Testimonial from Debbie Maranville, UUC member (October 2021)
My name is Debbie Maranville. Why do I support the 8th Principle?
I joined UUC almost 20 years ago. A big reason: I wanted a spiritual community to support my social justice efforts. I’m not an activist by temperament. I knew I needed inspiration, reflection, and encouragement.
As an undergraduate history major and a law professor coming of age with Critical Race Theory, I learned that racism was embedded in the government and social structures of our country. From the beginning our Constitution accepted slavery. After the Civil War, Jim Crow laws dominated the old Confederacy.
And the rest of the country? Why did I grow up with no Blacks living in my small hometown, Shelton, WA? A sundown town, it excluded Blacks after sundown under threat of violence. Courts enforced property deeds’ restrictive covenants that forbade whites to sell homes to blacks. Where Blacks did live Federal government agencies drew “redlines” around maps of Black neighborhoods so most Black families could not obtain federally insured mortgages.
I was inspired when I learned about Rev. James Reeb, the UU minister who was murdered by racist thugs, after he bravely responded to Dr. King’s call for clergy to join the march in Selma. And I was inspired by our own congregation’s history – UUC members led the fight against redlining in Seattle.
And, our denomination’s history also has more complicated, less inspiring sides. In the early 1900’s Black ministers were not supported in their efforts to find or create positions. In the 1960’s and early 70’s as many as 1,000 Blacks left the denomination after the Empowerment Controversy.
Structural racism continues to infect our politics, our criminal legal system, our economy, and, yes, our churches. This infection will not go away without a concerted effort to address it in all our institutions, including our beloved UUC. So I’m “all in” supporting the 8th Principle.Debbie Maranville, UUC Member