Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Educated white folks uncomfortable with disagreement at UUA

A long clip from way down at the bottom of this: UUA Board urges repudiation of 'Doctrine of Discovery'

Nothing about this anywhere in the UU Blogosphere save Linda Laskowski's blog (and she seems never cool with my comments).

Sounds like the wheels coming off UUA to me.
Policy Governance requires that the administration document for the board, through monitoring reports, how it is meeting those Ends. The board voted to require the administration to file an interim report with additional data and information about how the administration is meeting the Ends by March 27. The board found that the operational definitions provided for several of the monitoring reports were unreasonable.

Morales said that he thought the likelihood of the board being satisfied by the interim report was “vanishingly small—something barely higher than the sun rising in the West.”

Morales told the trustees that the relationship between the staff and the board was the worst it has ever been in the history of the association. My Emphasis

Courter was displeased with his characterization of the relationship. She said that some would say the “high-water mark” for the board was when it did nothing and would smile and nod at the administration. “That’s not our measurement,” Courter said, adding that board members were being asked questions about the association’s budget and why there was no viable youth organization. “We are here to ask the difficult questions that we get asked directly,” she said.

Some members were clearly made uncomfortable by the disagreements. Pupke observed that interpersonal relationships were frayed. Linda Laskowski, trustee from the Pacific Central District, said that she wanted to work more closely with the staff and work toward more collaboration.

However, others maintained the conversation was not uncomfortable. “I’m hearing people are uncomfortable, and I’m feeling fine,” Averett said, adding that white, educated people feel uncomfortable with disagreement. She said she did not accept the notion that the board was being dysfunctional because they were expressing disagreement. “Honest conversation in some cultures is okay. It proves you are alive, as my mother said.”

Grubbs thanked her for saying “what needed to be said. When a wound is healing, there is a growing edge of scar tissue.”

The conversation ended with the board passing the motion finding the operational definitions of the monitoring report unreasonable and requiring the interim report.


Robin Edgar said...


I am somewhat surprised that all of that actually made it into a UU World magazine report. Very telling, and very much in alignment with the obvious tensions between the UUA Board of Trustees, UUA staff, and Rev. Peter Morales' administration that I witnessed during the April 2010 Board meetings. In fact it seems that "wrong relationship" has even worsened. I must bring this to the attention of Rev. Tom Schade as it underlines just how much diplomatic understatement he engaged in when he recently blogged -

"I am told that the staff and the board are not always on the same page right now."

in the Beyond Congregations Thoughts -- #1 post of his thelivelytradition blog.

BTW Bill are you saying that PCD UUA Trustee Linda Laskowski has censored and suppressed comments that you have submitted to her 'UUA View From Berkeley' blog when you say, "she seems never cool with my comments"?

Bill Baar said...

My comments never appear on her blog. It may be technical. It may be her choice. She is not one for engagement though in my experience.

Robin Edgar said...

I don't think that it's technical Bill.

Linda has suppressed several of my quite civil and reasonable comments to her blog over the last year or two.

Here is the comment that I just submitted as a follow-up comment to her The Observer blog post earlier today which references what you said here -


Do you believe that censoring and suppressing my comments, and apparently comments submitted by other people as well, is in alignment with the First Principle* of Unitarian Universalism?

* To say nothing of the Second and Fourth Principles which call for -

Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;


A free and responsible search for Truth and meaning. . .

Bill Baar said...

Refusing to post comments isn't a violation of any principles Robin.

We just go ahead and link and post.

Now making a botch of UUA something to be accountable for....

Robin Edgar said...

Deliberately suppressing comments posted in response to blog posts is a form of censorship, and certainly violates the spirit, if not the letter, of the Fourth Principle. If the comments are seeking justice for some kind of injustice that has occurred, then censoring and suppressing them violates the Second Principle. In both instances the *worth*, if not dignity, of the commenter is devalued by the person censoring the comments.

"Now making a botch of UUA something to be accountable for...."

The UUA Board of Trustees is pretty good at doing *that* to in a variety of areas, not the least of them being making a botch of UUA policies and procedures for handling clergy misconduct. . .

Robin Edgar said...

Looks like I made a botch of writing -

*that* too. . .