2022-04-17 – Attributes of White Supremacy Culture: Belief in One Right Way

As we work to dismantle racism in our institution, we are continuing our exploration of the attributes of White Supremacy Culture. Today we will look at Belief in One Right Way.

We gather today as Unitarian Universalists on Easter Sunday, and Palm Sunday for the Orthodox Church, in the midst of Passover and Ramadan. We know that each of these worship paths, along with many others, are equally valid and just; there are many “right ways”, and yet our services and non-worship practices and policies follow a set, familiar pattern.

The “one right way” is the belief that there is a single correct approach to doing things and that once people are introduced to it they will “see the light” and embrace it. When people don’t align to that right way they are assumed to be wrong. It is unacceptable to see that there can be multiple valid paths, or worse, that the “one right way”is actually wrong.

Antidotes for this are rooted in our principles, especially the third one; acceptance of one another:

  • Intentionally accept that there are many ways to get to a single goal
  • Embrace group decisions that follow paths that differ from past norms
  • Establish a practice of noticing when people do things differently and examining how those differences might improve the traditional approach
  • Look for people and groups that push the “one right way” and name it
  • When working with a group with a different culture be clear that there is some learning to be done from their way of doing things
  • Never assume that you or your organization knows what is best