Gerald (Jerry) Zezas

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The Courage to Forgive.

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I wonder if those who make excuses for the hate that clogs their arteries would have the courage, the moral heft, the integrity, to forgive someone who has hurt them. And then welcome back.

Those who watched television last night saw the bail hearing for Dylann Roof. Those who were paying attention heard the victims families say things like “we forgive you” and “may God bless your soul” and other such utterances of forgiveness.

Who the hell does that?

I mean, to all you Christians out there, you conservative Christians, the white ones especially, can you believe that someone who has had family members gunned down in affirmation of the hate that blacks have claimed, and whites have denied, for hundreds of years, would forgive the specific person who did the affirming?

Hmm, could it be that these people, these blacks who are secretly hated by so many whites as lazy, uneducated, drug-addled and socially inept, have the sophistication and moral grace of not only a Martin Luther King, but a Mohandas Gandhi? Could it be that these people understand the power of loving their enemies more than the immeasurably more intelligent and worldly whites of this country?

Are you shitting me?

With grace comes courage, at least in my experience. That courage is also evident in the interview I heard with one of their former pastors when asked if there will now be more security at the church in light of this disaster. His astounding answer was “no”. There will be no metal detectors, no security guards, no restrictions to entering the church. He said that all are still welcome.

How many of us, living in gated communities behind multiple alarms, guns and other evidence of our fear of black people, would display this degree of courage? How many? How many of us tough guy white guys, with our guns and fake patriotism and contrived machismo, would have the courage to remain vulnerable in order to allow our friends and communicants to feel the freedom to enter the church of their choice, immediately after having had 9 members of our families killed?

Amazing how the weakest of us can teach us what courage really is, huh?


1 Comment

  1. Frank Cheli says:

    I would like to think this could be a turning point ( much needed) in race relations. It should give us all hope. If we keep the bad actors away, we have a chance.

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