Friday, August 21, 2015

Sharing Some Comments and Thoughts on "Why The Ritual of Black Forgiveness For White Violence Must End"

I have a new piece at Alternet. There, I tried to share my thoughts on The Ritual of black forgiveness for white racist violence, indignity, and anti-black terrorism. We have talked about The Ritual here on several occasions. Your thoughts and insights are so very important to me as I try to work through my own ideas.

[It is nice to be missed. I will be posting the "delayed due to travel" installment of what should have been yesterday's installment of The Chauncey DeVega Show on either Monday or Tuesday. My apologies. It is worth the wait.]

I have my virtual bottle of bleach and ammonia ready to throw at the Right-wing sewer dwellers and trough urinal cake eaters who like to publicly expose themselves whenever there is some truth-telling offered about politics, justice, race, and the Common Good. I stand by my observation that most comments online--especially by Right-wing trolls--are further evidence of a decline in the reading and comprehension standards of America's public school.

But, there are also great comments and insights (like those offered by the friends and readers of to be found online.

Of the many useless and dunderheaded comments on my new Alternet essay, there are three smart observations/stories that stand out as worthy of further discussion and consideration.

Newton Finn wrote:
I understand the point that Mr. DeVega is making, and it is a good one. But speaking as an old White boomer who has more than nostalgia, actually a deep despair about what has been lost since the days of Malcolm, The Black Panthers, and similar proud, defiant Black leaders, who frankly didn't give a rat's ass what White people thought about them or about other Black people.I detect a tone in all of our current discussion about race, even in the more confrontational voices we hear these days, that seems to be a step back from the strength and passion of the Black Power Movement...almost like it never happened.And one of these days, we'll learn that Muhammad Ali has also left us. On that day, I will weep--in joy for what he was, in sadness for what we've become. Without the brash and buoyant hope he gave me during some very dark days, I might not be here to make this comment.Dear God, is there any way to get even some of that RIGHTEOUS FIRE back?
T. Fletcher called out the role of white guilt in The Ritual:
Interesting and thought provoking piece.DeVega states: "The black forgiveness ritual’s heaviest anchor is white anxiety and fear. As I wrote in an earlier piece, White America is deeply terrified, and has been since before the Founding, of black righteous anger,..."An equally heavy anchor might also be white guilt - that deep down there is a realization among whites of how systemic and how wrong white oppression and violence on blacks (and all people of color) has been and is. The black forgiveness ritual helps whites feel not so guilty and makes it seem like the problems can be dealt with in time (no urgency) and dealing directly with them can be avoided.The victims (or their relatives) of this violence might have their own reasons for forgiving the perpetrators and those reasons should be honored. However, the expectation of forgiveness, especially by whites, is really counterproductive to tearing out racism at its roots.
Susannah Bell told a story about her that just rings true to my eyes and ears:
This reminds me of a time my dad came back from a trip to the gas station, shaking with fear, but disguised as anger. I asked him what was wrong and he replied, "there was a black man there.... he was... looking at me." At that moment, I understood the true meaning of the term "white guilt."
What are you thoughts on The Ritual? Did I do our conversations here at Indomitable/WARN justice? Any suggestions or thoughts for a future essay on the topic? Where should I go from here as there is so much left to discuss

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