The Power to Heal
BY WANDA SCOTT | July 17, 2020
We can all agree that America is in need of race reconciliation. But how do we begin to heal from our past?
I believe it requires three important actions that we can take from the biblical book of Daniel. First, by acknowledging the sins of our past and present. We fall short if we only acknowledge the history of racism in America. We must also acknowledge the current structures of racism including police brutality, violence against minorities, under-resourced schools, inadequate and hazardous access to natural resources, and disproportionate rates of unemployment. It is also crucial to recognize white privilege and acknowledge that one’s skin color has afforded opportunities or access that is withheld from others.
The second step is to ask for forgiveness. As Azariah prays to God for forgiveness with “a contrite heart and humble spirit,” those with white privilege must view it as an injustice, a result of the toxic, insidious nature of racism. We must seek forgiveness for the ways we’ve taken advantage and reaped the benefits of privilege. We must also ask forgiveness for ways that we may have mistreated or judged others who were different than us.
The final step of reconciliation occurs only after repentance, and that is to act. Commit to speaking out against racism and privilege. Look for meaningful and supportive ways to engage with individuals from diverse backgrounds who are committed to justice work, never taking on a paternalistic approach but one of openness and humility. The reading today reminds us of the graciousness of God and the power of his forgiveness, but it also suggests that we maintain an open and humble heart in order to experience God’s power. Racial reconciliation is undeniably a huge task—but we know that we are not alone, for God is with us.
- Be honest, with God and yourself, and admit if you have racist views or hatred towards others. Ask God to forgive you and change your heart so that you can have a positive impact on your family and community.
- Does your vision of the kingdom of God include people from all different races and ethnicities? If so, does your personal circle of friends resemble the kingdom? If not, in what ways will you work to make it different?
[Editor’s Note: This reflection was originally published as part of Lift Every Voice: A Lenten Series Toward Racial Justice.]
Wanda Scott has held positions at the East Bay Community Foundation, Pacific School of Religion, Case Western Reserve University, John Carroll University, The Cleveland Orchestra, and United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta. She holds a B.A. in religious studies from Cleveland State University, Ohio, and a master of theological studies from Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta, where she focused on biblical studies and feminist interpretations of the New Testament.
It’s easy to say lets all discuss racism without acknowledging that you yourself is creating a article which can be seen has racist towards white people. Think about it logically you are pointing towards a single race and stating that most hard working white people were just handed everything throughout there life and never had to do anything to get to where there at today, I bled and worked my way out of poverty,gangs and police hostility which included beatings and I’m white,also the past history regarding slavery only a very tiny portion of people gained from it ( including black people which owned slaves not the lies about buying family members ) and to blame every white person is ridiculous because there were a lot of white people that lost there life fighting and freeing your ancestors and for you to say today basically that been white is a privilege you are joking right ? this is nothing more but reverse racism and because of your privilege you can get away with it. Racism will be around forever until ethnic minorities admit that racism exists in there own culture and not just saying whites are racist ( some are yes ) and stop the false narrative against all white people because me personally or my ancestors have never owned a slave, have never profit of non equal work force, never took part in colonialism.Myself and ancestors white history, they were slaves for the Ottoman Empire whilst they did expeditions and that did not end until around 1910, also the king at the time forced is own people in to slavery and then add the Germans/Russians sending my ancestors to work camps and getting rid most of my family does that history sound like it’s white privilege history? because my white family still has to fight for equality in the world even today and so do many others but we are the ones been forced to be silenced and when we talk we are met with the accusation of been racist and white privilege when we talk. We has white people don’t get opportunities too this could be education or furthering ourselves in jobs, we get shot and harrased my police, we don’t all live in the burbs with the white picket fence living the American dream, since the pandemic I have seen innocent people lose everything including family. I’m all for equal opportunities for every race and for every race to reach goals but to get there you must look at your own culture ( that includes why African American commit 50% of crime and face up to the problem your culture created not by the white man or cops ) and ancestry before passing judgement on to my culture regardless of past/present. Then we can talk without been hypocrites and not be biased and maybe we can finally build a path where all cultures can walk together and have a solid and equal future for all. ( This is my own opinion and it may not suit your values but without a open and honest discussion of the issue in hand, it will never be solved. It is also not my intention to offend anyone reading my reply especially the creator and guests )
It would be helpful for you to read WHITE FRAGILITY or HOW TO BE AN ANTI-RACIST.
I really am happy for you that you worked hard to get out of poverty, but add to that the fact that you could have been born Black and you may not have made it as far. You, and I, have White privilege. You don’t need to be ashamed of it, but you must admit that it exists. If you are male, you also have male privilege. You can walk in a white, middle-class neighborhood and not fear for your life, you can get a loan for a house or car, you can live wherever you can afford to, you can get a job with wages commensurate to your skills. Black people canNOT do ANY of these things and many more.
