it spurned conversation. However, it disheartens me that most people on this blog refuse to see, to learn, or to understand.

    Here are some links:

    There are so much more and better. I just quickly googled these, as you can, too.

    Blessings to all and I hope that these conversations continue for a long time.


  64. haha, i can't help it- i just have to say:
    i noticed that every single person who has commented on this blog has made a valid point. The only exception is the blogger herself. How's the irony treating you?

  65. Hi Sabrina,
    I have grown up around SBU and will be attending full time this Fall. I didn't get to meet any of the Riders when you visited, but your visit nonetheless had an impact on me. I have seen a lot of what you pointed out on campus. Particularly the part about minority athletes. I have heard faculty and staff say as much in the company of other faculty and staff members many a time.

    Thank you so much for the work you are doing. I'm very sorry you have to put up with all the ignorance, hate, and personal attacks. I read about half the comments here and got too sick to my stomach to continue.

    Please know that SBU is still buzzing from your visit and the conversation is being continued.

  66. Dear Emily,

    Thanks for the support. It's difficult pulling the wool from people's eyes. My close friends and fellow Riders have also read these comments and gotten physically ill. I'm still trying to have patience and e-mailing back and forth with a few people with valid questions and a genuine desire to understand.

    Again, your positive remarks are appreciated and good luck at SBU! Keep my information in case you have any questions later on.


  67. Jesus said: "Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdon of heaven. Blessed are you when men cast insults at you and persecute you and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, on account of Me. Rejoice and be glad for your reward in heaven is great, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you." Sermon on the Mount
    So, why are you resisting oppression and persecution? When we follow Christ we know that we will be persecuted for who we are and what we believe? Jesus never stood up for His rights or taught that we should stand up for ours. He told us to turn the other cheek, pray for our enemies and those who persecute us.
    Stop fighting the cross you have chosen to carry. Jesus would never have stood in protest in front of an institution or traveled around the country demanding His rights. He was busy building the Kingdom which lasts forever. Be busy building His kingdom- we are all He has to do the work.

  68. Hey all!

    I've gotten Sabrina's permission to post what we are talking about in private e-mails, so here we go. This was Sabrina's response to me. My response will follow.

    "Okay, so I'll begin. Your comment would be racist if said by someone else. The fact that you're saying it shows me that it is something you were taught or something you absorbed from your surroundings.

    #1. Saying: "the lack of diversity is the way it has always been" is saying that:
    1. There was never diversity. This is problematic because it is not true. Native Americans (NOT American Indians like SBU says...this is offensive) were here way before White people. Through the systematic genocide of these people we have AND CONTINUE to push them onto reservations and unwanted lands in this same country. This is not something we USED to do, but continue to do to this day. SBU has mission trips to reservations and still, Kurt, consistently used American Indian in conversation…a completely offensive term. This is close to the “N” word and other words like “spic”. This was in front of me and in conversation with Amanda who is part First Nation / Native American. How do these two concepts connect? If you feel that “it’s always been that way” then you are saying there was never anything wrong, and you are saying that there isn’t anything wrong today. Even if this is not what you “meant”, this is how it comes off. It is contagious language.

    2. This is also problematic because White people began bringing over African slaves in the 1600s. The fact that your school has a 6% “minority” population, including 3% International students which are not all considered People of Color, means that they have continued the tradition of sustaining and maintaining a mono-cultural predominantly White school. Even after Integration where schools all over the nation have worked to create a culturally diverse campus, your school has not.

  69. 3. If you say this is “how it’s always been” without working to correct language at SBU (go read over my comments, someone actually says “colored people”), bring about diversity, create a space where other races/ethnicities feel they can blossom without leaving behind their culture than it is a school that believes White to be the standard, or better than other Races.

