lunes, marzo 27, 2006

A Woman of Color, a Person of Faith...

No, I’m not here to testify.

I’m urging you to write to your senators to express your opposition to HR 4437, to tell them that you’re NOT, actually, asking their opinion on the issue but telling them that the bill is MORALLY WRONG.

(So many times the responses I get to such letters--patronizing in the extreme--tell me why they have taken the opposite position of what I am suggesting and why. So I feel compelled to point out that I already know their professed stance and am actually taking issue with it, not asking for a justification.)

Below I have a sample letter to a senator from Sojourners, which is a progressive Christian evangelical group. I myself am not a Christian but back when I lived in Ohio, I regularly used the sample letters from Sojourner because I thought that they would be more likely to be taken seriously by my conservative representatives in Congress. And also that the term “as person of faith” while effectively describing my religious views would be incorrectly interpreted to mean, “as a God-fearing Christian.”

So the operative phrase in this letter is:

As a person of faith, I urge you to...

When I was feeling feisty, I would often change that phrase to:

As a woman of color, I urge you to...

But as I did so, I usually acknowledged that the reader would thus consign the letter to the “not my constituents” trashpile.

Part of me wonders why “woman of color” is seen as a less legitimate position from which to speak than “person of faith,” especially given that “Freedom of Religion” is one of the alleged cornerstones of our democracy.

  • Q:For how long in this country have non-Christian people of color had the right to practice their faith without government interference?
  • A: Less than thirty years, since the American Indian Religious Freedom Act of 1978.

2 comentarios:

brownfemipower dijo...

girl, and even then they're right to practice is being fucked with--so it's not really a done deal, official "right", you know?

you're blogging a fucking storm today girl, i'm following you all the way!!!!!!! :-)

Ktrion dijo...

Girl, I was almost late to class I was so carried away by blogging.

I don't know why I'm citing laws today. You're abso correct that the existence of the law is no guarantee of the actual "right."

Part of me wonders if the phrase

"As a person of faith, I urge you to..."

is obscure enough to refer to either the speaker or the speakee, whereas

"As a woman of color, I urge you to..."--when spoken to a member of congress, 90% of the time the speakee will respond, "well I'm certainly not a woman of color!"