Ep 494 – The Hoax

Written by on May 18, 2018

Yesterday, on May 17 2018, Jonathan Streeter leveraged news of a real meeting between leaders of the Mormon church and  the NAACP to create a fake apology from the Mormon Church regarding its history of institutional racism.  Zandra Vranes, from Sistas in Zion, responded to this hoax on a live stream FB video that was one of the most amazing things I have ever heard and seen.  It’s all very complicated.  Today, Glenn shares his reaction to both Jonathan’s Hoax and Zandra’s response.
The Hoax:
Zandra’s video response:

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  1. gem2477   On   May 18, 2018 at 4:08 pm

    It sounds like she needs to leave the church if it’s caused so much trauma. The juxtaposition of Streeter’s and the real response was what he was going for-to show how flat their words are. I for one applaud Jonathan Streeter.

    • Brenton Swenson   On   May 18, 2018 at 6:33 pm

      Unfortunately, there’s no shortcut to realizing it’s not true. I had suicidal ideation for a decade due to feelings caused by the church, that immediately left when I realized it wasn’t true and I wasn’t a horrible person. But it was never an option for me to leave because of how I felt while I still believed the church was true, it was only became an option to leave later after realizing it wasn’t true.
      Those terrible feelings are often a step along the path to realization, but they are only a step and not the full journey.

      • windy_way8192   On   May 19, 2018 at 1:31 am

        It might be the beginning of a journey, but not necessarily. It could just be more pain within a belief paradigm that one cannot mentally leave.

      • gem2477   On   May 19, 2018 at 7:30 am

        I sincerely hope she leaves. It sounds like she is in enough pain that she probably should consider it.

  2. John   On   May 18, 2018 at 5:48 pm

    *Slow clap*, I recognized Zandra’s sobbing. I’m probably projecting, but that sobbing is the same sobbing that I did when I realized everything I ever thought I knew was a hoax. I felt totally alone, and incredibly sad, and it sucks. I feel bad that Zandra felt that. I feel bad for anyone who goes through that feeling. But I don’t know if there’s a way to not go through that pain…

    • windy_way8192   On   May 19, 2018 at 3:41 am

      That’s not what it was, though. She clearly still believes. I remember being in that mental place that I could not leave, which I could never imagine leaving, until I didn’t believe anymore. I think it can be too easy to take for granted that we left, when in actually it might have been a result of a confluence of events many of which were not under our control.

      • John   On   May 19, 2018 at 5:19 am

        Oh yes, I totally agree. She fully believes. What I meant was that I feel like I can empathize with the feeling of betrayal, sadness, anger, etc. I can’t really know what it’s like since I haven’t been systematically discriminated against or told that I have been cursed by God. But when I heard those sobs it felt like I recognized them.
        And I agree again. Do we really have free will? Or is everything a cocktail of genetics and environment that are outside our control… At the least, we are probably less in control than it feels like we are.

      • windy_way8192   On   May 19, 2018 at 8:42 am

        I do think that empathy is valuable, John.
        Myself, I cannot completely empathize with her. But I have had a friend come to me to try to coax me out of an abusive relationship, back in college at BYU. She had the smoking gun, she knew he was cheating and there was evidence. But that’s not what I needed. Eventually I figured it out, but it was because I had fortified myself, built myself up first.

  3. Melodi   On   May 19, 2018 at 5:12 pm

    New to this sight. Want to hear Glenn’s comments…I know I sound stupid but I see the hoax, and her response, but where do I find his comments?

  4. Marie   On   May 21, 2018 at 7:30 pm

    Being shown the truth when you do not want to see the truth is very painful. That is why the messenger is more hated than the perpetrator. Streeter was a messenger, The church leaders are the perpetrators. It is the church that is traumatizing Zandra. If Zandra finds the strength to face what she does not want to see she could possibly find her way out of her abusive situation and find happiness. Maybe she could even become grateful for what Streeter did.

      • Marie   On   May 24, 2018 at 1:36 pm

        I personally do not put Streeter and the church in the same category of wrong doers. One is a perpetrator of magnificent harm to it’s members, for money and power, while the other dramatically tried to expose the perpetrator for what it is. It may have been better if Streeter had prefixed his letter with a statement explaining what his intentions were and to be upfront that it was not from the church. This could have averted the feelings of betrayal by Streeter but it also would have decreased its effect. This is worthy of discussion and debate but Streeter can’t hold a candle to the wrong doings of the church.

  5. Dale Lowry   On   May 22, 2018 at 5:01 pm

    To all commenters who are white (like me), I highly recommend listening to this episode of the podcast “No Man Knows My Herstory” too: https://www.nomanknowsmyherstory.com/episodes/34. (Glenn, I think you’d enjoy it too.)
    Description: “Episode 34: A secular come-to-Jesus-meeting for white ex-Mormons about our privilege—This week, Cari and Kelsae, two white ladies, gather up other white ex-Mos for a discussion about white privilege and how it makes us into assholes. White ex-Mormons, particularly those who create ex-Mo content, should be talking about white privilege, implicit bias, and racism. We need to hear more from marginalized groups. We need to believe them when they say they are hurt and we need to support them in the ways they want to be supported. We also all fail, and we should own it. In that spirit, here’s the episode.”
    They talk about how they initially were thrilled about the hoax, but their minds changed as they listened to black Mormons and examined their own biases.
    I’m queer, and I think it’s totally out of place for heterosexuals to tell me how to live my life, whether that’s my sex life, my relationships, whether I belong to a religion, or so forth. That’s for me to decide and maybe discuss with people who have similar experiences.
    I am not black, and the experiences of being queer and being black are not the same thing. However, just as I wish for the privileged majority to withhold their opinions about my life choices, I think it’s wise for those of us who are not black to withhold our opinions about what black Mormons should do with their lives.
    I’m pretty sure black Mormons knew how they felt about the lack of apology before the hoax happened. They knew about the history racism in the church. Zandra certainly did, as she discussed it in depth in her Facebook Live. She didn’t need some well-meaning ExMo or white savior to enlighten her.
    I remember reading an interview with Gladys Knight where she answered the inevitable, “Why would you belong to a church with such a racist history?” question. Knight pointed out that almost every institution in the United States has a racist history—including the country itself—and as such it simply wasn’t possible (or necessarily desirable) for her to extricate herself from or disown all these institutions. For her, the LDS Church holds unique teachings—the Restoration , the Book of Mormon, and eternal families—that ring to her as true and that she can’t get elsewhere. If she leaves the church, she won’t leave racism behind, because it’s all over the place here in the U.S. But she’ll lose those things that give her hope.
    Zandra has her own reasons for staying in the church. I may not agree with them, but that doesn’t justify playing with her hopes—or anyone else’s—in order to prove a point.
    The TLDR for this entire incident: A non-black guy used anti-black racism to embarrass a group of non-black guys, never thinking about how actual blacks might feel about his hoax. How is that a good thing?

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