Yesha Callahan

Dear Black People: Stop Being So Forgiving

Yesha Callahan

I am deliberate and afraid of nothing. ~Audre Lorde

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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.

 

 

 

  1. June 22, 2015 - Reply

    Forgiveness because it frees you from being bound, bound by hatred, bitterness resentment etc. the kind this disturbed individual harbored.

    • June 22, 2015 - Reply

      @OSHH

      So if you don’t forgive, you’re a terrorist?

      Slave indoctrination is real.

  2. June 22, 2015 - Reply

    Forgiveness is never appropriate unless the transgressor seeks it. In the case of this monster neither asks or wants anyone’s forgiveness so why give it? He’s a punk and a monster and like monsters in the old movies no one stands up in the mob and says, “We should forgive Frankenstein for what he’s done.” I say burn his ass at the stake!

  3. June 22, 2015 - Reply

    tbh, i don’t believe the families of the victims when they say they forgive this monster.

    i’ve long believed that forgiveness is a manipulative device. when white people “taught” black folks christianity, it was so they could control their responses. it was so they could make them feel guilty about retaliating. & it worked. black folks have been & continue to be scared to death of retaliating against the people who boldly do us wrong.

    when someone asks you for forgiveness, it’s not for your sake. it’s so they can clear their own damn conscience & go about their business guilt free. why? b/c if you forgive them, you absolve them of their guilt & if you don’t, it’s b/c you’re petty & holding on to a grudge. either way, asking for forgiveness is just so they can feel better about what they did or feel like enough time has passed for it to no longer matter.

    i don’t care if this degenerate racist terrorist begs for forgiveness. he doesn’t deserve it. what he deserves is to be tormented by the wails of his victims for the rest of his life. there are some sins that damn you eternally no matter how remorseful you are. i would think terrorism is one of them.

    • June 22, 2015 - Reply

      @Me

      Your post reminds of Julius Caesar (hold on) and his practice of ‘clementia’, which is to say, when someone committed some kind of transgression against him, he would very gallantly forgive them of all of it and to this day there is speculation over whether he did it genuinely, or if he did it to twist the knife by being the bigger person. Likely the second one. Lots of people thought it was the latter and actually committed suicide before having to debase themselves by being ‘forgiven’ by him. It was an entirely new concept when he did it but did he ever start a trend.

      People once ran from forgiveness and now they demand it, but at least back then the manipulations were carried out by the one who was in the position to forgive, this is just a farce.

  4. June 22, 2015 - Reply

    Hear hear — you dumb clucks!

  5. June 22, 2015 - Reply

    I believe that forgiveness should be given to those who express true remorse for MISTAKES, or to those who have done wrong and work hard to correct their behavior and stop hurting others. I think the level of forgiveness that many of us have expressed for racism and deliberate torture throughout our time here in America (and prior) is a coping mechanism.

  6. June 22, 2015 - Reply

    Forgiveness does not mean that justice shouldn’t be served or that there will be no consequences. Again it frees the injured parties from being bound, has very little to do with the one who has in this case committed mass murder. Forgiveness is always appropriate and necessary to heal.

    • June 22, 2015 - Reply

      @OSHH

      Forgiveness is absolutely not necessary to heal.

  7. June 22, 2015 - Reply

    THANK YOU!!!! Did the jews forgive Hitler?

  8. June 22, 2015 - Reply

    The demand or assumption of Black forgiveness is just another way to silence Black pain. It’s inhumane and insulting to demand that they forgive those who murdered their loved ones.

    • June 22, 2015 - Reply

      @dirtychai

      There was no demand of forgiveness, nor an assumption of forgiveness in this issue. The family simply chose to forgive. That is their choice to make, and no one should question them.

      • June 23, 2015 - Reply

        @LogicalLeopard

        As a community we have that option. Of course there was no demand for forgiveness. When has that ever happened?

        • June 23, 2015 - Reply

          @Lucky502

          I was addressing dirtychai’s initial comment (as well as others that may imply the same thing) that the demand or assumption of Black forgiveness is a way to silence black pain. I said that in this case there was no demand or assumption.

    • July 21, 2015 - Reply

      @dirtychai

      But, white folks demand forgiveness from Black folks and the Black folks go for it. The first thing Gabe Pressman did when Abner Louima was savagely attacked by that cop, was to work his way through the crowd of family members at Louima’s hospital bedside, stick his mic in Louima’s faces and ask, “Do you forgive him?” At least Louima said a resounding NO!

  9. June 22, 2015 - Reply

    I’m not a Religious Being, so to me “FORGIVE” = Absolution for Transgressions. I’m NOT one to “Forgive” and my “CREATOR” knows and understands my Personal Truth. The severity of the Transgression DETERMINES how I proceed going forward.

    My people are from Charleston, SC .and I believe this individual needs to be Executed and others who knew the path of destruction he was on should be prosecuted and WE need to stop allowing “any old bodies” into our personal spaces. SECURITY measures have to be incorporated beginning with checking people at front doors — Installation of the Best “Self-Protection” measures possible.

    I don’t subscribe to the Belief that we Humans have to Love Everybody. I believe we ALL have to RESPECT each others RIGHT to co-exist EQUALLY.

    And, Dear White People: Columbus did NOT discover America. Indigenous Americans / Native Americans / North American Indians WERE ALREADY HERE when Columbus set foot on these shores; SO, STOP with the “YOUR” country B.S.!!!

  10. June 22, 2015 - Reply

    While I respect the decision of the families in mourning, I agree with many points made in this article.

    I have never heard one White survivor of the victims forgive the 9/11 attackers, Adam Lanza, the Boston bomber, the one currently on trial for shooting up the movie theater, etc. Even the uncle of this monster in Charleston said he deserves to die for what he’s done.

    I am not sure how to say this without offending, Aside from this tragedy But in all honesty I have encountered many Black Christians who

  11. June 22, 2015 - Reply

    This tragedy has made me consider what forgiveness means to me. While I respect the decision of the families in mourning, I agree with many points made in this article and some of these comments.

    I have never heard one White survivor of the victims forgive the 9/11 attackers, Adam Lanza, the Boston bomber, the one currently on trial for shooting up the movie theater, etc. To openly forgive this demon, especially so soon after the murders is mind boggling. It’s like watching someone tell satan they forgive him, and to also tell him ‘God have mercy on you’ while he stands there stone faced and remorseless-I don’t get it. And as pointed out, it’s perfectly human to NOT want to forgive, it doesn’t mean ‘satan has won’ or ‘the devil is a liar’ or any of the other things I have often heard Black Christians say. We are human beings, who are allowed to have human feelings of anger, bitterness and yeah-even hatred. We are not Christ-like mortals. Even the uncle of this monster said he deserves to die for what he’s done, and I would not be surprised if the victims’ families ask for his life to be spared. But I am grateful that they have found some comfort in this nightmare.

    • June 22, 2015 - Reply

      @vintage3000

      I have a hard time understanding forgiveness and I am trying to figure it out because I don’t forgive this animal. However, there are many white people who talk about forgiveness. There were plenty of parents at the Sandy Hook school who forgave that animal after he massacred their elementary school children. There were plenty of people who were victims of 9/11 who forgave. Although I think the issue of forgiveness is a way to keep black people docile, it is inaccurate that only black people are taught to forgive or forgive. I have heard of women of all colors who forgive their rapists. I can’t comprehend it at all but maybe I am not wise enough to.

