Minutes of Meeting

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Date: March 14, 2004

Location: University of Dayton, Alumni Hall

Speaker: Father Paul M. Marshall, S.M.


Handout For Meeting

An Introduction by Rev. Paul M. Marshall, S.M.

 Jewish Christian Dialogue

 Dayton, Ohio

March 14, 2004

“Recovery from Everyday Racisms is an approach to deal with the social illness of racism from the perspective of intervention.   This intervention focuses on erroneous belief system of racial caste hierarchy and the resulting dysfunctional behaviors originating from our racialized formation in a culture of white supremacy.”

Outline of Presentation

Presentation on Racial Sobriety

            Show book; introduce Fr. Clarence Williams and the IRR program.

Racial Sobriety Website

 1.  Holocaust experience - encounter with theory of Racism.

             A.  Racism exist – Do you believe this?

       – It is real. Racism is a social construct that penetrates American

                        culture and sub-cultures..

B.  Different from racial discrimination and segregation which was focus of the civil rights movement.

            C.  Racism is ...

Racism is a social illness that is characterized by thinking, feeling and acting as if one race is superior to another race.  The origin of racism is in the belief that some people are not fully human and therefore do not deserve to be treated like full human beings.   The full human beings have supreme rights over the less human groups, and therefore have the power of racial supremacy to shape social relationships.

             The way it works

                        A.  Power to harm (ethnic cleansing; lynching)

B.  Economic exploitation (Slave system, but now is much more subtle.  Most employers still see the need for affirmative action programs.)

C.  Social Segregation (Again, this is subtle in our society.)

                        D.  Fixed social roles for targeted groups.  (Privilege that is denied some people.)

 2.  Racial Sobriety and Healing 

Racial Sobriety is witnessing to ourselves and others that our thinking, feeling and acting  reflects our commitment to seeing each person as member of the same human family.   

Racial sobriety requires a self awareness of our interactions with people to examine our prejudices regarding another’s racial caste rather than their membership in the human family. 

            The goal of racial sobriety is to free ourselves from racial dysfunction.   

Racial dysfunction describes the negative thinking, feeling and acting on the false beliefs of racial difference.   

            Toxic messages are in our culture. 

3.  Conversation about racism has become non-existent.


A.  Often, it is confusing and frustrating because we all knew what had to be done with the American apartheid  – The civil rights movement, but now what?   

            B.  Anxiety about talking about race – It is not cool.

                        F I G,

                        Fear, Ignorance and Guilt. 

4.  Helpful process is Racial Sobriety Process: From hurt to healing. 

            Awareness of one’s racialized self.  Racial History journal helps us to explore the intial step in racial recovery.           

5.  Religious perspective on dealing with racism.

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