  70. 4. That so many students on campus have said so many clearly racist remarks on my page (and trust me, once you understand more you will recognize them) and yet have no clue what is racist about them…shows me that SBU also doesn’t train their students in anti-racism. This is also “not the way it’s always been”, things have changed and progressed in most parts of the country. Anti-racism is an integral part of most schools (as long as they see it as a necessity, if they don’t then they are institutionalizing racism).

    #2. What I’m going to tell you will blow your mind. It completely took me back. So make sure you’re sitting down.

    You can’t be racist. Your comment was ignorant but Racism denotes upholding a White standard. This White standard shows that everything White is beautiful, wonderful, intelligent, strong, powerful, and privileged.

    You are not White. Sorry. So while Hispanics and Blacks/African Americans can discriminate one another, the discrimination only upholds this White standard. While racism is upheld by the dominant Race…in this case White people in America.

    I’m giving you the basics. Actually, I’m probably making more questions pop up. And that is probably for the best.

    My best friend is White. Her little girl is bi-racial and my bff adores her. During a conversation I told Beth she was racist. My bff knowing I don’t have a malicious bone in my body was stunned and asked me why. I told her to walk into her little girls’ room and check out the posters (Hannah Montana), bedspread (blonde Barbie), and to look at most of the coloring books and toys her little girl had. Everything with the exception of one Bratz doll was White. Beth didn’t mean to do this. It wasn’t her intention. But it is so ingrained in us to pick out the most appealing things, and those are what White people have said are beautiful and desirable. So I posed a question? If your little girl, day after day, watches tv that has mostly White people, comes home and only sees her White family (her dad is out of the picture), looks at books and magazines with mostly White heroes and heroines, and goes into her home and bedroom that does not represent her race or ethnicity, what will this little girl internalize about herself through the years?

    #3. I don’t completely understand your question. You ask, “How do I know I need to educate myself if I don’t know that people of ‘my culture’ are being oppressed?” I’m going to assume you are asking how can you tell if you are being oppressed. This is hard. You can point the finger at the all-white church, all-white school, parents, friends, t.v., those that write the history books, but ultimately you must look inside of yourself, too. There is overt racism and covert racism, there is institutionalized racism, and invisible systems of oppression. It’s like Plato and the Allegory of the Cave. The prisoners did not know they were prisoners until they came out into the light. Once out in the light how can they ever go back, though? Now you know. Now you know that having “Black History Month” is not enough. One month out of a year to make up for all Black history that has been omitted or denied in this country is not enough. Saying “colored people” or “American Indian” is offensive. Not understanding the intimacies of Affirmative Action and saying that it’s more racist than racism, is ignorant. (Look around, how many People of Color are employed where you live, work, study?) Watching as one culture appropriates another race’s language and culture while oppressing and marginalizing them, is not acceptable (like “the Natives are getting restless”).

    Please ask more questions. You are welcome to. But at the same time, read up on some stuff. “The Heart of Whiteness” is a cheap quick read.

    Have patience with me. I’ve been on the road for two months and we are heading to our final school visit in Ohio. I’m the Stop Planner for this one and under stress. If I miss some questions, just re-send them to me…I’m too OCD to ignore them on purpose.

    Thank you,

  71. The following is my response.

    Saying: "the lack of diversity is the way it has always been" is saying that:1. There was never diversity.”

    Around this area, no there hasn’t been much, if any diversity because it’s unsafe for minorities; due to the intolerant/racist who populate much of this area. No, this is not right, but people in general don’t want to go somewhere that they feel unsafe or insecure, regardless of skin color, ethnicity, etc.

    Systematic genocide? -- I don’t believe that Native Americans living on reservations is systematic genocide. Native Americans living on reservations is an example of how this particular people group preserves their culture and heritage, just as people celebrate Hanukkah, Kwanza, Christmas, Boxing Day, etc. Also, did you tell Kurt that the term he was using was offensive? If it’s never said that we are offensive, how can we change?

