As I was reflecting on the events of the past week, I came across this quote from Jeffrey Ostler, a writer for The Atlantic; “The original sin at America’s founding was twofold. America was built by the labor of enslaved people. It was also built on stolen lands and the genocide of indigenous peoples. To understand where this country is now and to imagine a truly just future, America needs to reckon with both of these hard truths.”
I think we all know this to be true, if we do some real soul searching about our history as a nation. So, when people say that there is institutional racism, it is because it was there from the very beginning. And it has not gone away on its own. The current focus on Black Lives Matter – demands we see, all of us, that this institutional racism still exists, no matter how “evolved” we think we are. We must face the hard truths of our past and come to the realization that we can all do better. This, what we have today, is not good enough – for all of us.
When I was in Catholic elementary school, one of the sisters shared this statement – “God is perfect, and humans are infinitely perfectible.” This was meant to give us hope as we struggled with loving God, and our neighbors as ourselves. For whatever grace -filled reason, I saw this as both inspirational and as a challenge. It still challenges me at 62. It grounded me in seeing that no matter how good or loving I was experiencing myself to be, I could always do better.
So, truths about us as: individuals, families, organizations and even societies are sometimes difficult and challenging. We all have room to improve. And I am hopeful, that as a society we seize the opportunity to all do better – together.
“Who we are happens by HOW we are”.
~ Kevin Buck