Almost no words

I’m so worried about several of my friends. We’re sitting here desperately waiting for the moment to come when an event or set of events will be the fusion of messenger and message necessary to create a multi-racial civilian movement fully intent on fixing what’s wrong with the US. Will this horrible week do it?

Photo by Grant McDonald Flickr/creaativecommons

Photo by Grant McDonald

If you’ve been reading this blog, especially lately, you already know my thoughts on a solution. I posit that the only lasting remedy, and the only tool for transformative justice, is the establishment of a US Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Other countries, such South Africa, and even holocaust-stained Germany, succeeded in coming together as a nation, without legal jeopardy or punishment, to acknowledge their historical racial injustice and its lasting, and compounding effects. Only then, could these countries forge solutions and and heal the gravest of wounds. We have to do the same.

Trailblazers are out there and a grassroots movement is underway that you can become a part of, in your own community or nationally. These groups act on “social justice levels while also affirming the need for deep spiritual, emotional, dialogic, and relational work. Our nation needs this kind of holistic medicine in large doses to finally begin to transform cycles of racialized historical trauma so we will no longer be doomed to perpetually repeat them.” (The Guardian, 2/26/15)

The Greensboro, North Carolina, Truth and Reconciliation Commission is a great example.

It exposed the truth of the 1979 massacre of anti-racism activists by the Ku Klux Klan, in which the local police was complicit, by collecting testimonies from survivors, Klan members and police. They called for official apologies, public monuments, museum exhibits, a community justice center, a police review board and anti-racism training for police.  (The Guardian, 2/26/15)

Or, take the descendants of the largest US slave-owning family producing a film, Traces of the Trade, and a book, Inheriting the Trade, that one reviewer called an “intimate confrontation with white America’s ‘unearned privilege.'” They address their ancestors’  racial injustices as a way to find personal reconciliation and bring about healing. In the process, they show others how they can do the same.

And there are many others already engaged in this process of reconciliation that we will highlight in the coming days and weeks. We have to ask ourselves each day what we are doing to heal the nation. The events that unfolded this week in Baton Rouge, St. Paul, and last night in Dallas shows how desperately we need of a type of salvation only available to us through truth and reconciliation.

Fania Davis writing for The Guardian sums it up best.

This process of reconciliation is messy and challenging. But it is also a source of hope. Through deep dialogue, truth-telling and taking action to make things as right as possible, we can forge new futures based on the mutual recognition of one another’s humanity. In this way, we can finally leave our past behind us.

If you’ve come to the end of this post, you can get your free copy of the film, Traces of the Trade, by writing 300-500 words of your own for publication on VenusPlusX that describes your thoughts and experiences of reconciliation. Please contact us to let us know your thoughts, and/or you can comment below.


More on reconciliation .  . .


Alison Gardner