Participants

Bob, Bellingham, WA

I can see how my success in life, by almost every definition of success, is the result of choices and resources my family had over several generations.

I can see how African American families have faced barriers and a lack of resources over multiple generations, and were even denied the chance to make some of those choices. I can see how that makes is so much harder for their children to succeed in our society.

Geoffrey Baron, Bellingham WA

I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to have my eye’s opened. I watched in horror as Ahmaud Arbery was gunned down. With a broken heart I read about the death of Breonna Taylor. And of course, George Floyd.

But my journey didn’t start there. Under Obama’s administration I remember stories and discussions about racism. It seemed that to a lot of people Obama’s presidency, instead of truly ending racism, was actually making it worse. How could this be?

I started digging in. Since a child I was always fascinated by the Civil War, but sadly that education ended with Reconstruction. I rectified that. I came to the brutal realization that Reconstruction never actually happened. It was cancelled by racists. The deep wounds of slavery were never even close to being healed. They were never intended to be. Its effects are being felt on a daily basis by too many Americans.

I believe it’s time to revisit Reconstruction. While I realize there is nothing that can really make up for the damage caused by slavery and its racist aftermath, doing nothing is not an option.

I hope and pray that this reparation campaign sweeps across the country and begins a new era of reconstruction and healing.

I will continue to listen and learn and do what I can to be an anti-racist.

Kirsten

While I may have not participated in slavery and the oppression of black people, I have benefited from slavery and the oppression of black people. I struggle to figure out what my response to that should be – this is a small step I make – to pay reparations – and my pledge that I will continue, for as long as I draw breath, to the evaluation and consideration of what my response to slavery and oppression should be – as I am certain that even if I am at this for the rest of my life, I will not be “done.”