Monday, February 10, 2014

Disturbing on Multiple Fronts

February is Black History Month, and as part of this year’s commemoration, the Seashore Farmers’ Lodge have created a roadside exhibit. A black man dangles from a tree, his neck broken, the victim of a lynching, genital mutilation, and finally a hanging, while the effigy of a Klansman stands off to the side.

Like the Jews’ mantra “never again”, I agree that these things that happened are beyond horrific.  Throughout history and in many countries worldwide, atrocities have been committed against innocent and helpless people.  I know this first hand having grown up in apartheid South Africa.  We should not forget, but what disturbs me as well is that we also must move on if we are to secure a better future.  

To move on we have to forgive, if only to break the shackles of bitterness that will hold us back from being all we can be and achieving our full potential.  Nelson Mandela had the wisdom to demonstrate this in his handling of South Africa’s very sensitive transition to majority rule.  I’m sure he didn’t feel much like rubbing shoulders with those responsible for the persecution of his people, but pragmatically he knew it was necessary for their best long-term good.  Everyone had to pull together to make this thing work.

So this display bothers me because it forces you to think about the suffering and injustice that people were forced to endure, and it bothers me because I think it is not helpful in furthering the cause of a better society where people of different colors and nationalities can develop relationships built on mutual trust and respect.

No comments:

Post a Comment