Can you forgive a racist?

https://youtu.be/BoLPLsQbdt0
What is your answer? Everyone is different and have different takes and different perspective on things in life. It’s what makes us human. Can you believe it’s been 10 years since the event happened? I was 23 in 2006 and my outlook on life was different. Like most young, Black men at 23, I lacked compassion and forgiveness. Those traits, developed in me with time. Ask 23 year old Tareau Barron if he could forgive Michael Richards for his racist tirade and his answer was “f@#% no!” Ask 33 year old can he forgive Michael Richards and what do you think his answer would be?

Before you answer let me give a quick back story. I recently just spoke to the Matriarch of our family, who will be turning 96 next week. Her name is Iva (Ivy)Richardson. When I was a little boy, I would lie down on the floor, eagerly anticipating her stories about slavery, the south, living conditions etc. She would make me a hot dog with top ramen. After she was done cooking she would sit down in her recliner and indulge me with good stories. One story always stood out. It was the story of how we became “light skint.” Iva’s grandfather was a member of the Confederate army but he loved colored women. His last name was Small. He ended up buying Iva’s Grandmother and started to have children with her. (Iva is my Great Great Aunt) I tell you this story because most of us “light skint” blacks has this type of “white” in us. (Not all but most) Looking at pictures of our lineage aligned on Iva’s walls were bittersweet. Sweet because she would talk so lovingly of her mother and other family members, but bitter knowing that My great great great great great grandfather fought with the Confederacy. Can I forgive him? Now with that being said, Can I forgive Michael Richards??  I know my answer…
Your answer ladies and gentlemen!

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14 comments

  1. From a Christian perspective, we are taught to always forgive!

    However, it is difficult and sometimes, we just can’t do it.

    Then, we have to seek forgiveness, for ourselves, from God for falling short of His standards.

    Then there’s the NON Christian answer…H*** TO THE NAW!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Great question. Very provocative.

    I do not think “forgiveness” can be applied to racism at all. The reason is because forgiveness is part of what Nietzsche called the “slave morality.” The slave morality is the worldview that turns weakness into virtue. Since slaves are powerless to escape servitude, they flip the script and place a high premium on “forgiveness.” Forgiveness implies redemption and salvation. Forgiveness is just another way of being content with slavery.

    We need not forgive racists. The western world has been racist for over 500 years. It is beyond redemption. It is beyond salvation. We need to stop “forgiving” racists and start making them pay with their flesh.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Forgiveness detaches you from the person that you feel wronged you. If you do not forgive; you stay ‘attached’ to the person. That’s a quick way to stay in ‘victim role.’ It’s the whole, “You did me wrong.’ song.
    What’s the old saying, “Refusing to forgive is like taking poison, waiting for the other person to die.”
    That said, let go of the head space and energy that the person who you feel wronged you is taking up.
    Redirect that energy into something positive.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. For me personally, there is no right or wrong answer to this question. It is completely understandable how you would not want to even think about forgiving murderous acts of slavery. On the other hand, when you allow these painful acts to fester and grow within you, they poison you. That’s nothing to do with Christianity and forgiveness. It is a well-known fact. Free yourself from the mentality of slavery: know that this is indefensible. But for your own sanity and well-being do not hold on to the poison. Some call this forgiveness.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Forgiveness is necessary to move in any positive direction. Forgiveness doesn’t mean that you hold hands and sing “kumbaya.” It simply means that you release yourself from the mental bondage of the experience, which can be far more detrimental to one’s health.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. There are offenses decent people refuse to forgive. Can you forgive a racist? A child molester? I want to shout, “No! A thousand times no!”

    Yet, as Christians, we are told to forgive… even our enemies. That kind of forgiveness is outside the human experience, certainly outside mine. It requires Divine intervention. John Newton, author of the hymn “Amazing Grace”, was a former slave trader. He grieved that sin to the end of his days. Corrie ten Boom forgave her concentration camp guard.

    Call me a flawed Christian. What allows me to move beyond a choking hatred is the promise of eternal justice. God’s still working on me, I guess.

    That said, your 5x great grandfather Small may have genuinely cared for your grandmother. Did he make provision for her or their children, in his will perhaps? In the days before the Civil War, interracial marriage was forbidden in the South. That Small fought for the South in the Civil War is not definitive on the subject. Many who fought for the South never owned a slave.

    The system of slavery was inherently corrupt as long as 2000 years ago. Men and women are not cattle to be bought and sold, whatever their color. It is a tragedy that this remains such a deep wound, and that the practice of slavery persists in the world to the present day.

    Liked by 1 person

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