Ends Monitoring Survey

Ends Monitoring Survey

In the June 2017 Annual Report, the Board of Trustees summarized the findings from the Ends Monitoring Survey that was conducted in early 2017 (read the summary here, on page 11).  In addition, the Board would like to share the Comments that were offered by survey respondents.  Please note that comments have been edited to preserve confidentiality but have not been edited for factual accuracy.

One Comment

  1. Jen Hayashi

    I recently reviewed all of the comments submitted with the survey. I love the fact that so many of us care so deeply about UUCC’s place in the world that we took the time to complete the survey and share our hopes and critiques. These comments covered a broad and deep range of opinions across the whole continuum of UUCC’s experiences. Some people praised the same activities that other people criticized, all from their own completely legitimate, albeit sometimes conflicting, perspectives. I think this is normal and healthy for a congregation of our size and diverse viewpoints, and I feel no need to clarify or explain comments that are clearly opinions. However, I noticed one critical comment about UUCC’s involvement in racial justice actions contains 2 clear factual errors, and some editorializing which I believe to be inaccurate and inappropriate in the context of the factual errors. I’ve highlighted the problematic sentence below in all capital letters:

    “I am in favor of racial justice and I support social responsibility, but I probably define the appropriate actions somewhat differently. For example, I believe that the Black Lives Matter campaign is misguided and divisive. (Perhaps despite the organizers’ intentions) it has escalated resistance to police and justified violence against police. In essence, the movement has demonized the entire public safety community. While I agree that there is an issue to be addressed regarding differential treatment of people of color, I do not agree that holding protest marches and encouraging resistance of arrest are productive activities. IN AT LEAST ONE CASE IN HOWARD COUNTY, IT LED TO THE DEATH OF A WOMAN AND WOUNDING OF HER YOUNG CHILD BECAUSE SHE DISCHARGED A WEAPON AT POLICE. THE WOMAN CAUSED HER OWN DEATH, AND HER CHILD’S INJURY BY RESISTING ARREST (WITH A WEAPON) AND ESCALATING THE INTERACTION WITH POLICE.. That is not an example of racial injustice, despite the fact that the woman perceived it as such. “

    No publicly reported incident in Howard County matches this respondent’s account. In August 2016, a 23-year-old Black woman named Korryn Gaines was shot by police in her apartment after several hours of a standoff, while she held a shotgun and her 5-year-old son Kodi, who was wounded by the police gunfire in the shooting.

    Factual errors: Korryn Gaines was killed in Baltimore County. Police did not kill her because she discharged a weapon at them; they shot at her, and she shot back.

    Editorializing: Korryn Gaines did not cause her own death. Police were at her apartment to arrest her for disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, and traffic violations. She was an outspoken activist against police violence and may have been targeted for her activism. To state that she “caused her own death” is at best oversimplifying.

    I appreciate the opinion that UUCC’s racial justice efforts are not what the respondent believes they should be. I am not writing to say this opinion is wrong. But because the respondent uses a factually inaccurate description of Gaines’ death to support their opinion that UUCC’s racial justice efforts are harmful, I think it’s important to correct the
    facts to clarify that UUCC’s peaceful protest of unjustified police violence is not the same as “encouraging resistance of arrest,” and had no role in Korryn Gaines’ death. I don’t want anyone who is unfamiliar with the case to believe that this description is completely accurate.

    I know UUCC’s racial justice activities, particularly our Black Lives Matter efforts, have challenged our perception of ourselves and our role in society in ways that many of us have never considered. I’ve been honored to hear people describe their real struggles with the near-reflexive reaction to words that trigger images of hooded KKK mobs and the horrors of the Jim Crow South. I don’t agree with the opinion that UUCC’s BLM vigils are unproductive, AND I believe that we are all working at UUCC to build a robust community in which we can engage in loving, respectful, ongoing dialogue despite (maybe because of?) our differences of opinion. I hope you’ll join me.

    (This post is the opinion of the author, and does not represent the opinion of the Board of Trustees.)

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