The Salvation Army removed a document it said was misinterpreted to match claims that the organization adhered to a critical racial theory (CRT).
CRT is a quasi-Marxist philosophy that defines society as a class struggle between oppressors and oppressed, in particular, stigmatizes whites as oppressors and all other races as oppressed.
Although the document titled Let’s Talk Racism did not have a clear audience, the document addressed racism issues and how to discuss them with others, encouraging the reader to “spend time repenting on behalf of the Church and asking God to open their hearts. and minds to the problem of racism. “
The document was approved by the organization’s general in April 2021 and published by the Salvation Army’s International Social Justice Commission. It was removed last week because The Salvation Army said it was “the subject of controversy.”
The Salvation Army issued a press release Thursday in which the organization said its leadership is intended to be used as a voluntary resource that is not meant to tell people “how to think.” He added that the message in the manual has been misinterpreted to support other goals.
“But while we remain committed to serving all those in need – regardless of beliefs, backgrounds or lifestyle – some individuals and groups have recently attempted to mis-label our organization to serve their own interests,” the Salvation Army said in a press release. “They said that we believe our donors should apologize for their skin color, that the Salvation Army believes that America is inherently a racist society, and that we have abandoned the Christian faith in favor of one ideology or another.”
The Salvation Army said its intentions to provide “accurate information” were ignored and its international headquarters “realized that some aspects of the leadership might need clarification.”
On the third page of “What Is Whiteness,” in Let’s Talk About Racism, the reader must “stop denying the existence of white privilege and find out how they maintain racial inequality.”
“You may not feel privileged, but it is likely that you have been spared many negative experiences, and also benefitted simply because of your whiteness,” the document says. “Denying white privilege preserves existing systems affected by racism, and we must begin to change that.”
Subtitled “Racism is not an individual act, it is systematic and institutional,” the document states that the American foundation “is built on racism and is strongly felt in all aspects of American life.”
Under the “Stop Trying to Be Colorblind” section of the document, trying not to see your skin color “ignores the discrimination our Black and Brown brothers and sisters face and prevents us from fighting racism properly.”
“And when we talk about race and racism, we must remember that sincere repentance and apology are necessary if we are to move towards racial reconciliation. We understand that sitting in a hot seat and listening with an open mind to the hurt and anger of the injured is a serious challenge. Nevertheless, we are all programmed to strive for justice and fairness, so a sincere apology must be received, ”the document says.
In a separate statement on October 29, entitled “Unchanging Commitment,” The Salvation Army said it did not accept “one social theory or another.”
“We have never been guided by scholarly articles, party platforms, political experts or opinion polls,” the Salvation Army said.
In another document (pdf), entitled A Training Manual on Racism, The Salvation Army said: “The problem of racism is pervasive and complex. This is described as bias plus power. Racial divisions can be latent, but they are also rooted in institutional life. Racism can be present even if people avoid using outright racist terminology; racism may be invisible to the dominant ethnic group, but clearly evident to the disenfranchised ethnic group. “
While donor support has been reported to be dropped, the Salvation Army did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In December, the Salvation Army launches the Red Bowler campaign to raise money for those in need, as they have done for years when volunteers in red bowlers gathered in front of various agencies.