I don’t really want to comment but it feels like I need to address a few things aswell has defend myself.You might have privilege but I don’t have privilege that is 100%, if anything it’s insulting the hardship ( of my slave ancestors ) and time I’ve put in to get where I am today and saying just because I’m white and male it is easy which is a false narrative due to the fact everyone is different… it’s like a white person crying about a successful Asian who worked hard to achieve there goals. Has for the books you have recommended I do no read racism or any kind of anti-race literature has they depict the authors own guilt and is reflected in a way to channel an emotional response by the reader to feel like they themselves have a responsibility of a guilt that the author is portraying,but I do read material that is work related where examples are extracted from many controversial sources but are regulated by educational guidelines.The company I work for was actually founded by a black man and about 75% are non-white that work there plus we are paid the same, we travel globally and nationally to help disadvantaged children that are living in a similar mirror image of my upbringing in a way., I also donate 30% of my monthly income in to local projects to try and deter children from growing up and becoming a unwanted statistic, we actually discuss all forms of racism not just the one that is widely discussed on here, we do involve the police sometimes now because the current topic is so one sided we have to show that there can be good cops, we are having to discuss hate crimes too with the older kids, we do not label or push agendas on to the children, we do not discuss politics and we are always available if they or there parents need us. Unfortunately this may not be the case soon due to the senseless violence going on and the possibility of funding been cut has the lockdown and the founders businesses been targeted by looters are going to end everything he has worked for in helping the youth in these communities. You don’t know me well enough to assume how or where I can live, yes I could easily afford to live in a very nice big house or a so called gated community but that is not me or how I was raised instead I live in a community which I am the minority and yes I do get racially abused everyday but according to todays logic it is only allowed because I’m white, it’s amazing end racism with racism. What about black people and the issues relating to there Anti-Semitic views that is on the rise at the moment ? exactly no one will say anything about this although this site is to fight for justice and education. (also I forgot to say I don’t drive nor have I had a bank loan due to a very small inheritance from a holocaust survivor that was white and wasn’t privileged do not insult my ancestry either, I should be blaming the USA government aswell related to this. I also will only be responding to articles I’ve posted in and will only read future ones )
Forgiveness is healing and empowering. The giver of forgiveness and the receiver of forgiveness – they are like two sides of the same coin. One cannot do without the other. Long live forgiveness.
I read the article again and many more ,I was then thinking I might of been harsh but after reflecting even more I now and truly understand what is happening especially on here. There is no negative articles towards minorities , no acceptance of guilt when criminal acts are commited but instead defended by a victim of guilt mentality, that white people are wrong, that white people are responsible for every wrong in the world, apparently white people are to be blamed for another minorities future because they have the audacity to actually be a model student or citizen, modern white people profit from minorities, white people steal homes/jobs and opportunities, that white people can’t be oppressed, the police system is racist although more white men get killed by police and police brutality only happens to minorities, that all white people are privileged. Lets be real why do all of the articles target one race in particular on here ? could that be a privilege and be racism . Why isn’t there articles condemning the violence and destruction towards white people and there history also regarding minorities looting/burning ? Why isn’t there any articles speaking about the innocent police getting assaulted and not been able to protect the vulnerable ? where’s the condemnation from minorities community on there own race ? Why don’t black people admit there negative history and only say what benefits them when the word history is mentioned ? and finally why can minorities get to lecture me has a free white man and chant/say/write anti-white racist propaganda views and get away with it but I’ll be called a racist for anything I say even this reply. I have no guilt,nor do I need to bend a knee and beg for forgiveness and I will not use religion to try and make a point to defend my views has this is not religion at all. ( This is my own opinion and will be my last on here due to the true hatred towards my race enjoy spreading false narratives to hide your true intentions because you will be judged someday, bye )
So sorry that you cannot see your own wonderful life and then share some of that with others. I would LOVE to see you be Black for one year. Maybe, then, you might have some empathy for those who have no way out of poverty. You really do need to educate yourself a little. I will pray that you have the strength to do so.
Still no answer on why no one condemns the violence and white hate speech though which is racist ? What do you think about segregated schools,colleges and universities which are for black students only which exist ? What is your opinion of a black man kneeling on a neck of white toddler recently ? . Also 30 plus people have lost there live since the protests have started one person I know so pray for them not me, 59 police injured in Portland alone, media not telling the truth about the violence, hate crimes against white people have gone way up and did you know you cannot protest certain things until September in NY. Everyone can have a good life regardless of race, sex or creed, I can introduce you to a lot of successful black people that haven’t been lazy or look for excuses ( that is the truth and not by a white person ) , instead they’ve had the determination to do well although sometimes heavily helped in education and favored financially when compared to other races which can be proven. Todays world is a toxic minefield especially for children/teenagers of all races they see and hear everything that goes on around them and day by day they slowly start picking stuff up, my own young daughter recently asked me if her black friends like or not cause she heard and saw news reports that show and depict white hate speech and thought her friends will have nothing do with her…she is also fearful that I may not return from work and she gives me a special locket that has a picture of my her mother my wife that passed away with cancer and she tells me everyday when I leave ” Mommy will protect you daddy” do you know how hard it is to look my daughter in the eyes and promise something you can’t guarantee. That is why it’s important to educate the children about ALL racism not just the modern take that only a white person can be racist because that’s what history is for, try be white for a year where I live and tell me how you get on because you wouldn’t last a week in my shoes. All this protesting and anti-white will not work if you want me to be honest it’s having the reverse affect and all those black people that marched last century and actually had to live through real racism and segregation comparing to todays standard and what they strifed for is been torn apart the sooner people can see this the better it will be for all races to stop the hate, violence and ethnic minorities can be racist too maybe this needs to be addressed aswell.