Dave Konkol’s letter on racial healing, that says he is white and well-educated on Black issues, is on my mind. The letter asks, what could bring racial healing to a new level, yet the questions frustrate me. As a white person myself, I wonder why white culture cannot bring a cure. But Konkol’s questions miss the opportunity to inspire whites toward transformation.
He asks why Black culture does not forgive us. But scripture says forgiveness comes when the offender is remorse-filled; confess our wrongs, then God shows mercy. Sorrow for wrongs first, makes possible the forgiveness. Continuation of racial bias, individually and systematically, does not promote the forgiveness Dave suggests.
Then he wonders why Blacks do not turn attention from centuries of hostility, violence, and oppression, and begin marching against sex trafficking. Blacks are not listened to when they cry out for themselves, so why would we listen to them when they march against trafficking? How does that work when we are steeped in white domination and privilege, with low insight and awareness of current inequity?
Luke 5 says Jesus did not come for innocent people, but for self-righteous people to change their hearts and lives. It is this change that will bring forgiveness, and help Black people turn away from pain and get on with life. White people need to be sad enough to change their hearts and lives, as told in scripture. Konkol may not understand that Blacks cannot change their hearts and lives until whites change theirs.