Sunday, June 21, 2015

Quote for Today: "The Sort of Bland Saluting of Forgiveness with Nothing Else Attached Is Empty"

And on the ways in which forgiveness (about which I posted yesterday) in the wake of an atrocity like the Mother Emanuel shootings can be a trap, a convenient cover for the refusal of those with power in their hands to do anything to change the conditions that produce such atrocities, there are powerful, fascinating, necessary conversations right now at Twitter. Here's a sampler of comments worth noting, which point out that there's a sentimental trope in American literature about master-slave relationships which exalts the forgiving nature of the slave, and that white Americans frequently co-opt the willingness of black Christians to forgive as a way of refusing to face the injustice of racism:

In a country in which folks can move, seamlessly and without a scrap of thought (or shame), from the murder of nine innocent people in a church to babble about how God allowed the killer to be caught (the same God who would then have allowed those nine innocent people to be murdered), this kind of thoughtful, painful conversation about what concepts like "love" and "forgiveness" — and "God" — really mean in the real world is absolutely necessary. 

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