Pastor calls for end to institutional racism

Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm
Reporter – News Analyst
July 10, 2020

Rev. Anthony Daniel

Rev. Anthony Daniel, Pastor of Macedonia AME Church in Fernandina Beach, addressed the Fernandina Beach City Commission at their July 7, 2020 meeting to emphasize that the recent Black Lives Matter march organized by the Racial Equality Coalition in June following the death of George Floyd was intended to underscore the importance of Black lives.  He stressed that by publicly proclaiming the importance of Black lives, it was not the marchers’ intent to diminish or undervalue other lives.  He added that the Racial Equality Coalition was not an organization set up against law enforcement.

Daniel said, “We are saying that Black lives matter, because they haven’t mattered for 400 years.  Publicly stating that is not an anti police movement.  But we oppose institutional racism.

“I hear people talk about how police brutality does not exist here in Fernandina Beach.  It might not be as prevalent as what we have recently witnessed in other parts of the country.  But racism exists in Nassau County and Fernandina Beach, even if no one but myself will talk about it.  What interests me is when people will talk about racism, the Klan and conspiracy.  You see, you don’t have to have a conspiracy theory if you have institutions that promote racism.  Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to have a room full of White folks sitting in a back room some place saying, ‘All in favor of discriminating against black people, raise a hand and say aye.’  That’s not how it works.  We have set up unequal structures that provide unequal outcomes.  A person or policy is racist if they support such structures and policies.  A person is anti-racist is they support anti-racist ideas.

“Racism is any time we perceive the problem as people as opposed to the problems of the people.  Racism is a powerful collection of racist ideas and policies that lead to public inequality.  Racial inequality is a discriminatory legal system that imprisons Black men and includes the bias in education that affects Black children and even public health care.

“I would like to see the city of Fernandina Beach to go after the preexisting systems of racism and partner with any group in cracking the codes to address racism in our beloved community, starting with the willingness for setting a progressive and pragmatic approach to closing the gap in city hiring of African Americans.”

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Mark Tomes
Noble Member
Mark Tomes(@mtomes)
3 years ago

Thank you, Rev. Anthony Daniel. White people often have good intentions and would hate to think of themselves as racist. What is difficult is realizing that we live in a society that systematically discriminates against people of color, especially Black people. It is very hard to see when one is a white person in the middle of it, but it is there everyday. Systemic racism is not caused by anyone in particular (except by certain politicians who use race against members of the populace and by white supremacists), but it is maintained by anyone who is not aware of it and lives in the system. It is not enough to be not racist, one must be anti-racism. White people need to start looking at how they maintain the racist system.

bob carter
bob carter (@guest_58246)
3 years ago

show me some institutional racism. It seems to have alluded my view. Is it in job hiring practices? Is it in housing rules? Is it in college applications? I could go on.

You know that laws don’t change the hearts of men. If I don’t like you, it’s probably your personality, not any color.

Claiming there are ‘institutional racist policies’ seems like a dog whistle for ‘the man puts me down’.

Really? Isn’t that just a cry for ‘more advantage?’

Equality is the goal, right? Or is it NOT the goal?

Does balance and your own happiness only come with superiority?

I have heard the cries of the oppressed since 1964, and have watched as more and more laws were passed, more rights granted and affirmed. I’ve watched the riots, the violence, the welfare families torn apart by a system that has attempted to give a boost to a race that demanded more and more.

This is an entirely different world than 1964. I know. I’ve lived through it all with my best black and white friends and family members. This is not to say that there wasn’t ‘institutional racism’ back then.

More assistance, more free stuff, more laws are not what’s needed. A mindset of doing one’s best, and not seeking others to do your work for you will set you free.

If you believe you are oppressed, then you are.

If you believe you are equal, then you are.

Stop with all the blaming, and get on with your one life that you get. Stop waiting for whitey, or the man, or institutions, or anyone else to rescue you.

Sure, things might not seem fair, or just, but the laws and the courts are in the favor of minorities.

Sorry, I just think this crap is 50 years old.