Monday, June 29, 2020

All About Race...

When I originally created OMS, I followed the pattern of and included most of the questions  from  the  paper  Matching  Application  available  at  the  time.  One question was about race. Because I wanted to make sure that everyone would be comfortable with the question asked, I went on the internet to find out the best words to use to describe someone’s racial origin.

When talking to a Caucasian sister a couple of years later, I was surprised that she was unhappy that the word “white” was used  to  describe  her  race.  I  was open to suggestions, but she had no good substitute. So, “white,” it stayed.

Throughout  the  years,  I  became  more  and  more  uncomfortable  about  this particular question, so I changed the “word” race to the words “Parental Heritage.” I thought that would work. It did for a while, but then the discomfort returned.

In  addition  to  my  own  reticence  about  this,  as  I  worked  with  many  different candidates  throughout  the  years,  I  discovered  that  many  individuals  would, unconsciously perhaps, begin to read a profile but stop after reading the answer to that particular question. That disturbed me....a lot.

At  the  beginning  of  2019,  my  colleagues  and  I  were  preparing  for  yet  another Online Matching Meeting, something we do four times a year for 1st Generation members as well as Blessed Children. While reviewing someone’s profile I was again reminded about the sensitivity of this particular question.  Right then and there I decided to simply eliminate it.

From the 1960’s to 1990’s True Parents chose our spouses, and accepting their choice was easy. Faith in God and True Parents was virtually all that was needed.  Today,  however,  those  choosing  their  own  spouses  need  to  also  have  faith  in themselves, something that requires a lot more personal effort.

Applicants  on OMS,  are  no  longer  asked  to  indicate  their  race  or  parental heritage. This question is entirely irrelevant in God’s eyes and, at this point in human history, should be irrelevant for us all. I believe that in the future, we will be proud of our own and others’ cultural heritages and be unafraid to answer questions of who we are. But today, some walls are still high.

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