I don’t know how to respond to what has happened in Charlottesville this past week.
It isn’t hard to denounce Neo-Nazis, the KKK, and the alt-right... or at least it shouldn't be.
It is, however, hard to unify communities. It is hard to break walls that have been built throughout history. It is hard to come face to face with all the hate and racism that has been swept under the rug for so long. It is hard to feel what our neighbor feels.
I can’t possibly say that I understand what this week must feel like to our non-white neighbors.
We must try to identify with those who are hurting. We have to have honest conversations. And we have to acknowledge our sad history and the continuing realities in our country.
I truly believe that stories are deeply life-changing. Here are a couple:
Injustice in the justice system is a hot topic.
Bryan Stevenson grew up poor, but went on to become an author and lawyer after graduating from Harvard Law School. In Just Mercy, he tells the story of a man he represented in the 1980’s named Walter McMillian. Walter was on death row for killing a white man. There was almost no evidence tying him to the case that ironically took place in Monroeville, Alabama where the book To Kill a Mockingbird was set.
After nearly 7 years on death row, his exoneration and release in 1993 was historical.
His life, however, was wrought with the trials that come along with injustice. This book is a sobering look at reality for two African America men: one, a lawyer fighting against the current of the deep south and the other, a poor man whose life was ruined by injustice.
This book is a must read for anyone who wants an honest peek into the heart of a man who is giving up everything to fight for justice.
Raised in the 30’s in rural Mississippi, John Perkins has every reason to live a life of prejudice and anger toward whites.
He watched his brother die in his arms after being shot by a deputy outside of the movie theatre, lost both his parents, and was often blatantly cheated for work by white men.
Amazingly, this man radiates a heart of unity, reconciliation, and forgiveness that is beyond what I can even comprehend. He says that racial reconciliation can only come through honesty and the gospel.
This book fills my heart with sadness as I am reminded of our nations terrible past. However, it has also left me completely in shock and awe of this mans ability to love and forgive. This book, although filled with the reality of pain and injustice, also overflows with hope for reconciliation.
Click the books for more info