Sunday, October 02, 2011

Scranton does not want Prejudice in our Community

Welcoming community no place for prejudice

BY REV. Richard G. Malloy, S.J. (GUEST COLUMNIST) Published: October 2, 2011

MALLOY The Rev. Richard G. Malloy, S.J., Ph.D., is vice president of university ministries at the University of Scranton. He is the author of "A Faith That Frees."

After a late Sunday night flight from Chicago after a weekend wedding I was standing on the ramp waiting for a carry-on bag. A guy in a baseball cap and flannel shirt tells me he's from a state in the deep South. He's up here working the natural gas jobs.

He asks, "Where you from?"

"I've been in Scranton about a year, but I'm from Philly," I answer.

He says, "So, how's those flash mobs?"

"Bad news," I reply.

Then he looks at me and says, "You know, you never see a white flash mob," accompanied by a white-guy-to-white-guy-look" that some white guys don't realize other white guys don't appreciate.

"Really," I say. "This morning I saw some pretty horrific white guy BS on TV, white people beating the hell out of one another at stadiums in Baltimore and Oakland. It's not color that matters, Dude. It's stupidity."

He didn't seem to appreciate my sentiments.

Too many good ole boys don't get it. The USA is changing. We are more diverse. Those who actively oppose or resent and don't accept diversity are harming not only themselves, but the communities in which they work and live.

If people of color get the message that Northeast Pennsylvania is not a welcoming place, in a generation, only old, white people will be living here with no one to continue our communities.

There are almost 309 million people in the USA. Only some 197 million (63.7 percent) are "white, non-Hispanic." About 38.9 million (12.6 percent) are African-American and another 50 million (16.3 percent) are Latinos (U.S. Census 2010). By the time I'm an old man, 2042, the USA will become a nation in which no one group makes up 50 percent of the population (Perez and Hirschman 2009).

In a year here in NEPA, I've met many great people, folks who are friendly and welcoming, people who work hard to make a good world for their family and neighbors. Most would love to see their children and grandchildren settle and thrive in the Lackawana Valley.

I hope that people whose skin tone is darker than mine experience what I've experienced here. But I know my African-American and Latino friends have questions I don't entertain when I travel outside our big cities.

A few years ago, I was at a Jesuit retreat center near the Pennsylvania-Maryland border. For years, folks from our parishes in place like Philadelphia, Camden, N.J., and Baltimore have visited the center. Over the years, I'd heard of some of the local good ole boys who keep a flavor of the Klan in the air. They are not appreciative of what they call "mud people" invading "their" territory.

One Saturday afternoon, the family retreat schedule called for free time when we could just kick back and relax. Three Latino guys came over and asked if they could go into nearby Waynesboro, get a beer, and catch some of the Phillies game on TV. I told them they'd better ask their wives if they could go, but I didn't see how it would disrupt things. They looked at me and then at one another, with glances that communicated, "He's not really getting it."

"Yo, Padre Rick, we need to know if it's OK for 'us,' you know, guys who look like us, to go into that local bar."

It hit me again. The blindness of white privilege. I never think twice about where I go, or what I do when there. No one is going to look at me askance because I'm "white" or "Irish." But my three Puerto Rican friends, U.S. citizens, as are all Puerto Ricans, had to wonder and worry if their entering a public establishment in the great commonwealth of Pennsylvania would be a problem.

We "white guys" have to speak up to other "white guys" and let them know our future depends on building communities wherein people who don't look like "us" feel welcomed and appreciated.

Anyone coming here to NEPA to take our gas should know we don't appreciate anyone bringing outdated and destructive attitudes and ideas of racial privilege to our valley.

God made the magical Pocono mountains for all peoples. The Catholic Church teaches that racism is a sin. We need to root out of our minds, hearts and souls any remnants of prejudice and discrimination lodged there by all too recent societal dynamics.

I was born in 1955 into a USA in which segregation was legal, lethal and largely unquestioned. By the time I was 10 years old, the entire country had changed for the better as a result of the courageous work and sacrifice of those in the Civil Rights movement.

Here we are, some 50 years later. Let's not allow a resurgence in hateful and idiotic prejudice to reassert its ugly and stupid presence among us or our children.

Labels: , , , , ,


Blogger val said...

A gift for you from the wilderness…Truth. God is precise: It is a woman Rev 12 that delivers the true word John1:1, Rev 12:5, Rev 12:13 who restores Acts 3:21 all things to the world before Christ’s return. This woman exposes the lies of Satan who has deceived the whole world Rev 12:9. This woman creates a new thing in the earth by fulfilling God's promise to Eve Gen 3:15, Jer 31:22, Isa 14:16. Moses and Elijah are together with the word Matt 17:3 they all three are in this one woman. She is like unto Moses Num 12:3. She was raised up Acts 3:22 from the Laodicean church that becomes lukewarm because they refused to hear her Rev 3:14-17. She is bold like Elijah Matt 17:11, Luke 1:17. As Elijah was alone declaring the true God to the people 1 Kings 18:22 so also her witness alone turns the hearts of the fathers to the children Mal 4:5-6 to prepare a people for the Lords return before the great and dreadful day of the Lord Matt 17:3, Luke 9:30. Those who will not hear Acts 3:23 the true word of God she now delivers to the world free of charge, as a witness, at the heel of time from the wilderness Rev 12:6 will not be allowed inside the walls of God’s coming kingdom from heaven Rev 21. This true testimony of the true value of the blood of the Lamb delivers the truth that not one child of God will be put in a hell fire no matter what their sins. It never entered the heart or mind of God to ever do such a thing Jer 7:31, Jer 19:5. God created evil Isa 45:7 to teach his children the knowledge of good and evil Rom 8:7, Gen 3:22 so that at their resurrection they become a god Matt 22:29-30, Ps 82:6 and are placed Ezek 37:26 in God’s world. Prove all things. You cannot rightly judge this unless you read all that has been written by this woman first Pro 18:13. Start here
God has all power, Satan has none. God will not fail at saving anyone 1 Cor 13:8. Every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess to God Rom 14:11. When they confess God is just to forgive them and cleanse them from all unrighteousness 1 John 1:9, each in their own order 1 Cor 15:23 according to their hearts of love. Many are called few are chosen to live forever in his coming New Jerusalem Rev 21 on the new earth in the new heaven, none will be lost John 17:12 except one, Satan's son the son of perdition. All of God's children will have a place Ezek 37:26 all will be given new hearts and new minds some justly will be placed in outer darkness Matt 8:12. Outer darkness is not death it is placement on another planet far from the new earth in the new heavens.

Fri Oct 07, 02:17:00 PM 2011  
Anonymous HigsFromTejas said...

Thanks for sticking up for what is right Fr. Rick

Sun Oct 09, 09:33:00 PM 2011  
Blogger The Digital Illusion said...

Being known as your christian retreat centers in pennsylvania, Joy EL Camps & Retreat Centers proudly offers: Summer Camps for both adult and youth; Christian Retreat Seminars, Joyful School & Family Retreat, Group Bonding and Recreation, Parent Testimonials, Community Day Camps and many other Christian services.
Since 1974, we are here to provide best bonding opportunities for families and groups who wanted to have a spiritual encounter with God in their midst. The lush green hills and the serenity of the place will host you for days to achieve an unforgettable spiritual encounter.
We offer packaged services for you. Call us today and know how we can assist you further: 951-440-1166 or

Fri May 02, 12:14:00 AM 2014  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home