Our lamentable history

The declaration that “black lives matter” found expression in an area of our country that had declared that black lives do not matter. We cannot “solve” the problem of race in America while ignoring our deep and painful history. Our tendency to ignore our tainted history may arise from a warped self-perception. We do not need to deal with our tainted past because we have risen above the problematic history and moved to a post racial, color-blind America. An assumed exceptionalism belies the belief that we do not have to deal with our history because through our exceptional status we have overcome the past. The destruction of black bodies and black minds can be justified because their sacrifice helped to build our exceptional nation. Privilege and exceptionalism exempt us from engaging in the necessary work of dealing with our lamentable history…. Lament will not allow us to revert to the easy answers. There is no triumphalistic and exceptionalistic narrative of the American church that can cover up injustice. There are no easy answers to unabated suffering. Lament continues.

Soong-Chan Rah
Prophetic Lament