  12. June 22, 2015 - Reply

    ITA! We need to be stop being so forgiving and stop looking for validation from the same ones who oppress us.

  13. June 22, 2015 - Reply

    Can we please not see the face of this animal on this site ever again? Let’s post articles about the issue without his disgusting evil mug. That said, I don’t understand forgiveness. I am trying very hard and I have not grasped it. It feels like all the people who understand it are much wiser than I am. What is forgiveness exactly? Is it something we were taught to keep us docile as former slaves or is it a higher state of being? I am not sure. I know Ghandi would have forgiven. Martin Luther King probably would have forgiven. The Dalai Lama and Jesus would have forgiven. So would Mother Theresa. I have a feeling Harriet Tubman would not have forgiven these pigs and I feel more connected to Harriet on many things but I do love the Dalai Lama etc. I am confused on this issue but one day I hope to come to understand forgiveness. I don’t forgive that animal who shot those 9 people. I just can’t do it right now.

    • June 22, 2015 - Reply

      @K.C.

      I guess i don’t understand what forgiveness is either. I know a woman who forgave her husband who cheated on her, and gave her and her child AIDS. At the time I thought i understood where she was coming from, because he did not set out to spread this disease, and she had another child to raise and I chalked it up to her not wanting to feel anger the rest of her life. But when someone deliberately sets out to murder, I don’t understand how to forgive them either because I don’t know what that means.

      • June 22, 2015 - Reply

        @vintage3000

        Me either. I think what is important is to be honest with your emotions. If you are not in the head space (or heart space) to forgive then don’t. I hope those Charleston folks really do want to forgive and are not just suppressing some other emotion of anger. I find some Christian people often suppress their emotions. I cannot believe that woman you know had to go through that. There is no part of me that can forgive such an act. Wow. She sounds like a pretty strong woman.

  14. June 22, 2015 - Reply

    Dear Unforgiving People of All Colors,
    Go be bitter in the corner by yourself. *L*
    Seriously, I’m a Christian, and dismissing forgiveness as something slavemasters taught us is ridiculous. I won’t bother to go over the theological reasons why, because anyone who thinks Christianity is merely a slavemaster religion won’t be receptive. However, on a totally secular level, not forgiving people affects YOU, not the target of that forgiveness. I hate what this guy did. I hate what a lot of people do. But if I hold that forgiveness and hatred in my heart, guess whose blood pressure is going up? Guess who will not be happy in life? Me, not them. And guess who wont KNOW or CARE how I feel, or if I forgive them or not? Them, not me. Forgiveness is a mature choice that mature people make. And please don’t confuse forgiveness with “lack of repercussions” or “I’m going to be your jail pen pal” and all of that. Forgiveness merely obliterates that seed of hate in your heart so that it won’t affect your life and the way you treat others.

    • June 22, 2015 - Reply

      @LogicalLeopard

      I suppose my probably with the CHRISTIAN idea of forgiveness is that it does not give a process that leads to choosing forgiveness. It feel so automatic for so many Christians. If someone is going to forgive me, I want them to think about it then do it. I don’t want them to just say the word because the bible says you should. There should be lots of thought and self-reflection before the forgiveness comes. Otherwise, to me it is not real or organic. That is just my opinion.

      • June 22, 2015 - Reply

        @K.C.

        *LOL* Christian forgiveness is ALWAYS a choice, just like every part of Christian living. It involves thought as well – you can’t really just say “I forgive you” and not have thought about it and really mean it. It is by no means an automatic or easy thing. It is also not just “because the bible says you should.” People who are Christians and have a relationship with Christ know why forgiveness is necessary. If they don’t, they really wont forgive. You have people who sit up in churches and are completely unforgiving, no matter what the Bible or anyone else says. Then you have people who have grasped a hold of the concept, and can forgive in a real, organic way. It’s not real if you don’t do it that way.

    • June 22, 2015 - Reply

      @LogicalLeopard

      Also, I think you just did what you accused people of doing, you judged them. People who do not understand forgiveness or at not forgiving are not necessarily bitter. In my opinion.

      • June 22, 2015 - Reply

        @K.C.

        I didn’t accuse anyone of judging anyone. I just shared my thoughts on forgiveness. As far as bitterness, the definition states, “(of people or their feelings or behavior) angry, hurt, or resentful because of one’s bad experiences or a sense of unjust treatment:” That’s kind of the result of unforgiveness. Now, I don’t say that in a way to imply that in a judgement call, because I know dealing with pain is hard. This situation is hard for many people, including me, and it didn’t happen in my community. I said in a prayer meeting at church Saturday that although I know I’m called to forgive people, I don’t know of I could have told the guy I forgive him to his face in court a DAY afterward. Maybe not a year. But it’s still not working in my favor, no matter how long it takes. That’s just fact, in my opinion. That’s not judgement.

        • June 22, 2015 - Reply

          @LogicalLeopard

          “That’s not judgement.”

          But it is judgement to refer to anyone who chooses not to forgive as “bitter”. It’s this kind of self righteousness that turns a lot of people away from religion.

          • June 22, 2015 - Reply

            @vintage3000

            “…self righteousness…”

            PRECISELY why I’m not a Religious Being.

            • June 22, 2015 - Reply

              @RaiseTheBar

              I get you. I struggle with faith myself, and started attending church again recently because I want to believe in a higher power. And I wanted to attend yesterday but was so torn. On one hand I needed to hear words of comfort and have fellowship with other Black people after this. Other hand, I have no desire to hear about forgiveness to move forward like it’s some magic spell, with the same handful of women in the congregation getting the spirit at the same time each week, like clockwork.

              re: self-righteousness–I have had a few interactions with Black Christians who are so wrapped up in their identity as religious people, they will shut you down in a quickness when you want to talk about real emotions. Not sure which decision to make about something? Talk to the Lord about it! Can’t believe I got laid off again- well if you had REAL faith you would just ask the Lord what to do! And I’m not saying these things don’t work for some people. But as someone mentioned earlier, there has to be a process for this. The instant reaction is almost always to belittle the person who does not share the same approach.

              • June 22, 2015 - Reply

                @vintage3000

                NOW, this is GOSPEL!

                And those who it does WORK for it’s because of THEIR plan of ACTION along w/faith.

              • June 22, 2015 - Reply

                @vintage3000

                Your relationship with GOD is not about religion at all.
                I have a relationship with the Lord Jesus, that is a life long journey. I am not “churchified” , too many have gone off course or some religious zealot, which can interfere with your relationship. I do read and listen to the WORD, pray and seek God’s will for my life daily.
                I hope that helps a little Vintage.

                • June 22, 2015 - Reply

                  @OSHH

                  Thank you OSHH, that is very thoughtful of you. This journey is tough. You know when you have to turn to your neighbors and tell them how blessed you are.. It sounds awful-lol- but that is one my LEAST favorite things about service because it feels forced if you haven’t fully surrendered. My mom’s approach to a relationship with God is very similiar to yours, she did not need to attend a church every week to talk to Him. Thank you,

                  • June 22, 2015 - Reply

                    @vintage3000

                    🙂

          • June 22, 2015 - Reply

            @vintage3000

            *LOL* Wait a minute, first of all, that’s not judgment. That’s fact. The definition of the word bitter is: “(of people or their feelings or behavior) angry, hurt, or resentful because of one’s bad experiences or a sense of unjust treatment.” So, if a person doesn’t forgive someone, are they angry? Sometimes. Are they hurt? Either angry, hurt, or both. Resentful? Sure. Is it due to bad experiences or a sense of unjust treatment? Absolutely. So, that pretty much sums it up. Bitter is not a judgment, it is a description of feelings.
            But why do people talk about judgment so much? I mean, I could say that you made a judgment on religion by saying that self righteous people are responsible for turning you away from it. The difference between judgment and just pointing out something in my opinion is when you have condemned a person/persons in your heart and you have distanced your heart from them. That’s judgment.

