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Maia’s article is most timely

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Tue, Feb 21, 2012

Editor:

“Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced.” – James Baldwin

Maia Eustace’s article “ Can we talk about race in SVG, please” is most timely – in my opinion.{{more}}

We have a story to tell, but we won’t be able to tell it until we shake off the stifling effects that the political system of race typing has had on our psyches. We’ll know that we’ve shaken it off when a few things happen.

We’ll know, because we’d have made peace with our ancestors, who have kept faith with the task of taking us from the depths of mind-boggling terror to the point where we can speak for ourselves and see value in our children’s futures. Our ancestors deserve our eternal gratitude. When we give them their due, we will gain self-respect in the bargain. The least we can do is play our part in continuing the process.

We’ll know, because we would have the expectation of each other’s best, in our daily dealings.

Disrespect towards each other is self-reinforcing; but more than that, it reflects a very poor capacity for self reflection. Our expectations and characterizations of each other directly mirror those we have for ourselves. As we look into each others’ faces, we can see exactly where the journey has brought us – from the horror so traumatic that most of us still find it impossible to put into words. Ironically, it is precisely our silence that imprisons us still, in the mindset of our abductors. Incidentally, ceding agency and locus of control to the abductor is well established in studies of kidnapping, and abduction. For us, the levels, and varieties of mind-stripping over generations, compound the effect. And yet, we must give voice to our story if we are to continue the process of human healing that our story demands. Ours has always been a journey of self-discovery, the discovery of the emerging understanding that comes when a community, torn asunder at its core, finds meaning in its experience. It is a story, central to the transformation of the human condition.

Our generation got us to the mountaintop that Martin Luther King spoke about. The view from the mountaintop just reveals the broad scope of the promised land. The task of exploration lies ahead. That’s where you’ve picked up the ball, Maia. What a marvelous contribution you are making…to this extraordinary part of the human story. There is so much to talk about, but the more we do, I think that the discussion is really less about race, and more about that journey…

Much respect,
Bert John

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