‘We Stand Against All Racism’ (Anthem)

We stand against all racism

We Stand Against All Racism – words by John V. Wilmerding

[after ‘I Am An Abolitionist’ by William Lloyd Garrison (1841), and sung to the tune of ‘Auld Lang Syne’]

We stand against all racism
stand fast for liberty
for freedom is our heritage
not white supremacy
we live in firm and deep resolve
to keep all people free
emancipate from state to state
from sea to shining sea

We stand against all racism
we’re called into the fray
non-violently we persevere
in struggle, day to day
no need for violence to be done
to lay oppression low
for fighting cannot free the ones
who’re lost but do not know

We stand against all racism
no fear can keep us down
no dangers cause us to desist
conferring freedom’s crown
forever shall we stand our ground
for all posterity
with deep resolve we shall ensure
humanity stays free

We stand against all racism
opposing bigotry
our hands are joined as we defend
birth-right, and legacy
with strength in numbers we aver
all human beings are free
and peace and justice shall prevail
thus universally

[August 13, 2015]

We Stand Against All Racism is an anthem I wrote August 13, 2015 after two months of deep reflection ‘post-Charleston/Mother/Emanuel’, and intensive, purposeful conferring with other Quakers in the yearly sessions of New York and New England Yearly Meetings of Friends. I was trying to respond to the knowledge, gained in part from self-experience, that we white people, including white Quakers, could learn a great deal intellectually about racism while still externalizing it — talking about it as though we were not part of the problem. So it’s an answer to white denial, complacency, and indifference, and to the common ‘saw’ that we are born into “white privilege” but there is nothing much we can do about it. We Quakers have a few songs we commonly sing which celebrate our faith’s traditions and histories, but I believe that just as singing hymns in a church can deepen and celebrate one’s faith and beliefs, this anthem may be helpful in deepening our collective resolve to root out racism and eliminate it. We white people should realize that this will work best when sung with a predominantly white audience, but that mixed audiences will sing it as well. It is up to we white people to work on our racism; it is wrong to ask others to help us with it. So this song is a white man’s voice (mine) directed inward toward my fellow white people, and I hope it will be of use as we struggle to destroy our racism and thereby eliminate our own diminishment as human beings. — John Wilmerding]

I am a ‘social entrepreneur’, a person with unusual ingenuity and industry for positive change. As a Quaker (‘Friend’) I consider myself as having an ‘outward ministry’ of peacemaking and conflict transformation, including work against racism. I have diverse depth in the areas of peace education, arts administration, philanthropy, social services, and non-profit business administration. I am trained and proficient in six different peacemaking and Restorative Justice methods, and am the author of the Theory of Active Peace. Additionally I was the Charter Secretary of the United Nations Working Party on Restorative Justice, and assisted in the drafting of the Reparations Proclamation. So I am often asked to speak on peacemaking and Restorative Justice, and have put together or executed many respected and innovative workshops in these fields.

Creator of these anti-racism Facebook Groups/Pages (and others):
White Quakers Tackling OUR Racism
W.A.R. — Whites Against Racism
White Rose America

Specialties: Active Peace (peacemaking, peacekeeping, and peacebuilding). The transformation of conflicts. Teaching, workshop facilitation, arts administration, philanthropy (fund raising), social services, and non-profit business administration. Economic and financial analysis. Singing (trained tenor and chorister), songwriting, guitar, music performance, and poetry. Writing and editing.

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Published on: August 8, 2017

Filed Under: Voices of the Community

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