            • June 22, 2015 - Reply

              @LogicalLeopard

              You make a statement ‘bitter people go stand in the corner’ and want to claim it’s not judgement, and merely your opinion. Bull. You are still trying to take a moral high ground, and call it something else.

              And yes, calling someone bitter IS judgement because you don’t have the right to label that person’s feelings and label your opinion as fact, and tell them ‘go stand in the corner’ as if you are chastising grown folks who have the right to their opinions. One person’s bitter is another person’s refusal to turn the other cheek. And for the reverse, one person’s forgiveness is another man’s passivity.

              • June 23, 2015 - Reply

                @vintage3000

                You make a statement ‘bitter people go stand in the corner’ and want to claim it’s not judgement, and merely your opinion. Nope. You are still trying to take a moral high ground, and call it something else.

                *shrugs* I don’t think I was trying to take a moral high ground. I was being flip, no doubt about it, and maybe that wasn’t called for, but when I say “go be bitter in the corner by yourself,” please appreciate the context. I’m not addressing people who are bitter, or unforgiving (although I didn’t make that clear, admittedly). I’m addressing people, like the author, who are not only unforgiving, but are actually telling people that forgive not to forgive. In such a situation, I say that if you don’t want to forgive, that’s your choice, and exercise that choice by yourself. Don’t encourage people who are attempting to follow their beliefs, or simply soothe themselves, to follow your path.


                And yes, calling someone bitter IS judgement because you don’t have the right to label that person’s feelings and label your opinion as fact, and tell them ‘go stand in the corner’ as if you are chastising grown folks who have the right to their opinions.

                Not “stand” in the corner, go be bitter in the corner. Meaning seclude yourselves from people who are trying to forgive instead of reprimanding them for what they choose to do. And I’m not labeling my opinion as fact, I provided the definition of bitter as fact. The only subjective thing about that is the fact that definitions have a realm of subjectivity in themselves. Some people see “bitter” as a statement of fact, some people think of it as a negative label.

                One person’s bitter is another person’s refusal to turn the other cheek. And for the reverse, one person’s forgiveness is another man’s passivity. If someone makes the decision to forgive, I can respect that. For them. If I don’t take that same approach to healing for ME, then you (general you, not personally) need to respect that.

                Exaaactly! You are not the type of person I’m addressing. You aren’t writing articles called “Dear Black People: Stop Being So Forgiving.” No matter how you may perceive this “forgiveness” in others, you respect it. I don’t really have a problem with that. I can’t. It’s how you feel.

                I won’t be scolded for it, or have someone wag a finger telling me that it’s mandatory to heal. There have been families of murder victims who say they feel closure (there is never full healing for this) after watching the murderer take their last breath during the execution. That would be me for real.

                On the reverse, as I’ve said before, forgiveness cannot be forced. You can recommend forgiveness to someone (that you have a good relationship with, or a therapeutic relationship), but you can’t force it upon them, or scold them for it. Scolding someone for not forgiving someone who killed their loved one is as silly and misguided as scolding someone for forgiving someone who killed their loved one.

                Besides, I have not really heard anywhere in this thread what the verb “to forgive” means. People like to say it heals, but don’t really define it.

                People say it heals because they’ve reaped the rewards of it. But no, that’s not the definition. But since you asked, here’s an excellent definition from Wikipedia:

                Forgiveness is the intentional and voluntary process by which a victim undergoes a change in feelings and attitude regarding an offense, lets go of negative emotions such as vengefulness, with an increased ability to wish the offender well.[1][2][3] Forgiveness is different from condoning (failing to see the action as wrong and in need of forgiveness), excusing (not holding the offender as responsible for the action), pardoning (granted by a representative of society, such as a judge), forgetting (removing awareness of the offense from consciousness), and reconciliation (restoration of a relationship).

                • June 24, 2015 - Reply

                  @LogicalLeopard

                  This is what Rep, Jonathan Hill, has to say about forgiveness: “”You’re going to defeat racism with love and forgiveness. You’re not going to defeat it with politics and certainly not with more hatred,”

                  Rep. Hill is also in favor of keeping the Confederate flag displayed on government property. THIS is what is expected, and who do you think is expected to always provide the ‘love and forgiveness”? The people who are constantly beat down.

                  • June 24, 2015 - Reply

                    @vintage3000

                    Well, with all due respect, Representative Hill is WRONG. He’s right to say that you can defeat racism with love and forgiveness. But that’s not all it takes. It also takes education, personal reflection, and willingness to change. It takes confronting harsh issues. And yes, it also takes POLITICS. Like taking down that flag. How do you promote change when you have a symbol hanging over a state house which sends the message “Things haven’t changed.”
                    You say some, like Rep. Hill, use “forgiveness” as a tool to escape blame and consequences. That’s true. But I see no problem discussing both at the same time. As I’ve said before, you can’t force or expect forgiveness. It’s part of the healing process, but there are MANY other parts as well. And legal consequences are a big part of it, in my opinion. I see no problem with forgiveness and consequences/punishment.

                    • June 24, 2015 - Reply

                      @LogicalLeopard

                      As you know, the controversy over this flag has been stagnant for decades. It took the #takeitdown movement and OUTRAGE all over the country that got this rag removed on a wide scale, in a matter of days. Not forgiveness. And I’m sorry, if this was the old days and Black ministers were still the only primary people speaking up for Blacks, not a damn thing would be done about that flag at the SC capitol.

                      If forgiveness is for the person who has been hurt, then why not keep that thought to yourself, why tell the person who has hurt you? As much as they don’t care that they have wronged you, they don’t give a damn that you forgive them either. But I do understand telling a beast to their face ‘your evil actions have not destroyed me or my family, we will get past this’, I heard one of the Sandy Hook parents saying that and it actually made me feel good for them, that they were somehow getting through their pain.

                      • June 25, 2015 - Reply

                        @vintage3000

                        Nobody is saying that “forgiveness” ended the stagnation on this issue. Although I do think that a good portion of people are stunned and moved by the families’ forgiveness. But anyway, you tell the person that hurt you that you forgive him because it does something for you. It’s something to have it “out there,” whether they receive it or not. *shrugs* My whole point in this conversation was not to criticize people who choose to forgive. If you don’t choose to forgive, that’s on you. Many people won’t. I could suggest it, but I don’t know your pain, and have no right to demand that you forgive. That’s not even POSSIBLE, because you can’t force people to forgive. Likewise, I think people who forgive should be left alone as well. I don’t buy the argument that forgiveness produces weakness. There probably aren’t enough people that do it to even discuss that route.

          • June 22, 2015 - Reply

            @vintage3000

            EXACTLY why I rejected this mess.

