Weekly Newsletter from Christian Vegetarian Association CVA - April 1, 2020
From Christian Vegetarian Association (CVA)


  1. Activist Feedback
  2. The Roots of Tribalism
  3. All-Creatures.org Ministry

1. Activist Feedback

Regarding leafleting at Winter Jam in Wichita, KS (before social distancing), Rick Hershey writes:

Diane, Chip, and I handed out 1675 CVA booklets at Intrust Bank Arena in Wichita for Winter Jam today. The crowd was smaller than usual this year.


2. The Roots of Tribalism

I will make analogies between American racism against blacks and our species’ abuse of nonhumans, in terms of both motivations of the victimizers and the consequences for the victims. My intent is not to equate the moral value of human and nonhumans, however justified or unjustified that might be.

I think James Baldwin had many profound insights into the sources of American racism. He wrote:

If Americans were not so terrified of their private selves, they would never have needed to invent and could never have become so dependent on what they still call ‘the Negro problem.’ This problem, which they invented in order to safeguard their purity, has made of them criminals and monsters, and it is destroying them; and this not from anything blacks may or may not be doing but because of the role a guilty and constricted white imagination has assigned to the blacks.

Baldwin argued that whites, particularly poor whites, gained a sense of value and self-esteem by denigrating blacks. While subjugation of blacks has always had an economic impetus, poor whites could gain a sense of worth by believing themselves as members of a superior category of people compared to blacks. To do this, they maintained that a wide range of undesirable attributes pertained exclusively to blacks. As Baldwin perceptively noted, whites held these views to hide the existence of these attributes in themselves. If the existence or absence of a given attribute related to the character of an individual, then whites as well as blacks could manifest that attribute. If they related to “race,” then whites could believe that they either did or did not manifest that attribute. Regardless of how much various attributes might or might not apply to some blacks, the overriding purpose of racist thinking was self-deception by whites.

As I will discuss next week, we see the same process when it comes to perceptions of nonhumans.

Stephen R. Kaufman, M.D.


3. All-Creatures.org Ministry


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