The campaign to discredit the Salvation Army is wrong
Dec. 22, 2021 PLYMOUTH VOICE.
Plymouth Michigan News
“The Salvation Army has never been about politics – all we want to do is help.”
In a recently published commentary titled “Wokeness Infiltrates the Salvation Army” the author lambasts the 157-year-old Salvation Army for their publication of an internal discussion guide, “Let’s Talk About Racism.”
The article written by Kenny Xu, President of the Washington D.C. nonprofit advocacy group Color Us United who claims his organization is dedicated to “advancing a race-blind America,” recites just two sentences from the discussion guide for his critical slam.
In his opinion piece, Xu concedes of all organizations to describe as racist the Salvation Army is a particularly unlikely target and calls on Salvation Army leaders to say that America in not a racist country.
The Salvation Army contends that Xu and his organization has engaged in a campaign to discredit their organization and dissuade the public from supporting their work and has never said that America is a racist country.
The Salvation Army has since withdrawn their organizational guide booklet, met personally with Xu, published public apologies for any misunderstanding and posted YouTube videos reiterating their mission to always help those in need.
It’s difficult to imagine using the word racism in the same sentence as Salvation Army. The Salvation Army is color-blind. The correct word descriptor for the Salvation Army, with its 1.7 million world-wide membership and long history of humanitarian aid, disaster relief- providing food kitchens, shelter and service to those in need of any race, color or creed across this nation, is likely more synonymous with the word “help” and “care” than the preposterous term “racist.”
Working with local, county, state, and federal officials the Salvation Army is always first on the scene in times national disaster.
Right now, as a perfect example members of the Salvation Army disaster team are serving meals and drinks for first responders, bringing clothing and food, and assisting displaced residents in the town of Mayfield after the disastrous tornadoes just flattened the small Kentucky community about the size of Plymouth.
If you look around you’ll see the Salvation Army is active right here in the Plymouth community on our street corners with Red Kettle volunteers and here everyday-all year long-looking after and helping those less fortunate.
Let us not be swayed by social media cancel culture and focus on our friends and neighbors who desperately need help this holiday season.
We support the Salvation Army.
Today, Kenneth Hodder, Salvation Army National Commander responded to Kenny Xu in his Letter to the Editor published in the Wall Street Journal:
A few months ago, my wife and I hosted Kenny Xu and one of his colleagues from Color Us United at our national headquarters for lunch. We shared some history, outlined the Salvation Army’s beliefs and described its commitment to service. Above all, we made clear that the Salvation Army has never been about politics. We are not on the left, and we are not on the right. We have always remained focused on one thing: to preach the gospel and serve people in the name of Christ. And that will never change.
Yet in “Wokeness Infiltrates the Salvation Army” (Houses of Worship, Dec. 17), Mr. Xu alleges that “an internal coalition of woke ideologues” endangers the army’s reputation. To substantiate this odd claim, he cites a few sentences from an internal discussion guide on racism that has subsequently been withdrawn. He never mentions that the guide was for voluntary use among our church members, and he dismisses the army’s efforts to promote internal discussion of diversity.
Mr. Xu calls on the Salvation Army to say that America is not a racist country. Yet he knows we have never said otherwise. And why would we? We don’t judge countries, just as we don’t judge people.
Color Us United has lately engaged in a campaign to discredit the Salvation Army and dissuade the public from supporting our work. That any politically motivated group is working so hard to force a faith-based organization to conform to that group’s ideology should give pause to all reasonable people. The campaign is wrong, and it’s reckless.
We have never said that America is a racist country. We have never said that our donors should apologize for the color of their skin. We have never endorsed a political or social ideology other than that found in the Bible.
Our ministry is still motivated by the love of God, and our mission is still to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and meet human needs in his name without discrimination. All we want to do is help.
National Commander, Salvation Army