Bullshit. Forgiving those who have wronged you (your oppressors) does not make you weak, or complacent, nor does it automatically mean that you are giving power to your oppressor. I believe the opposite is true. If you can only view retaliation as being the best option for your predicament, then your oppression has grabbed you by the core; it owns you. The circumstances your oppressors have wrought upon you now dictate your thoughts, words, and actions, and you have become an animal who growls and snaps when anyone comes close. You live out of fear, afraid to create the peaceful society you supposedly envision. If someone approaches you in your cage and your only instinct is to bite, you only give them reason to desire your staying in the cage. If instead you say “hey let’s stop this bullshit and just go grab a beer”, you’d probably be much better off because hey, who wouldn’t jump at the chance for a drink with a talking animal?
You know that picture of the hippie placing the flower in the gun pointed at his face? That picture is powerful because hippie dude broke the cycle of violence - he saw through the oppression and decided to create something better. Maybe actually living out your ideals isn’t something most people are willing to do; maybe that’s why retaliating seems so easy. I’m by no means a pacifist, and I do believe that oppression needs to be fought, but not by wronging those who have wronged you. Fighting with forgiveness is possible. You don’t forgive because they deserve it, you forgive because that’s the only way to clear your soul of the weight that years of oppression has placed upon it.
I’m not saying it’s fair. I’m not saying it’s easy. But until you’ve made peace with yourself and your oppressors, you’re always going to be fighting an uphill battle. If you consciously choose to fight fire with fire when you have the tools at hand to extinguish the flame, don’t get angry the you keep getting burned. At that point, you’re only oppressing yourself.
Well, I agree with one thing you said. Everything you’ve said is BULLSHIT.
The only person that would go on this kind of rant is someone who believes that the hypothetical “Love” land is more important than the hear and the now. “Turning the other cheek” favors the oppressor.YOU can get beaten and then tell your enemy that you love them with each punch you receive. I am going to fight back. Because unlike you, I want to LIVE, not just play make believe yogi in front of a computer.
I’ve definitely been rolling around these two concepts in my mind lately, especially when it comes to justice and the Black community, especially as a Christian.
I do believe in forgiveness. And forgiveness as a benefit not to the person being forgiven but to even more to the one forgiving. And it’s not as if it hasn’t been proven that unforgiveness, bittterness, and anger don’t lead to a multitude of health problems, many of them the ones that my community actually deals with in life-threatening ways. I agree that forgiveness does not give power to your oppressor because it’s not about them in the first place. Forgiveness does and will help our mental well-being. But you know what will help even more? Not always being in the position of having to forgive someone’s egotistic and unrepentant transgression.
Forgiveness does not equal trust, does not equal being a doormat, and DOES NOT MEAN allowing injustice to continue in front of your eyes. Excise the injustice from your life and the lives of those around you. Cut it off with a vengeance. But not because you’re trying to get back at them. Because you are protecting yourself and your people. I have definitely seen some people who are so consumed with the fight that they don’t know who they are without it. So consumed with the oppressor that they don’t know who they are without the oppression and that is a scary place to be.
I personally think that’s the thing about forgiveness. It allows my life to be about more than the identity they created for me and my life isn’t about what they did/do to me. It’s about doing what’s best for the people I love, including myself, and even including my enemies. There is nothing healthy about allowing someone to continue unchecked in this wretched psychopathic narcissism that is white supremacy. And there is nothing loving about allowing psychopathic narcissists and the system built in their image to get away with harming us. It’s not about leaving the whole world blind. It’s about making sure no one else is blinded in the first place.