Commentary: On Sept. 23, let’s all turn our backs against prejudice


I think there may be a better way than a show of force or numbers to make your point that racist white-supremacy ideology is unacceptable and disgusting.

Turn your back on it. Shun it all.

In my opinion the very best thing would be for no one to show up at all in counterprotest.

FOLLOW US ON TWITTER: Viewpoints delivers the latest perspectives on current events.

In fact, religious leaders are being urged to open their houses of worship from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 23, to encourage people from their local communities to pray for peace and justice during the so-called Dixie Freedom Rally. Hopefully, there will be something very constructive for people to do during the time of the demonstration and fewer folks for the police to police.

It seems to me that if no one were there to hear the race-baiting exaltation of Confederate history, that would send a more powerful message to the larger public than a massive show of force that could spiral out of control.

Sure, you could attempt to intimidate the neo-Confederates into silence, as some of your Facebook posts have urged. But that would make you more like them than not because the ideology of white supremacy was upheld by precisely such tactics—suppressing the voices of the oppressed and the opposition. Intimidation by numbers was a KKK tactic in the deep South and by others elsewhere. Let it not become yours.

However, I understand how oppressive, racist, white supremacy-fueled ideology can make one’s blood boil to the point that getting out and letting the world know how one feels just feels good. It is also a great thing to meet up with others of like mind.

Please, let me urge you, all of you, to turn your backs on the white supremacists and the neo-Nazis and the alt-right — and all the others who want to intimidate people of color by simply spewing their message and getting in the press.

Let them march behind police barricades keeping them safe as our law demands. Let them see a larger society that has turned its back on their hateful ideas and harmful words.

I also thought an idea on your Facebook page should get some serious attention: sing! Sing songs to counter their thuggish talk. Just sing. There are many great songs that have come out of the civil rights movement.

BE THE FIRST TO KNOW: When big news breaks, we send Breaking News emails. Click to sign up.

My dear friend, the Rev. Joe Parker, recently urged white religious leaders to speak out against the rising tide of white supremacy — that our silence is now deafening. I was stung by his remarks.

I have urged our congregants at Hope Chapel to oppose displays of white supremacy — both public and private — teaching that such an ideology is antithetical to the gospel of Jesus who will one day be worshipped by some from every tongue, tribe, people and nation.

In biblical Christianity, there simply is no such thing as a superior race.

I would love to see you all gather with many thousands of others in some house of worship — and in that place turn your back on white supremacy.

Hildebrandt is senior pastor of Hope Chapel in Austin.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Opinion

Herman: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott ignites war of words with N.J. governor
Herman: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott ignites war of words with N.J. governor

Once again, a GOP leader, through the use of bellicose rhetoric, has talked us into a war of words with a foreign power with nukes and a hard-to-understand language. Let us hope this does not escalate into a war of weaponry. You’re thinking President Donald Trump vs. North Korea (which has nuclear weapons). I’m writing about Gov. Greg Abbott...
Letters to the editor: April 24, 2018
Letters to the editor: April 24, 2018

Re: April 22 commentary, “Castillo: Why the ‘hyphenated Americanism’ comment triggered outrage.” The creator of the saying “the law is what the judges say it is” might also have agreed that it is what five judges say it is — until five judges change their minds. So it is with history. The struggle to integrate...
Opinion: Remembering Barbara Bush, grieving mother

My mother and Barbara Bush were contemporaries. Despite coming from very different backgrounds — daughter of a Kansas farmer and daughter of a New York City businessman — they had a common experience, a very human link. It’s a sad connection that I suspect also has many a woman feeling fondly toward Bush, who died Tuesday at 92. Both...
Opinion: Paul Ryan is the ultimate party man

The mistake about Paul Ryan, the one that both friends and foes made over the years between his Obama-era ascent and his just-announced departure from the House speakership, was to imagine him as a potential protagonist for our politics, a lead actor in the drama of conservatism, a visionary or a villain poised to put his stamp upon the era. This Ryan-of-the-imagination...
TWO VIEWS: Austin policies are making affordability crisis worse

Paying more for housing? Blame City Hall. In spite of paying regular lip service to affordability, city officials continue to push big government policies that make it more expensive to live in Austin. In fact, officials are exploring a new one now. Earlier this month, Austin’s Code Department began seeking public input on a proposal requiring...
More Stories