Race relations

Cover of "No Future Without Forgiveness"

Cover of No Future Without Forgiveness

No Future Without Forgiveness by Desmond Mpilo Tutu. He won the Nobel peace prize in 1984 and later chaired the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa that helped ensure a peaceful death for apartheid and the birth of a democratic South Africa. If forgiving can work in as unlikely a place as South Africa, he contends that it can work anywhere. He suggests that it might be used in the US to improve race relations , and I think that we should try it.

His words, “It may be, for instance, that race relations in the United States will not improve significantly until Native Americans and African Americans get the opportunity to tell their stories and reveal the pain that sits in the pit of their stomachs as a baneful legacy of dispossession and slavery. We saw in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission how the act of telling one’s story has a cathartic, healing effect.”

He may be right. I remember clearly the impact the mini-series Roots had on black and white America.

P. S. If you read this important book, you will be reminded about how tyranny is maintained by means of torture. It also happens to a lesser extent in the US. Please see this article on truthout.org.