    • June 22, 2015 - Reply

      @LogicalLeopard

      I totally agree with you–and on an individual basis, forgiveness is key. Although there is truth to the fact that white guilt and fear almost looks to Black forgiveness to abslove them. Collectively Black people in this country need to hold Whiteness accountable. We have to move past the rhetoric and their fear of our anger and hold White people responsible for once and for all for what they have DONE and what they continue to produce when it comes to the hate that this nation built. People get so caught up in the words, as if the victims forgiving means we can all just move on from the isolated tragedy. No. It is past time for ACTION and white folks need to look in the mirror.

      • June 22, 2015 - Reply

        @elle D.

        But being held accountable and forgiveness are two different things. Holding a person accountable for their actions, or accountable for change is something that deals with the external. Forgiveness deals with the internal.

        • June 22, 2015 - Reply

          @LogicalLeopard

          I know but my point is that the narrative from Society is usually–“Oh all is forgiven” now let’s move on… and forgiveness becomes an overused word with little original meaning. We can’t just forgive, we must hold accountable and we didn’t see enough of that call over the weekend. It was too much placating for my tastes.

          • June 22, 2015 - Reply

            @elle D.

            Well that narrative needs to be abolished. Things can be forgiven, and we can move on, but we have to move on CONSIDERING what has happened. Its like racism. Sure, I can forgive what happened in the past, but when we talk about moving on, we have to address how the wrongs of the past have created and sustained the problems of the day, and work on dismantling the machinery of racism that has been created. We need to create a new narrative that addresses both forgiveness and change. But there’s a limit that you can talk about forgiveness, because it’s on that person to change. You really can’t insist on forgiveness. Everyone processes things differently.
            As far as this guy being held accountable, he’s still in jail, he’s probably facing the death penalty, so I think he’s being held accountable.

            • June 22, 2015 - Reply

              @LogicalLeopard

              I agree that we need to address both as a nation that is truly UNITED. It is not enough for “good” white folks to stand and hold hands, we need CHANGE and that is why this one little evil troll going to prison for Life or receiving the death penalty is not enough. He is not the only one responsible for the crime. White supremacy is–we need flags removed, we need voting rights restored, we need the abolishment of the Police Industry and Criminal Justice laws as they stand, and new ones in place–it goes on, a lot further than the punishment of one little cretin.

              • June 22, 2015 - Reply

                @elle D.

                Exactly, more change is needed Punishing him is necessary, but punishing him does absolutely nothing to stop the problem. There is a culture at work in which many people like him are being nourished and fed. That needs to be dismantled and abolished, as much as we can.

    • June 22, 2015 - Reply

      @LogicalLeopard

      “…hold that forgiveness and hatred in my heart, guess whose blood pressure is going up?”

      GROSS mis-assumptions based on “YOUR definition of Forgiveness”

      NON-Forgiveness (NON-Absolution of Transgressions) COMMANDs (not demands) RESPECT from Fellow-Human Beings and Empowers Spiritual, Mental, Emotional, Physical EVOLUTION and co-existence with Fellow Human Beings. It is an Embodiment of PRO-activity, NOT constant, frantic re-action.

      • June 22, 2015 - Reply

        @RaiseTheBar

        Non-forgiveness commands respect? How can you command respect from a racist? Seriously, lets think about that. That’s my point, you’re not likely to be getting ANYTHING from the person being forgiven, whether you choose to forgive or not. You are the only person who will likely be dealing with your forgiveness or unforgiveness.

        • June 22, 2015 - Reply

          @LogicalLeopard

          Non Absolution of Transgressions is about The Non-absolver, NOT the absolvee.

          • June 22, 2015 - Reply

            @RaiseTheBar

            It Holds the Transgressor Accountable for his/her misdoings.

            • June 22, 2015 - Reply

              @RaiseTheBar

              Holding someone accountable is completely different than forgiving them. I can forgive a person all day, doesn’t mean that I’m going to bail them out of jail, or not testify against them at trial.

              • June 22, 2015 - Reply

                @LogicalLeopard

                “YOU” forgive based on YOUR definition.

                I don’t FORGIVE because it equates to Absolution for ME. I seek and Actively Pursue “closure” in ways conducive to MY Spiritual EVOLUTION.

                • June 22, 2015 - Reply

                  @RaiseTheBar

                  Okay. If you’re happy with that, there’s not really anything I can say.

          • June 22, 2015 - Reply

            @RaiseTheBar

            So how does it command respect? From who?

    • June 22, 2015 - Reply

      @LogicalLeopard

      “And guess who wont KNOW or CARE how I feel, or if I forgive them or not? Them, not me.”

      if they don’t care, then why does it matter whether we forgive them or not? if forgiving someone is for the afflicted, why would not forgiving them be for the transgressor? this man doesn’t deserve forgiveness. and these victims don’t deserve to be guilt-tripped into forgiving him. even god smote people. lucifer was able to fall from grace & be banished from the kingdom. pretending that “forgiveness” is some magic christian pill that wipes away the pain is plain foolish & downright manipulative. i know w/certainty there will never be a day that i wake up & not feel contempt & condemnation for what this degenerate has done b/c what he did was an unforgiveable act of terror.

      • June 22, 2015 - Reply

        @Me

        “if they don’t care, then why does it matter whether we forgive them or not?”
        Because forgiveness is about you, and how you feel, not about the other person. When you have a host of ill feelings about someone, for any reason, you have to sort those out emotionally and mentally for your own benefit. Forgiveness benefits you. I’m not saying that it can’t benefit the other person, because some people are repentant. But if they are sorry or not, you still need to deal with your feelings concerning it so that you can be mentally healthy.
        Does this guy deserve forgiveness? Of course not. Who deserves forgiveness? None of us. It’s up to the other person, it’s their choice. But I’m speaking toward how it affects the FORGIVER, not the subject of forgiveness. And like I said before, no one is “guilt tripping” these people into forgiving this guy. They did it of their own accord, and rather quickly. As you might guess, I’m an advocate of forgiveness, but I’m not sure I would have been able to forgive as quickly as they did. But hey, we’re all different, and in my case, there’s room for me to grow.

        As far as forgiveness being some “magic Christian pill that wipes away the pain,” it’s by no means magic, and it doesn’t wipe away the pain of what happened. But it does ultimately help the person down the road to recovery. And you don’t have to be a Christian to believe that, a psychologist will tell you the same thing.

        • June 22, 2015 - Reply

          @LogicalLeopard

          “sort those out emotionally and mentally for your own benefit” does not equal forgiving. forgiveness is not therapy, so it can’t lead to any recovery. if forgiveness was about the forgiver, then the object of the forgiveness wouldn’t be the transgressor. forgiveness is choosing to no longer hold someone’s actions against them. this man will never redeem himself from his actions. he will forever be defined by those actions b/c they are so unforgiveable.

          • June 22, 2015 - Reply

            @Me

            That is the end result of forgiveness. You’ve sorted it out mentally and emotionally. Someone cuts you off in traffic, you get mad, then you think about the people you’ve cut off, or the mistakes you’ve made driving, and sort it out mentally in your head. With that mental sorting usually comes an emotional sorting; the anger begins to fade. And you forgive the person for cutting you off.
            We’re dealing with a much more complex situation in this case than being cut off on the road, but it’s still a mental and emotional sorting process. That may come with therapy or without. But forgiveness is the end step.
            You say that forgiveness is choosing to no longer hold someone’s actions against them. That’s not true, although a lot of people seem to believe that. Accountability and forgiveness are two different things. If someone’s spouse cheats on them, they can forgive them, but that doesn’t mean that they’re not going to divorce them. That doesn’t mean that when the spouse tries to work his or her way into their good graces, that they are going to share their company. The cheated on spouse can say, “I acknowledge where you were, and that you didn’t have the maturity to do anything else. I forgive you, but I don’t want to be around you anymore.”
            This guy we’re talking about is a mass murderer, a terrorist, and….well, I’d say he’s a lunatic, but that’s all too convenient. He knew what he was doing, and did it. That puts you in a different class. The families can forgive him, and that’s for their benefit. That’s not going to stop this guy from going to prison for the rest of his life, or most likely, ending up on death row. And I don’t think the families are lobbying for him to be released. They’re just forgiving him.

