Blog Action Day 2013 The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee And UU Clergy Abuse Victims - What's The Inter-Connection?
I recently read a Black Girl Dangerous post, "No More 'Allies,'" and it really stuck with me. It talks about problematic dynamics that too often accompany use of the term "ally" and gets at the core of what it really means to act like an ally. This question — how to take action as a True Ally of The Emerson Avenger — is an essential part of our work to advance human rights in the UU World. This year, with Blog Action Day's focus on human rights, The Emerson Avenger think it's important to underscore a key concept essential to human rights work:
Listening shows up twice on the Black Girl Dangerous list of what being an ally is supposed to mean — and with good reason. How can anyone advance human rights without listening? It seems to me that doing so would just lead to ineffective solutions and reinforcement or deepening of oppressive dynamics — not the empowering social change we are looking for that honors the dignity and worth of all people, including any and ALL victims of Unitarian Universalist clergy abuse. That's why TEA's collaboration with grassroots organizations like UU Safety Net throughout the UU World is SO important to how UUs approach clergy abuse.
How does listening come into The Emerson Avenger's work? First, the UUA needs to listen to people on the ground to know what the Big Fat U*U Problems are — who is being abused by abusive Unitarian Universalist clergy? Who is being denied rights by complicit UU enablers of abusive UU clergy, and how is it affecting them? Then, the UUA needs to keep listening. The UUA shouldn't assume that it knows what's best for The Emerson Avenger's partners and the people he works to serve. Solutions that work for one religion or population of clergy abuse victims don't necessarily make sense for another religion or population of clergy abuse victims (and sometimes they do. . .), but UUA leaders won't know unless they start by listening to The Emerson Avenger and other victims of abusive UU clergy aka The Misconducting Ministers In The U*U Movement.
When The Emerson Avenger worked in Soviet Canuckistan with U*U people who had been disturbed by the Big Fat U*U War with the U*U Jihad Armed Farces' Army Of One, TEA first listened to community members' concerns about returning the picket signs they had stolen from him. TEA found out that in order for U*Us to feel in any way comfortable returning his picket signs, they needed to be videoed carrying out ceremonies to lay his picket signs to rest in the middle of de Maisonneuve boulevard. TEA found out U*Us needed the means to reconnect to their traditions of mockery and blasphemy. So that's where TEA started in his work to help them return home to their broken covenants and disregarded principles.
It's not the UUA's job to swoop in and tell UU clergy abuse victims what's best for them like the UUA's Canadian attorneys at Stikeman Elliott Barristers & Solicitors did last year — TEA wants to work with the UUA in True partnership to figure out achievable ways to transform UU clergy abuse victim's human rights into realities in the UU World. So this Blog Action Day, in service of challenging UU injustices, abuses and hypocrisy The Emerson Avenger says Unitarian Universalists should ALL recommit to actively operating in solidarity with the people throughout the whole wide UU World whose have been abused by abusive UU clergy or whose human rights are otherwise being denied by Unitarian Universalists. UUs can ALL start by listening during the National Conversation On UU Clergy Misconduct. Who will UUs take time to listen to this week as part of The U*U Movement's National Conversation About UU Clergy Misconduct