Every Wednesday, Trinity United Church of Christ in Concord hosts a Racists Anonymous (RA) meeting.
Church minister, Rev. Nathan King told WCNC TV that RA is meant to “deal with the racism within ourselves and to eliminate the racism within ourselves.”
King said the group was inspired by the number of high-profile police shootings in recent years as well as the Charleston church shooting in June 2015, where a white gunman killed nine black parishioners.
“It seemed like every week we were coming into worship and we were doing another prayer because someone had been killed in the street,” King told the station.
Sick of the shootings and racial unrest, King added that he wanted to do more than pray.
About a dozen people attend the weekly meetings, and are on different steps of racism recovery, according to RA facilitator Carol Stanley.
“Well, some people say they’re racist, some people say they’re not sure,” Stanleytold Fox46 Charlotte. “But we’re becoming clearer and clearer on the unconscious racism that we all carry. It’s a way to address one’s own racism as a spiritual practice and discipline.”
The group uses a modified version of the 12-step program pioneered by Alcoholics Anonymous, according to a recent Facebook post.
1. I have come to admit that I am powerless over my addiction to racism in ways I am unable to recognize fully, let alone manage.
2. I believe that only a power greater than me can restore me in my humanness to the non-racist creature as God designed me to be.
3. For my own good and the good of future generations, I have decided to turn my will and my life over to the care of God insofar as I understand God.
4. I’ve made a searching and fearless moral inventory of myself concerning my bias toward others on the basis of race, gender, sex, sexual orientation, religion or any external physical difference such as size, ability, or adornment and more.
5. I have admitted to God, to myself and to another human being the exact nature of my wrongful thoughts and actions.
6. I am entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
7. I humbly asked God to remove my shortcomings.
8. I’ve made a list of all persons I have harmed and am willing to make amends insofar as this is possible.
9. I will make direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them, others, or create more harm than good.
10. I will continue taking personal inventory, and when I behave wrongly, I will admit it promptly.
11. I will continually seek through prayer and meditation to improve my conscious contact with God insofar as I understand God, praying for knowledge of God’s Will and Wisdom for my life along with the power I need to carry that out.
12. As I have spiritual awakenings as the result of these steps, I will share this message with other race addicts as I seek to practice these principles in all my affairs.