            • June 22, 2015 - Reply

              @LogicalLeopard

              in your example, yes, i would forgive someone cutting me off in traffic b/c i can relate & i know that defining someone based on them cutting me off is an overreaction, considering it could all be resolved w/an “i’m sorry” wave. in the case of a terrorist, who plotted to kill innocent people, no forgiveness is deserved or forthcoming. it’s UNFORGIVEABLE. there’s no way in hell he could ever be excused for taking the lives of those people. there’s nothing he could do to make up for his terror. yes accountability & forgiveness are different. accountability is what the transgressor carries for the rest of his life. forgiveness is what he forfeits b/c of the heinous nature of his actions.

              & for the record “I forgive you, but I don’t want to be around you anymore” is not forgiveness. it’s holding someone’s actions against them. it’s punishing them by cutting them out of your life b/c you can’t or won’t get over what was done. it’s the consequence of an unforgiveable action. it’s the opposite of forgiveness.

              • June 23, 2015 - Reply

                @Me

                Well, it’s not unforgivable, considering that people have forgiven him. Unforgiveable to you, it seems, but not unforgivable period. As far as “I forgive you, but I don’t want to be around you”, yes, that is still forgiveness. Forgiving a person does NOT mean that you don’t hold a person accountable for what they did, and/or exercise wisdom in your dealings. It’s not about not getting over what was done, it’s about using wisdom in your future dealings.
                To give an example, say a person is cheated on by their spouse. With multiple people. The other spouse comes clean, or is caught and comes clean. So, the cheated-on spouse can make the choice of forgiving them, but that doesn’t mean they have to remain married. If they use their wisdom and judge that their spouse is not worthy of trust, or that they caused irreparable damage to the relationship by breaking their vows, or simply don’t want to persist in a relationship where they have questions about the person’s conduct, they can leave. But forgiving them means that you aren’t going to harbor any more animosity for their actions, you’ll be a respectful co-parent if kids are in the picture, you’ve taken the steps to heal yourself. Like in this situation: These people forgave the killer, but they didn’t ask the judge to let him out,did they? That’s not necessary. He has to pay for what he’s done, and he still may be dangerous.

                • June 23, 2015 - Reply

                  @LogicalLeopard

                  if you don’t harbor any animosity towards someone for what they did to you, there would be no need to also punish them. divorcing/punishing a cheating spouse means that you don’t forgive their transgressions & that you do feel too betrayed to stay with that person. someone who forgives does not also punish. if you let something go, you don’t also retaliate. that’s where you seem to confuse what forgiveness really is. you can’t forgive someone with your words & then hold it against them with your actions. if you’re no longer hurt, you have no need for vengeance. otherwise that would be lying to yourself or to that person.

                  • June 23, 2015 - Reply

                    @Me

                    We don’t punish people for our personal animosity, we punish people for what they did. Like in the case of the church shooter. As far as a divorce, you don’t divorce to “punish” the spouse, you divorce because your marriage is over when someone else starts cheating. Forgiveness does NOT mean that you have to stay. Letting go of the emotional component of something does not mean that actions don’t have ramifications. Here’s a good definition on forgiveness from the “forgiveness” entry in Wikipedia:Forgiveness is the intentional and voluntary process by which a victim undergoes a change in feelings and attitude regarding an offense, lets go of negative emotions such as vengefulness, with an increased ability to wish the offender well.[1][2][3] Forgiveness is different from condoning (failing to see the action as wrong and in need of forgiveness), excusing (not holding the offender as responsible for the action), pardoning (granted by a representative of society, such as a judge), forgetting (removing awareness of the offense from consciousness), and reconciliation (restoration of a relationship).[1]
                    Notice it says that it does not mean reconciliation, excusing, or pardoning. It’s the letting go of negative emotions and the changing of feelings and attitude. This is a key factor that keeps a lot of people trapped in bad situations – certain people think that in order to forgive, you have to condone all means of bad behavior. That’s not true.

                    • June 23, 2015 - Reply

                      @LogicalLeopard

                      i can copy & paste too… from the american psychology association:

                      Defining Forgiveness

                      Forgiveness is a process (or the result of a process) that involves a change in emotion and attitude regarding an offender. Most scholars view this an intentional and voluntary process, driven by a deliberate decision to forgive (6, 8, 26, 38). This process results in decreased motivation to retaliate or maintain estrangement from an offender despite their actions, and requires letting go of negative emotions toward the offender. Theorists differ in the extent to which they believe forgiveness also implies replacing the negative emotions with positive attitudes including compassion and benevolence (8, 17, 23, 25, 26).

                      Forgiveness and Reconciliation

                      … Reductions in revenge and avoidance motivations and an increased ability to wish the offender well are features of forgiveness that can impact upon behavioural intention without obliging reconciliation.
                      you don’t divorce someone out of forgiveness. you divorce them to avoid and punish them for what they did. if it weren’t for punishment, then it wouldn’t be a consequence of cheating. don’t act like folks who get cheated on file divorce out of the goodness of their hearts. they do it b/c they can’t take any more of the pain. and please don’t act like anything less than life in prison/execution for this terrorist would constitute justice for these victims. i highly doubt there are many people who would advocate for him to ever live among society again. i would even bet the victims families expect him to never be free again. i definitely doubt that they would ever welcome him back into that church after what he’s done. that’s not out of forgiveness. that’s retaliation & ostracizing him for what he did. it’s punishment for the never ending pain he caused. folks need to be honest & quit pretending that anyone actually forgives this monster.

                      • June 23, 2015 - Reply

                        @Me

                        Decreased motivation to retaliate? Retaliation is different than punishment, or not reconciling. Retaliation is a personal attack, not just letting someone go to jail. As far as decreased motivation for maintaining estrangement, that doesn’t mean that you’re not going to maintain estrangment – just you’re motivation for maintaining it is reduced. Like, “I hate that person’s guts and I don’t want to be within five miles of them” to “I can be in the same room with them, although I prefer not to keep company with them because it’s not healthy for me or them.” Your second post, “Forgiveness and Reconcilliation” makes it plain that they are two different things. You can forgive and divorce someone. Or you can divorce them and forgive them later. You don’t divorce them to “punish” them, you divorce them because you can no longer be married to them. Some people “punish” their former spouses through divorce, trying to take custody of the kids for spite and exact large alimony payments/possession of goods.” And then again, a LOT of people just get divorces and call it a day. It’s not to punish the person, they just realize that they are no longer a viable couple.
                        I DIDNT say that anything less than life in prison or execution would constitute justice. Neither did the victims families, from what I understand. You can lock him up and throw away the key, but that doesn’t affect the victim’s families ability to forgive him. That’s what I’m saying. I’m sure they don’t want him wandering free, but that doesn’t affect their forgiveness.

