Sir Walter Scott said, oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive! This quote roughly translates to mean when one acts dishonestly, they are initiating problems, and a domino structure of complications, that will eventually run out of control. The bottom line when people act in a dishonest fashion what they do in the dark will eventually come to light. Recently, the City of Angels experienced several of its leaders acting in less than the fashion of angelic. Former Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez, Councilman Gil Cedillo, Councilman Kevin De Leon, and Union President Ron Herrera all said racist and derogatory things that have caused a serious uproar not only locally, but across the globe.
After the murder of George Floyd, Americans as well as people from around the world went to the streets to protest blatant racism, especially against the lives of Black people. On the heels of the Black Lives Matter Movement, we cannot go backward in our stand against such actions. We must hold our leaders, especially our politically elected leaders responsible for their actions. We depend on the integrity of our leaders to represent all constituents equally. When this trust has been violated there are consequences that must be paid. They must be held accountable, and restitution must also be made.
Next, we need to think about where we go from here. How do we heal from such situations? Is forgiveness even something that can be put on the table? Recently Councilman Mike Bonin fought back tears as he shared how he felt as a white man who is the father of a young Black boy who was the one mentioned in the conversation between the Latino leadership mentioned above. He could not believe the derogatory statement that was made against his son. He shared others may be able to forgive them, but that he was not able to forgive them, at least not right now. We all understand how he feels.
I am a strong advocate for forgiveness, and I believe the arc bent towards forgiveness will always come out positive on the other side, but I also believe there is a price that comes with forgiveness. If we are going to heal as a city, a nation, or simply as a people, forgiveness will have to be placed on the table eventually, but right now there is still a lot of pain that must be dealt with first. In our world today there is too much negativity towards people who are not like us or like-minded. We must get out of this type of thinking. We need to be more concerned with the betterment of all mankind and show kindness and compassion for the sake of future generations. It is imperative that we learn to live harmoniously or we will destroy one another.
I grew up in an environment where Black and Brown people not only got along but also supported one another’s families. We helped each other, we respected each other, and we cared about each other. What will it take for us to have that kind of humanity? If we are honest, most of us have said or done things during our lifetime that we regret or are not proud of, the difference is most of us are never caught on tape. Let us be careful of our judgment and let us seek a way to heal and get to the other side for the sake of our children and grandchildren.
Healing Without Hate: It’s a choice. It’s a lifestyle. Pass it on.