Dear Black People: Stop Being So Forgiving
June 22, 2015
I am deliberate and afraid of nothing. ~Audre Lorde
With a knack for breaking news, award-winning journalist Yesha (pronounced I-esha) Callahan has seamlessly transitioned from a corporate HR career, to being one of the most sought-after online news media mavens. In 2012, Yesha received her big break as a politics and comedy writer for BET’s former late-night talk show Don’t Sleep, created by The Daily Show creator Madeleine Smithberg, making her one of the first Black women to write for a cable network late night talk show. Although the show was short lived, it was an episode on Chicago gun violence, written by Yesha, that was heralded and subsequently received a nomination for an NAACP Image Award.
Shortly after the talk show ended, Yesha landed a position with the Black news website The Root in 2014. It was under her tutelage, that the site propelled itself from a meager 2-4 million unique page views a month, to its largest month ever in May 2018, with over 11 million unique page views. At The Root, Yesha not only cultivated her snark and a great eye for news, but she also was key in hiring and editing a slew of influential writers, who are now paving their own way in the world of online news media.
In the summer of 2018, Yesha joined the staff of Essence, the number one destination for Black women when it comes to the world of beauty and fashion. At Essence, Yesha is responsible for cultivating its news and politics section, as well as managing a group of writers.
Whether it’s being the first to report on stories like Boko Haram, missing teenage girls in Washington, D.C., speaking to victims of the Unite the Right Rally in Charlottesville, Va., or using her humor to talk about the crazy political world we live in, Yesha has been able to grasp people’s attention with her writing and personality.
Currently living in the Los Angeles area, Yesha is not only juggling her full-time position at Essence, but is also working on various television projects and writing a book. Most recently, she contributed to CRUSH: Writers Reflect on Love, Longing, and the Lasting Power of Their First Celebrity Crush, and her essay received rave reviews from Kirkus Reviews.
To book Yesha for any speaking engagements, please contact Sean Lawton at Collective Entertainment. For tv, feature or podcast projects contact her agent Seth Lawrence at ICM Partners.
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Dylann Roof is the face of evil and racism incarnate. The fact that this 21-year-old man walked into bible study class at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, SC has been forgiven by so many in the congregation baffles me.
On one hand, I get it. Forgiveness because god said so.
On the other hand, f–k that racist bastard and may he burn in hell.
I’m going to need black people to stop being so forgiving. This forgiveness thing has plagued us for centuries. I’m quite sure forgiveness was taught to black people by slave masters, the same people who taught black people Christianity. Isn’t it ironic?
Throughout history, black people have been benevolent and forgiving. And where has that gotten us? It’s gotten the families in South Carolina a white judge who told them in front of a merciless killer that they should forgive.
No other group of people has been expected to be so forgiving to those who’ve hated, killed and made them second class citizens. Has anyone yet asked or expected Holocaust survivors to forgive?
Roof’s act of domestic terrorism was a calculated and premeditated act. Fuck forgiving him.
And for those who say that forgiveness somehow makes your heart better? Show me receipts and prove it.
And for the love of god, stop assuming just because you don’t forgive someone, means that you’re living with a heart filled with hatred. Forgiveness and hatred does not go hand in hand.
If I accidentally step on your foot and apologize and you forgive me. Cool.
If I purposefully step on your foot and let you know it was done on purpose and I don’t apologize and you don’t forgive. Guess what? You’re in your every right not to forgive me.
Forgiveness isn’t deserving when acts are deliberate.
And let’s just squash this misconception about being an unforgiving person. Just because you’re unforgiving, doesn’t mean that you’re hateful. It means you’re human. Also, being unforgiving doesn’t mean you’re absolving someone from their wrongs.
To those families in South Carolina who were affected by Roof’s act of racism and violence, I understand why you feel the need to forgive. But I don’t understand why you feel it’s necessary. He’s not sorry for anything he’s done. The bible says a lot of things that have been open to interpretation, and forgiveness is one of them.
Just because god forgives, doesn’t mean you have to.