MaineHealth, a hospital system in Maine with over 20,000 employees, recently held an antiracist prayer service.
According to Fox News Digital, Ryan Polly, vice president of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion department at MaineHealth hosted this event where White people apologized for their alleged “internalized racism” as White people.
The teachings expressed by Mr. Polly have been criticized by some as promoting critical race theory ideology which asserts that white people are “conditioned” to be racist and oppressive due to their upbringing in a ‘life of whiteness.’
Ryan Polly-Image @RyanPolly/Instagram
Fox News reports on the video, which has since been made private after requests for comment from MaineHealth.
For example, Polly said that White people acquire “ignorance,” “biases” and “racist thoughts” on the basis of their belonging to a “life of Whiteness.”
“This evening has been designed with White people in mind not to take the stage. We have plenty of places to take the stage,” he said, starting off the prayer. “We [need] to… begin the work to join the fight… We need to ensure we… do the work to challenge our ignorance, our biases and the racist thoughts that we’ve acquired through the life of Whiteness.”
In a portion of the prayer focused on “dismantling the system,” Polly encouraged the White people attending to feel uncomfortable with the messages.
“Let us develop the courage to dive [into] deeply experienced discomfort. Let’s sit with it… knowing that the answers come not from our own conscious thinking because that thinking is shaped by racist constructs. The answers lie deeper,” he said. “Let us leave with the tenacity to become anti-racist and continue the fight, even on the days when we could simply choose not to. Amen.”
An insider at MaineHealth has informed Fox News Digital that Polly has been actively advocating for the implementation of a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) agenda over the past two and a half years.
The source believes that firing Polly would allow MaineHealth to focus its energy on fulfilling its primary mission of providing high-quality care for patients.
In a statement to Fox News Digital, the hospital stood by Polly saying:
Our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion stems from our organizational values, mission and vision. This work strengthens our connections with patients and ultimately helps us to deliver higher-quality care,’ the hospital said.
‘Consistent with our value of Respect and our role as an institution of learning, we welcome and encourage divergent viewpoints and dialogue among our patients and care team.’
In 2021, Ryan spoke with The Agenda, a publication from EQME, to discuss the progress made in the field of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion across the state.
At 10:50, Ryan shared his perspective and experiences on the topic.