                        • June 23, 2015 - Reply

                          @LogicalLeopard

                          twist it however you want. retaliation is a form of punishment. wishing someone to be cast away forever is done out of holding onto a grudge/anger. it’s a form of retaliation/punishment/animosity. it’s not done in the spirit of forgiving or letting go of anger.

                          • June 24, 2015 - Reply

                            @Me

                            You feel that way, and there’s nothing I can say any different. There’s a difference between retaliation and punishment, though, and that’s fact.

                  • June 23, 2015 - Reply

                    @Me

                    From the University of Berkley’s “Greater Good Science Center” website:

                    Psychologists generally define forgiveness as a conscious, deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance toward a person or group who has harmed you, regardless of whether they actually deserve your forgiveness.

                    Just as important as defining what forgiveness is, though, is understanding what forgiveness is not. Experts who study or teach forgiveness make clear that when you forgive, you do not gloss over or deny the seriousness of an offense against you. Forgiveness does not mean forgetting, nor does it mean condoning or excusing offenses. Though forgiveness can help repair a damaged relationship, it doesn’t obligate you to reconcile with the person who harmed you, or release them from legal accountability.

                    Instead, forgiveness brings the forgiver peace of mind and frees him or her from corrosive anger. While there is some debate over whether true forgiveness requires positive feelings toward the offender, experts agree that it at least involves letting go of deeply held negative feelings. In that way, it empowers you to recognize the pain you suffered without letting that pain define you, enabling you to heal and move on with your life.

                    • June 26, 2015 - Reply

                      @LogicalLeopard

                      Thank you for this post!

                      • June 26, 2015 - Reply

                        @Delia

                        No problem!

                      • June 26, 2015 - Reply

                        @Delia

                        No problem!

  15. June 22, 2015 - Reply

    Since I had no other article to post this on, can I just call out Kanye West for having announced he is having a baby boy yesterday evening yet he could not find it in himself to make a statement about Charleston this week. I am so done with his narcissism. Clutch, please do an article on that. Thanks.

  16. June 22, 2015 - Reply

    I do agree that we don’t need to see this pathetic white boy’s face every time we mention hate, flags, Charleston or White Supremacy. We do not need to name him and we damn sure don’t need to see his putrid little evil face.

    • June 22, 2015 - Reply

      @elle D.

      Amen Sister.

      • June 22, 2015 - Reply

        @truthseeker2436577@yahoo.com

        Peace to you truthseeker–I wish all of these media and blog sites would take heed. I have seen many people request this–yet they continue to disrespect the wishes. Seeing his face fuels people like him to copy cat in their desire to be famous at all costs.

        • June 22, 2015 - Reply

          @elle D.

          Peace to you back Sister elle D. I saw on CNN where one reporter said that he will not say his name. Yes, media and blog sites should not name his name or show his face. We all send condolences and prayers to the victims’ families. The murderer is a coward without question. We don’t need more hatred against our people. We want solutions and we as black people want to live in peace and tranquility.

  17. June 22, 2015 - Reply

    Forgiveness is for you, not the perpetrator. Wouldn’t been me tho.

  18. June 22, 2015 - Reply

    Initially I had the same frustration with this issue. However, I disagree that ‘This forgiveness thing has plagued us for centuries’.

    Forgiveness is our STRENGTH as a people. It is what has kept us mentally sane for all these centuries and continue to do so. Harboring all that animosity will have us committing suicide and homicide left and right. We would have been an endangered species if we did not have to strength to forgive and HEAL.

    Forgiving does not mean not fighting for justice. It does not mean we give them a pass. It just means we will not be subjected to the pain and suffering they carry.

    • June 22, 2015 - Reply

      @Delia

      I think it’s simultaneously a strength and a weakness for us.

      • June 22, 2015 - Reply

        @Nia

        YES!

    • June 22, 2015 - Reply

      @Delia

      i wonder if we did a survey of these victims families 20 yrs from now, if any of them will say it doesn’t hurt anymore. it’s like folks are replacing mourning w/forgiveness, which IS excusing someone for what they did, pardoning them for their actions, and absolving them of their guilt. folks don’t have to forgive to choose to stop mourning or to choose to move forward w/life or to heal.

      • June 23, 2015 - Reply

        @Me

        Merriam-Webster definition of forgive: to stop feeling anger toward (someone who has done something wrong)

        You and many others obviously have a misconception of the word forgive. Forgiving is taking power away from the afflicting party by deciding not to hold to the anger/animosity. Holding on to that anger gives them more power and weakens you, they would always have something on us.

        Forgiveness is not replacing mourning, it is the beginning of healing. How can you truly heal when you are still harboring animosity and anger??? You can’t and you won’t.

        Forgiveness, is not forgetting nor is it pardoning actions either. That is part of your misconception. It doesn’t mean you no longer want the afflicting party to be justly persecuted.

        I’m sure these families will be in pain for a lifetime, but I doubt, if they are genuine in their forgiveness, will be in anger for a lifetime.

        ***There are recent studies that the vast majority of families who had the murderer of their loved ones killed via execution do not feel any sense of closure. Sometimes they feel even more pain and anger going through the execution process (which can go on for decades). These families are advocating for getting rid of the the death penalty. Now I’m not that extreme, but you should definitely take time to look into those studies and movements since you’re interest in this subject.***

        • June 23, 2015 - Reply

          @Delia

          don’t cherry pick definitions to suit your agenda. the second half of the definition you copied and pasted is TO STOP BLAMING (SOMEONE). nowhere in the definition of forgiveness is “healing” or anything that sounds like healing. to forgive someone is to no longer hold them accountable. all that “healing” talk is crap that churches & the media want to weave into the conversation to slyly tell folks to get over transgressions against them. healing doesn’t have to include forgiving & forgiving is not the only way to move forward after someone has committed such a heinous act of terrorism against your family.

          “to stop feeling anger toward (someone who has done something wrong) : to stop blaming (someone)

          • June 23, 2015 - Reply

            @Me

            I have no ‘agenda’ sweetheart. I actually didn’t see that part, but either way I agree. Forgiving initiates the BEGINNING of healing, it doesn’t mean to heal and I never said it did. Healing is a life long process. Anyone who has lost someone dear, regardless of way they have passed, knows the pain is a lifelong pain (as I know personally). However, one does not have to carry pain AND anger for a lifetime. Forgiveness is a PROCESS that stops the anger. I’m sure those family members will have moments of anger, they are human, but hopefully, they will have the support and strength to continue to forgive.

            You never answered the question: How can you truly heal when you are still harboring animosity and anger??? In fact what is your definition of healing anyways?

            Merriam-Webster ‘Heal’: to become healthy or well again
            to make (someone or something) healthy or well again

            Again, I reiterate, how do you become ‘well’ or ‘healthy’ when you harbor anger and animosity?

            I live in CT and there were parents and other family members of those children lost in Sandy Hook came forward and stated they forgive that monster and his mother.

            Just because families choose not to live the rest of their lives in anger, animosity and vengence, does not make them weak. In fact, it is much harder and takes more strength to forgive than it is to take the easy and oftentimes ‘natural’ reaction of anger.

            It is sad that people like yourself find forgiving unrealistic. I would like to take a survey of families who forgive vs not to forgive 20 years from now and see how mentally and physically healthy they are. I’m sure we all can assume the results.

