How To Get To Reconciliation

Reconciliation, a sculpture donated by Richard Branson to symbolize the desire for peace after Hiroshima Photo by Julie Gibbons Flickr/creativecommons

Reconciliation, a sculpture donated by Richard Branson to symbolize the desire for peace after Hiroshima
Photo by Julie Gibbons
Flickr/creativecommons

Introduction

To commemorate July 4, yesterday, I wrote about the necessity for a US Truth & Reconciliation Commission (USTRC), an obvious concept that could someday “become the center to all the fireworks, BBQs, and white-centric glad-handing that takes place.”

Included were the threads that promise the inevitability of a  U.S. Reconciliation and Truth Commission (USRTC), articulated most notably by modern icon-philosophers such as MLK, Jr., and Nelson Mandela, particularly his real-world success in reconciling a just as wily South Africa.

We have to start making amends somewhere — searching for reconciliation together is the only route out of the bondage of the current insanity we live in right now.

 

Moving Forward

 

Ronald C. Slye is a Seattle University transitional law professor who knows a thing or two of what a USTRC would entail, and has the experience and background to demonstrate how it would help US Americans “confront the nation’s past racial injustices.” An article he wrote for Reuters last year lays out a step-by-step guide for us. Here is an excerpt of the introduction.

Truth commissions are designed to analyze the systemic context of historical offenses and trace their continuing effects today.

Truth commissions allow diverse constituencies to tell their sides of the story and examine the history and results of gross violations of human rights. Because they are not courts of law, the panels cannot legally prosecute or punish people. Both these attributes — taking a broad analytical view of historical injustices and their impact on today’s society, as well as providing a safe place for people to discuss their experiences and perspectives – are crucial in any national conversation about the legacy of slavery.

We make a mistake by not acknowledging that neither white colonists nor our founding fathers are to be worshiped as apostles of patriotism, our only national religion (sic). Their achievement can be viewed as the establishment of the first constitutional apartheid state, (as Gerald Horne cites in his book, The Counter-Revolution of 1776, 2014), especially if you are a descendant of slavery or a survivor of the First Peoples holocaust that wiped out 90% of them, or you are victim of today’s murders and racial injustices.

Unless and until, the US is willing to come face to face with its racist founding we will never rid this country, or the world, of racism. As we’ve said numerous times here, racism is the basis of nationalism which is the cause of war. The is no peace without eradication of the scourge of racism. If you want to get involved, find out how a US commission is rising from the grassroots, google organizations already mobilizing, and read these valuable books featured yesterday by Frank Joyce on alternet.com.

  • Gerald Horne’s The Counter Revolution of 1776 (and several other works covering the same era)
  • The American Slave Coast—A History of the Slave-Breeding Industry by Ned and Constance Sublette
  • The Half Has Not Been Told by Edward Baptist
  • An Indigenous People’s History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
  • Empire of Cotton—A Global History by Sven Beckert
  • Slave Patrols—Law and Violence in Virginia and the Carolinas by Sally E. Hadden

 

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Alison Gardner

Alison Gardner

Alison Gardner is co-founder of VenusPlusX, and writes frequently on global sexual freedom, American fundamentalists exporting hate and homophobia, and grassroots activism.
Alison Gardner