Let's Talk About HealingBefore Reconciliation



There are many of us, African American, Indigenous, Asian American, Latinx and others who experience oppression, who are weary of the reconciliation conversations that continue in many circles. There is no doubt that those who engage in such conversations have good intentions and hold onto the idea that reconciliation between all of the oppressed persons in this country can be wiped away by reconciliation.


It seems necessary to think and talk a bit more deeply about this idea. In order for reconciliation to be necessary, there has to have been a relationship of substance that was destroyed in some manner. It is about fixing brokenness. It implies that there were past relationships that were broken in some way or other and the work of the present is to find the path to repairing them. When it comes to racially oppressed minority groups, there were no relationships to restore.


People who do not have respect for one another and the ability to see one another as God's beloved children, who are equals in terms of their intrinsic worth cannot form healthy life affirming relationships with one another. We do not have any good historical records of any such thing happening with the groups that have been designated as other in America, and deemed to be unworthy of full and equal access to all of the goods and services of this country. Quite the contrary is true, we have records of transactions that took place between these groups while they were made slaves, served as field hands, killed by orchestrated government sponsored genocidal practices and dehumanized in any manner that could be imagined.


Thus, the feverish seeking of reconciliation needs to be replaced with a new way of seeing that leads to seeking healing of the wounds that oppression has caused. Our entire society was constructed upon a white supremacy paradigm. It will be necessary for those who are white to interrogate the truth of the history that was made by their ancestors and to refrain from declaring that they had nothing to do with it. It is true they did not design and implement it, but the benefits of it continue to support their privilege and it is necessary to stand in that truth, while facing the challenge to resist it or to be complicit by enjoying its benefits while declaring innocence.


Clearly, many of you who are reading this piece are working hard to do exactly what I have described and all of us will be better for it. But, it is going to take more than all that we are currently engaging to overcome the negative and hateful spaces that we have created in this country around race. Hearts and minds are going to have to be changed to the extent that authentic and transforming energy is released across this land and change begins to sprout in every person who opens their heart. When the hearts of white people and people who are not white begin to open, it will be possible for healing to begin.

The healing that will facilitate the changing of hearts is not manufactured by good intentions, book studies, pilgrimages, great sermons or teaching, selfless service or anything that we do. Though we need to do all of those things to assist the Heavenly Host in the work that has to be done. The outcome is grounded in the mystical mysteriousness of the Love that exist in the world and that holds all of the madness that humans have help to manifest while trying to lead us to transformation. The energy of Love will make it possible to step into the light of racial consciousness development and to engage the light. It is not magic, but it is certainly mystical and wonderful. Racial healing is possible as we will see when we are willing to present ourselves to God for the purpose of such healing.


This healing will be manifested by the formation of relationships that are grounded in respect, absolute acceptance that all people are God's beloved children, truth telling, willingness to be vulnerable and to provide refuge in our hearts for one another. These relationships will go far beyond allyship and will result in the dismantling of racist structures because white people will insist upon their non-white siblings being treated as equals. This type of relationship is the best remedy for removing systemic racism from our land.


Let's stay in the struggle!