            In addition, what do the families gain from not forgiving? What do we as a people gain for not forgiving? We all still live in a country where racists make our legislation, parole our streets, control our banks, teach our children, treat our illnesses etc. Simply having an eye for an eye attitude is not going to solve the injustice. It the THEM who have to look at their reflection and see their own evil to make change. It is THEM who must be shamed by the international community of their own evil, injustice and double standards to bring change. At the end of the day, this is their country, we just built it…

        • June 23, 2015 - Reply

          @Delia

          re: those studies you referenced about families not feeling closure, i bet it’s b/c there are just some things in life that are unforgiveable & no amount of retribution could remove the pain that people cause. the idea that folks could stop feeling anger over someone in their lives being killed in cold blood is unrealistic. like i said before, i doubt 20 yrs from now this family will be able to honestly say they don’t still hurt over this every single day.

        • June 24, 2015 - Reply

          @Delia

          dictionarydotcom definitions which include:

          1) to grant pardon for or remission of (an offense, debt, etc.); ABSOLVE.

          2) to grant pardon to (a person).

          3) to pardon an offense or an offender.

          • June 24, 2015 - Reply

            @RaiseTheBar

            The Merriam-Webster definition, is what I have come to understand what forgiveness is. I’m sure there are Christians and people of other beliefs that do pardon the offender as a form of forgiveness.

            Secondly, no one has answered my questions:

            How can you truly heal when you are still harboring animosity and anger???

            What do the families gain from not forgiving???What do we as a people gain for not forgiving???

            I reiterate:

            Just because families choose not to live the rest of their lives in anger, animosity and vengence, does not make them weak. In fact, it is much harder and takes more strength to forgive than it is to take the easy and oftentimes ‘natural’ reaction of anger.

            We all still live in a country where racists make our legislation, parole our streets, control our banks, teach our children, treat our illnesses etc. Simply having an eye for an eye attitude is not going to solve the injustice. It the THEM who have to look at their reflection and see their own evil to make change. It is THEM who must be shamed by the international community of their own evil, injustice and double standards to bring change. At the end of the day, this is their country, we just built it…

            • June 25, 2015 - Reply

              @Delia

              Pro-ACTIVE Strategies to be able to find “closure” because time alone heals nothing.

              Example: Loss of a loved one to gun violence, become a Advocate for gun control is just 1 strategy; but, the key is finding a Strategy(ies) that will help one along his/her healing process.

              Drunk driving — start a non-profit organization — MADD founder’s daughter was killed by a drunk driver.

              I’m not going to Forgive(Absolve) a drunk driver, but I will find ways to get “closure” to anger, hate, etc.

              • June 25, 2015 - Reply

                @RaiseTheBar

                LOl you can organize all the organizations you want. At the end of the day, the offender still holds power over you because you choose to hold on.

                Again: What do the families gain from not forgiving???What do we as a people gain for not forgiving???

                And: ‘I would like to take a survey of families who forgive vs not to forgive 20 years from now and see how mentally and physically healthy they are. I’m sure we all can assume the results.’

                And yes darling, this is their country. They stole and slaughtered to get it. Then built this nation using our backs. They built it for them, not for us. This is their society, not ours.

                I reiterate: ;We all still live in a country where racists make our legislation, parole our streets, control our banks, teach our children, treat our illnesses etc.’

                And to add on to that since your all about creating organizations for finding ‘closure’, no organization in this country founded by people of color is going to tear down the Blue Wall of Silence, nor the NRA, unjust/racist legislation, unequal school system, I can go on…

                • June 25, 2015 - Reply

                  @Delia

                  I’m about being PROACTIVE in one’s OWN Life. Finding the BEST STRATEGY(ies) for Self well-being while being respectful of other BEINGS (human as well as non-human beings).

                  CHANGE is PRO-active (ACTION).

                  To say I “Forgive” is MEANINGLESS without ACTION (verb) for “closure” to one’s pain.

                  Once again, THEY do NOT own this country. Oppression of the free-will and Spirit of Beings is not Ownership, it’s a LIE that DOES come to Light.

                  The accomplishments of the Civil Rights Movement could not have come about if there were no STRATEGIES (ACTIONS) behind arbitrary wording like, “I Forgive”.

                  • June 25, 2015 - Reply

                    @RaiseTheBar

                    You are sadly mistaken. By being ‘proactive’ and not forgiving is nothing but a cover-up for your animosity. You will still carry on in life with a grudge and the offender will forever have a hold on you. If you want to live your life with someone else in control of you, that’s your decision. If these families want to begin to feel free of their offender, RESPECT their decision. They will be in better shape than you in the long run anyways, mentally and physically.

                    Forgiveness is not just blowing hot air, it’s not just a ‘saying’. It is mental and spiritual freedom from the offender. This is a PROCESS and most often a life long process and struggle. Proclaiming forgiveness is just the beginning of the journey.

                    First of all, the passing of the Civil Rights Act had nothing to do with black people marching down the streets. They could have marched until the cow came home and nothing legislatively would have happened. The passing of the Civil Rights Act was due to the international shaming when footage was released showcasing actions of whites against blacks. The world mocked the United States, who attempted to be the world leader, yet treated blacks worse than their dogs. And you think the confederate flag is going down because of black proactivity?? NO! It’s going down because of the inhumane actions of whites against blacks once again, shaming the United States and particularity South Carolina. You think police reform is in talks because of black proactivity??? Think again!!!! It’s due to the actions of whites carrying the badge mistreating blacks and being exposed, once again.

                    I’m sure you feel the end of slavery went down because of ‘proactive’ slaves too LOL!

                    You think black people can make change in their country by lynching them? By ‘standing our ground’? By blowing up their churches? Hosing them down? Shooting in defense because you felt ‘endangered’?? LOL!

                    I ask for the 3rd time: What do the families gain from not forgiving???What do we as a people gain for not forgiving???

                    I’ll answer it, since you know the answer as well as I do: NOTHING!!! We’ll be as low down, dirty and inhumane as they are. NOTHING will be accomplished but dead bodies, more ours than theirs. So continue your grudge-filled/animosity filled rhetoric, it will get us no where.

                    Like I said above:

                    ‘We all still live in a country where racists make our legislation, parole our streets, control our banks, teach our children, treat our illnesses etc. Simply having an eye for an eye attitude is not going to solve the injustice. It the THEM who have to look at their reflection and see their own evil to make change. It is THEM who must be shamed by the international community of their own evil, injustice and double standards to bring change. At the end of the day, this is their country, we just built it…’

                    YES, this is their country!!! They stole the land. They slaughtered the Natives and used captured Africans for labor, but at the end of the day this is their country. A cursed country. This is their society!!! Their government. Their banks. Their schools. Their companies. ETC. They are in control. Not the Natives sweetheart. And surely not us!

                    • June 25, 2015 - Reply

                      @Delia

                      Forgiving = Absolution to Me!

                      Your assumptions about how that effects in MY World are without merit!

                      AND, NO!, This is Not “their” Country and they were NEVER in control — THEY were/are out-of-control and out-of-order that is why so many atrocities were committed by them against Fellow Human Beings. This TRUTH is revealing itself more and more each and every day.

                      • June 25, 2015 - Reply

                        @RaiseTheBar

                        LOL This whole article is about the author who did not respect the families of those lost in Charleston decision to forgive. You and many others do not RESPECT their decision and see it as weak and unrealistic.

                        Forgive = to stop feeling anger to THEM and myself!!!

