THE BLOG

Moving Past Forgiveness

06/24/2015 04:35 pm ET | Updated Jun 24, 2016

American descendants of African slaves might be the last American Christians. We continually "forgive" in the classical Christian manner. Even after a hate-fueled man-child walks into a black church, his head leaking excremental lies about black men's lust for white women and our desire to enslave whites, the loved ones of his victims forgive him. The white media applaud their "grace." They always applaud our grace when we swallow atrocities against our bodies. Perhaps it fills their heads with comforting images of fat mammies placidly enduring abuse as they stroke the blonde heads of the white children they're raising. It is our historical place to accept the viciousness of white men.

I am long past forgiving. In this nation, after hundreds of years, it's clear that when it comes to race hatred, forgiveness is is mistaken for license do it again. It's time to stop forgiving and start preparing ourselves to live in the systemically racist society we have, instead of dreaming of one that isn't. No Afro-American child should grow up without knowing that this country was founded on a cornerstone of hate-based chattel slavery -- that we lived in insufferable bondage, our bodies destroyed at the whim of any white man or woman. They must learn that we moved from slavery into another hundred years of vicious oppression. They must learn that for only the past 50 years of this nation's history have we lived in full legal recognition of our rights.

A mere 50 years. It's time to spit on the idea that we should get over it. I'll get over it when America gets over the Constitution or WWII. I'll get over it when the South gets over the Civil War. I'll forget my past when you forget yours -- and not a moment sooner.

No Afro-American child should reach first grade without knowing that this society and its majority are often diseased with perverted images of us borne of the monstrous history they're so desperate that we forget. Black children should learn early to be wary in this America. They should learn to mistrust its mainstream institutions, its political system and a significant number of its people. They should learn that the definition of racism is not a black body hanging from a noose in a tree. They should learn that the definition of racism is the toleration of racist outcomes, and that America is disfigured with it.

We have been waiting for our 50-year-old Civil Rights Era triumphs to trickle down (or up) such that the majority acknowledges and battles the continued injustices against us. That has not happened. Whether the disparities catalogued above are the result of race hatred or subconscious bias simply does not matter. Racist outcomes are hateful. Those who tolerate them are racists. Period.

Our Civil Rights Era efforts to make better white people have failed, and I will not make it my job to clean America's moral toilets as we once cleaned her porcelain ones. I will no longer willingly purchase their awakening consciences with our corpses. It is our job to teach ourselves why the society over which they've held sway continues to pamper its prejudice like a diseased pet. It is our job to teach ourselves what America is and what it has done to us, and what we've made of that -- a culture bearing forms of music, speech, dance, letters and spirituality that influence the entire world. We must learn these truths from each other, instead of ingesting the whitewashed version of America served up in mainstream classrooms that leaves us waiting and dreaming... and forgiving yet again when we're shot through by fetid hatreds on which this country was founded.

We cannot change others. However, we can teach ourselves why they so often behave repulsively toward us, such that we never again internalize the hatreds they refuse to recognize in themselves.