WHO'S HEALING AMERICA?
America is sick and she’s crying out for help. She is in desperate need of healing from an illness that has plagued her for far too long. I believe America’s most notable ailments are greed, fear, confusion, and control; and they’re all related. And they often rear they’re ugly heads in the form of racism, bias, and bigotry.
We have seen and heard countless tragedies, incidents, and statements in the last 2-3 years, (and maybe in the last 2-3 weeks depending on when you're reading this), that should lead to immense shame, embarrassment, and heartache for anyone who professes to embody American Values, Humanitarian Values, or Christian Values. And if we’re being honest with ourselves, we’d have to admit that these types of shameful and embarrassing tragedies and injustices have actually been plaguing America since her birth in 1776. I believe a large part of the reason why America continues to suffer from the same infectious disease from generation to generation, is because we continue to pacify or bandage the symptoms instead treating the root cause.
I think that if we are truly going to heal America, we need to get to the heart of the matter, which I believe is the unaddressed, unresolved, and untreated trauma of slavery in America and its residual impact on her citizens of all races, religions, backgrounds, and status.
The answer to the question in the title of the post should be “you”! If you are reading this post, the responsibility for healing America falls on you! It falls on all of us; fathers, mothers, sons, and daughters! This is also true for the primary American institutions that help dictate the health, progress, and direction of our society. That includes our faith-based institutions, financial institutions, corporations, media outlets, government leaders, law enforcement professionals, and educators.
It has been my experience that to truly restore a fallen, broken, or damaged relationship, it requires going beyond resolution, to achieving reconciliation. We must be reconciled. When we simply attempt to resolve racial conflicts on a case by case basis without ever reconciling the broken relationship and pursuing true racial reconciliation, that is the equivalent of treating the symptoms of a disease without even attempting to heal the cause of the illness.
I believe that a large part of the issue is Americas discomfort and resistance to openly and candidly discussing race and the long-term traumatic effects of slavery and the history of the social construct of race in America. I must admit, it can be an uncomfortable and painful conversation to have. But I liken it to having to get a shot at the doctors office. You know that there is going to be some pain and discomfort when that needle pierces your skin; but the pain is temporary, and it’s not until after you receive that shot that the healing can begin. True healing is usually on the other side of discomfort. The path to healing typically follows these unavoidable steps of… Acknowledgement - Pain - Healing.
We must first acknowledge the real issue. We must then be willing to have the uncomfortable conversation, and experience the temporary pain that comes with it. And then and only then, do I believe that true healing and racial reconciliation can begin.
America’s sickness is costing people their lives at an alarming rate. And any loss of life that could have been avoided is one life too many.
This sickness that America is suffering from hurts us all. It hurts us socially, emotionally, spiritually, morally, and economically. The potential choices, decisions, and behaviors of a generation of fatherless, motherless, childless, traumatized, disengaged, or hate-filled men and women is an issue for all of us, not just the families directly involved.
This is not just an issue with Law Enforcement and Black America, which has been the highlighted symptom in recent years. And I feel strongly that this particular symptom needs to be addressed as a priority, but we cannot and should not stop there.
This sickness is widespread and the dynamic that we’ve seen play out with Law Enforcement and communities of color is just one symptom of a much larger infection that needs to be treated. And it needs to be treated fast. As referenced above, this virus has infected our financial institutions, our law making process, our law enforcement institutions, our educational institutions, our media institutions, and even our faith based institutions. Hence, this virus touches us all in some form or fashion on a daily basis. And this infection targets the heart. So I caution you all... that above all things, guard your heart!
I believe that in order to remedy this sickness we need to first acknowledge it. We must then endure the temporary pain of having candid and courageous conversations about how we can all come together to take action to reconcile race relations in America. Then we can begin to take the necessary action to administer the healing to America that she deserves and so desperately needs.