    No, I’m not saying it’s right for us to be undiversified, and I’m sorry that you took my comment as such. How can I, as someone who has been adopted by a family who’s culture doesn’t match my skin color say that diversity is bad? Also this brings up the point that your skin color may not match your culture. Yes, if you traced my roots back, you would probably find that I’m from some kind of African tribe, but I’ve been raised in a culture that is predominately “white”, therefore, I have been brought up just like any other “white” child would be.

    SBU has such a small minority population because we are not a State school; therefore, we don’t have a quota that tells us how many peoples/cultures must populate our campus. ...

  72. As far as whether or not I can be racist, I believe that anyone has the power/potential to be racist. “White privilege” aside, I can be racist to someone who has the same skin color as me. There are plenty of tribes who are racist amongst other tribes even though their skin colors are the same. I can be just as racist as the next person, but what would that solve? Ultimately, it wouldn’t solve anything.

    “So I posed a question? If your little girl, day after day, watches tv that has mostly White people, comes home and only sees her White family (her dad is out of the picture), looks at books and magazines with mostly White heroes and heroines, and goes into her home and bedroom that does not represent her race or ethnicity, what will this little girl internalize about herself through the years?”

    I am exactly the girl you described in this paragraph. I’ve learned that there are people who are different than I am, but that doesn’t make me any less of a person. The thing about it is, is that the majority of the United States and the world is “white.” There are plenty of shows on TV that focus on minorities, and there are also TV channels dedicated solely to specific races/ethnicities/cultures. As far as where I’m employed, which happens to be a church, no there aren’t “people of color” on staff besides myself, but am I treated any differently because of this? No. Quite honestly, a lot of these things that you have pointed out to me have a lot to do with location. This area is just not populated with minorities. My biological family is located in St. Louis, and there are A LOT of “people of color” there. That being said, I know that I wouldn’t want to live there, because I feel WAY more uncomfortable there than I do here.

    Having only a month of Black History isn’t a bad thing. Honestly, I would be SICK of hearing that I’m different all the time. I think that would make me become uncaring and apathetic, and I think that is how a lot of people would feel.

  73. My parents, being the awesome people that they are, taught me to be color-blind. It doesn’t matter what color someone’s skin is, where they’re from etc. I’ll still accept them for who they are. Jesus accepts everyone just as they are, regardless of race, color, etc, never does He turn anyone away. If I taught my future children to always be on the lookout for people who are treating them differently based on their skin color, what kind of seed am I planting in them? The seed that I am planting in them would most likely cause them to be afraid of other people who didn’t look like them, and thus possibly foster some form of racism, whether they act upon it or not. Your goal is to bridge the gap, correct? If we are to do so, then we should do it by befriending ALL peoples, not by telling them to be on the lookout for racism. That won’t solve anything will it? Then we just foster and develop a person who is afraid of everyone who isn’t just like them.

  74. I haven't had the time to read all of the comments on this, but I just want to point out that the whole ableism thing is just silly! In that song, it's talking about what we will one day do with our glorified bodies! Also, it's a heart attitude of standing for God, not literally standing for God necessarily. Also, I know that everybody just wants to be loved. That's basic human nature, but we don't long for a love that humans can give, because you know what, we're screwed up! Every single person on this earth is screwed up and we don't know how to love someone unconditionally. The Love that we long for is the Love that God gives. But, because He is completely Holy, He cannot look on sin. Which is why He sent His son to give His life for our sins. Think about that! Let that sink in! Do you have children? If you do, could you give your child to save someone else? If you don't could you give your mother, your father, your brother, or your sister, or EVEN your best friend? I know I couldn't! Why would such a powerful being do this? Because He loves you! It breaks His heart to see us living in sin. Isn't that what your heart longs for? Someone to love you so much that they would die for you?? I have been learning about this a lot lately and it just blows my mind away! The God of the Universe LOVES me and He loves you with a reckless love! That is what SBU was trying to show you and tell you. If you are looking for an answer right now, why not try God? He'd love to fulfill His promises to you and take you to himself like a lost child found! Try Him! Have a Blessed Day!