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The City of Indianola’s mayor, Pam Pepper, wrote a positive-sounding article in the current Indianola Magazine.[1]  She noted that she “had been thinking about writing about collaboration, empathy, compassion, giving grace, the golden rule…”  And then she wrote, “How can I talk about these ideas and our city?”

It is good that Mayor Pepper is interested in talking about ideas for Indianola.  Unfortunately, when it comes to the ideas presented in the 21 Day Equity Challenge, Mayor Pepper has declined to respond to my concerns about Indianola’s support for that program.

The 21 Day Equity Challenge was created by Dr. Eddie Moore Jr.; Moore also created and currently directs the White Privilege Conference.  In the Fall of 2020, the United Way of Central Iowa was the main sponsor in bringing the 21 Day Equity Challenge into Iowa.  As the United Way’s website explained, this was a program “to help our community develop a deeper understanding of how inequity and racism affect our lives and community.”  However, according to Dr. Eddie Moore’s website, the focus of the 21 Day Equity Challenge was on understanding “white privilege” and “white supremacy.” [2]

You can go to the 21 Day Equity Program website to see the Iowa governmental agencies, counties, cities, schools/universities, businesses, and social groups supporting that program.  The City of Indianola is listed as one of the official supporters.[3]

I subsequently researched and wrote a report about both the 21 Day Equity Challenge and the affiliated White Privilege Conference. [4]  In this report I documented the pervasive anti-White bias and anti-White rhetoric found in both of Moore’s programs.

Focusing on the 21 Day Equity Challenge, I documented such statements as:

  1. The definition of “White Supremacy Culture” is the United States: White Supremacy Culture refers to the dominant, unquestioned standards of behavior and ways of functioning embodied by the vast majority of institutions in the United States. These standards may be seen as mainstream, dominant cultural practices; they have evolved from the United States’ history of white supremacy…In many ways, it is indistinguishable from what we might call U.S. culture or norms…
  2. Some of the “characteristics of a “white dominant culture”:
    • Whites think in either/or terms, avoiding complexities.
    • Whites take unearned credit for wins.
    • People of color given extra work and scrutinized, while white staff with more years and/or formal credentials are given a pass or promoted.
  3. Resources: Resources, broadly defined (e.g. money, time, etc.), are unequally in the hands and under the control of white people.
  4. Racial Reconciliation: Reconciliation involves three ideas. First, it recognizes that racism in America is both systemic and institutionalized…
  5. The United States as an example of “Settler Colonialism”: Settler colonialism refers to colonization in which colonizing powers create permanent or long-term settlement on land owned and/or occupied by other peoples, often by force…Settler Colonialism typically includes oppressive governance, dismantling of indigenous cultural forms, and enforcement of codes of superiority (such as white supremacy). Examples include white European occupations of land in what is now the United States…

    Per Dina Gillio-Whitaker, “Settler Colonialism may be said to be a structure, not an historic event, whose endgame is always the elimination of the Natives in order to acquire their land, which it does in countless seen and unseen ways. These techniques are woven throughout the US’s national discourse at all levels of society.”

  1. The fears of white European descended people shape our society: The definition of white supremacist culture, or, white dominant culture that we like to use is simple and expansive: The explicit to subtle ways that the norms, preferences and fears of white European descended people overwhelmingly shape how we organize our work and institutions, see ourselves and others, interact with one another and with time, and make decisions.

On March 8th I went to the Indianola City Hall and left copies of my report for Mayor Pepper, all members of the Indianola City Council, and the Indianola City Manager.

Having received no replies from either Mayor Pepper or members of the City Council, on March 22nd I sent an email to the Mayor and to the City Council members requesting a meeting to discuss the City’s support for the 21 Day Equity Challenge; I also included a PDF copy of my report with each of those emails.

As of March 31st I have not heard back from Mayor Pepper.

In her Indianola Magazine article the Mayor had mentioned such things as empathy, giving grace, and the golden rule.  She then wrote, “How can I talk about these ideas and our city?”  A good place to start would be for the Mayor to explain to the citizens of Indianola why their City is listed as a supporter of a program that is rife with anti-White bias and anti-White rhetoric, and what she is going to do about it.

Dr. Stephen M. Kirby is the author of six books about Islam. His latest book is Islamic Doctrine versus the U.S. Constitution: The Dilemma for Muslim Public Officials.

[1]              Indianola Magazine, Spring 2021, p. 3, http://www.indianolaiowa.gov/DocumentCenter/View/12412/Indianola-Magazine–Spring-2021-issue.

[2]              https://www.eddiemoorejr.com/21daychallenge

[3]              https://www.unitedwaydm.org/equity-challenge-supporters

 [4]              Stephen M. Kirby, The 21 Day Equity Challenge and the White Privilege Conference, March  6, 2021, https://islamseries.files.wordpress.com/2021/03/the-21-day-equity-challenge-and-the-white-privilege-conference.pdf.

Author: Steve Kirby

Dr. Stephen M. Kirby is the author of six books about Islam. His latest book is Islamic Doctrine versus the U.S. Constitution: The Dilemma for Muslim Public Officials.  He is also the Chair for the Warren County Republicans.  The views expressed here are his own.


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