                        It makes logical sense, that bottling up your grudge against someone rather than letting go and then covering it up by being ‘proactive’ will roar its ugly head sooner or later. It’s called stress sweetheart. Holding on to animosity overtime will stress the body and/or mind. This is scientifically proven and has plenty of MERIT.

                        You’re living in a fantasy world. This is their country. For the umteenth time, they stole and slaughtered to get the land, which is yes, filled with many atrocities against humans. BUT at the end of the day, they built their government and society to suit them on this stolen/blood- shed land. I never said they inhabited this land fair and square, but as of TODAY it’s theirs. No empire has lasted forever, but we are living in a U.S. Empire. Stop living in the past….oh wait, you like to live in the past.

                        Also, there are a ton a points you failed to address from my last statement FYI

            • June 26, 2015 - Reply

              @Delia

              “How can you truly heal when you are still harboring animosity and anger???”

              ~~~~~~~~~~~~
              Non-Forgiveness (Absolution, Pardoning) is SELF-Empowerment! and refusal to placate the fear of Systemic Racists with language (Forgive=Their Definition) that You will not enact “PHYSICAL” retribution.

              Not Pardoning (Not Forgiving) does not mean one is “harboring” anything!; it is Personal Power that says Don’t Impose Their Language / Definitions / Beliefs / Values on US to soothe their out-of-order and out-of-control MIS-doings!

    • June 22, 2015 - Reply

      @Delia

      We do commit suicide and homicide: through food and we kill one another.

  19. June 22, 2015 - Reply

    As a Christian, I am going to do my best at trying my hand at forgiveness.

  20. June 22, 2015 - Reply

    It is true that some people exploit our capability of forgiveness as an excuse for them to try to force black people to forgive evil people for everything under the sun. Forgiveness is a personal matter among individuals. Individuals should have the right to forgive someone or not. I can never judge the victims’ families in how they responded to the murderer. As far as I’m concern, that murderer deserves nothing, but justice. That is what he deserves. His manifesto, his racism, and his murder of innocent black people show the entire world how vicious and evil white racism is. The murderer doesn’t need patronize, coddling, or any form of rationalization. That murderer ought to be face true accountability for his actions. We are human and we have every right to express our diverse emotions. As others have mentioned here, the victims’ families of other mass shooters are never forced to forgive murderers. We should never be coerced to forgive everyone under the sun. We, as black people, have been very compassionate and very forgiving. The most important thing is to make the necessary revolutionary changes that are needed in our community and in the rest of the world (whereby institutionalized racism is gone and where our people have true freedom).

  21. June 22, 2015 - Reply

    Black people: let this message resonate. No more fu**ing praying!

  22. June 22, 2015 - Reply

    THANK YOU. I truly despise this “forgiveness” expectation and acquiescence.

    We never speak about this: Black folks try so hard to be so uber-Christian to prove goodness to whites. It doesn’t work. Never has, never will.

    If someone wants to forgive this guy, have the ethnic self-respect to do it privately.

  23. June 22, 2015 - Reply

    to me some things are unforgivable like this case in Charleston I could never forgive this home grown terrorist, and black people need to stop crying, begging and pleading with and forgiving their willful transgressors.

  24. June 22, 2015 - Reply

    I don’t know, I think there is more power is being able to feel, own, and have whatever emotions you have when a tragedy hits you. If the family feels that they get more peace in forgiveness and that forgiveness is the way to take power away from the kid I don’t fault them, everyone is different.

    However I agree though that society is always expecting black people to take any and everything, it’s annoying. I can only think of one case where a black person said ‘no I don’t forgive’ and that was the black mother whose husband was choked to death(the name of the husband evades me). I think people were shocked about that.

    • June 22, 2015 - Reply

      @Anonin

      Eric Garner

  25. June 22, 2015 - Reply

    I wouldn’t be so forgiving. I hope he gets what’s coming to him and that POS ex-cop Michael Flagger or whatever his fucking name is. It is about time African Americans assert themselves in this country and demand that the media and these politicans stop coddling these white racists who whine about things like the white race being an oppressed minority, or they are raping our women, which is the biggest pile of bullshit I ever heard. Do not forgive these assholes. It’s time white Americans stop excusing the racism within their communities and actually fight against it. These white racists fear the dismantling of white supremacy and black success. Roof’s manifesto proves that. the only thing they love to see is when we are at our worst. When we see our youth engage in senseless killings of each other or not strive to become better, you will hear these clowns cite that as justification for our oppression. It’s the only thing anti-black racists have to attack us. Don’t give these fuckers the chance.

    I’m sure It must kill them everyday to see a black man with an African sounding name and a black family in the White House elected twice by a majority of Americans. After being told time and again since they were little that blacks are inferior only in everything to have one as president of the United States and see other African Americans dominanting the field of sports, arts and music while these losers look on powerless to stop it.

  26. June 23, 2015 - Reply

    I agree, I wouldn’t and don’t forgive this thug. To be fair, I am kind of a hard nut to crack but not forgiving someone doesn’t make you weak nor does it mean that the person have a hold on you or you are filled with bitterness, hatred, or can’t truly heal. I can’t forgive him because did he express remorse? Sorrow? Empathy? Has his family? Is he personally working towards forgiveness? Does he want to change? NO. Forgiveness is a two way street. Honestly, he does not deserve these kind people’s words and forgiveness and I am not obligated to forgive you. NOTE: Not forgiving you doesn’t mean I hate you or wish bad on you. This thug baggage is not apart of the baggage of my life/spirit and in the words of Evelyn Lozada he would be a non-motherf**king factor. What he deliberately did showed his true being and his true actions and that kind of evil doesn’t and shouldn’t be forgiven. His actions is his cross to bear and if he is a man of faith then one day he will have to take that up with God. Sometimes, I feel like we are conditioned to say I am sorry or I forgive you even when something isn’t our fault or something evil happens to us when that shouldn’t be the case. Don’t get me wrong, if you truly want to forgive that is fine but I don’t think that should be an automatic response, please take time to reflect, heal and mourn before you give your forgiveness and blessings. You don’t owe anyone your forgivness nor is forgiveness is on a timeline.

  27. June 23, 2015 - Reply

    The writer said it right. We are quick to receive hatred and quick to forgive. When do we draw the line? The line has been crossed so many time in the past four years. Hell, the line has been crossed for decades. Yet, we continue to turn the other cheek? What will it take? Another incident such as those 9 beautiful lives taken away by pure hatred?

    Getting the attention of the nation is not enough. Getting the confederate flag taken down is not enough. It is time to show this nation that we as a people are not a door mat. Our issues are just as important as the others. There shouldn’t be a Trayvon or a church massacre before our voices are heard and taken SERIOUSLY!

    We have the power! Damn forgiveness! Fight back by voting and putting your money where it benefits us as a people. Seek hard justice for this monster! Let that monster know that we will push the envelope until he is strapped to that table and given the 3-Shots that will end his hate filled life. The time for passiveness and for forgiveness is over.

    My forgiveness tank is at an all time low…

  28. June 23, 2015 - Reply

    I commend the victims’ families for having the courage to forgive this terrorist this early. My atheist self wouldn’t. Someone please make this fool swallow his birth certificate. If you know what I mean…

  29. June 23, 2015 - Reply

    The decision to forgive is an emotional and personal journey. I won’t ridicule the family members for their personal decision.
    However, there is no way I could forgive this racist, drug addicted thug for taking the life of my family member! I would push for absolute justice instead!

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