To My African American Brothers and Sisters,

I want to apologize.  I apologize for the actions and oppression of my fathers.  I apologize on behalf of all my ancestors who were a part of taking your ancestors from their homes and making them slaves.  I want to apologize for my ancestors who were a part of a trade that removed fathers from families repeatedly, destroying families again and again for profit.  I apologize for my more recent ancestor’s and my own previous inability to understand how the current plight of black Americans, in many ways, is a direct result of having families destroyed again and again for centuries.  I apologize that my ancestors were a part of a system that allowed and participated in the oppression of your ancestors.  I apologize that your parents and grandparents had to fight and protest and risk their lives to have the basic rights of a human being in our nation, and even after it took an act of congress to give those rights, the fight still wasn’t over, and in some ways hasn’t ended.  I apologize that your parents and grandparents were not allowed the same access to financing for homes, or even access to the same neighborhoods and schools.  I apologize that my ancestors were part of a system that denied access to the American dream to non-European Americans.  I apologize that my ancestors were a part of stacking the deck and then criticizing and castigating your community for failures, that were a direct result of their decisions.  I apologize that I and my ancestors were a part of creating and / or allowing the current conditions in America, in which it is dangerous to be a young black man – dangerous in ways my sons will not know.  I apologize and renounce the actions and inaction of white Christians who wrongly twisted scripture to misrepresent the heart of God concerning justice, and even used their religion to justify oppression.  I acknowledge that I have a privileged position because of my skin color.  I acknowledge that often strangers give me the benefit of a doubt that they wouldn’t give you.  And I acknowledge that the post-racial society narrative that I’ve been handed is inaccurate and that there are still inequalities to be addressed.  I am grieved over the divisions in the body of Christ.  In the name of Christ, I commit to use my voice to bring equity, and to struggle with all His energy that he powerfully works within me, towards maturity and unity in the body  that Christ for the sake of his name.

On that note, I also want to apologize to all the descendants of any of the indigenous peoples of the Americas on behalf of my ancestors for any suffering and oppression that your ancestors endured at the hands of mine, and for the ongoing results of that suffering.

 

 

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