The Apology

The Apology Artbook Cover

Click on the following link to go to The Apology Website in order to write and read apologies for racism. In the meantime, here is one apology which I have written to express my heartfelt concern and my acknowledgment that Black Lives Matter. Thank you for reading this.

My Apology by Elana Felice Stanger, L.C.S.W. a.k.a. St. Angel

I am deeply saddened and angry about the existence of social oppression in our world. I have long wished that we could embark on a genuine and authentic process of reconciliation and make amends for the ways in which African Americans as well as All People of Color have experienced hurt as the result of the conscious as well as unconscious racism of White folks within a system of socioeconomic injustice. Here, I would like to share with you the following post which is an excerpt from my new book entitled, My Heart Goes Out to You: The Art of Building Intercultural Unity. It is intended to be a healing prayer for the diverse communities in which we live…

At the heart of it, we are all children of God the Most High, brothers and sisters striving to connect with each other in unity, through love and truth, respect and dignity, honor and grace. An apology is to be made by all of us to people of African-American descent who we have targeted most severely with the injustices of racism. First and foremost, we see your patience. You have waited a long time to hear our words of acknowledgment of these injustices that span from the enslavement of African-Americans, to the laws of Jim Crow, to discrimination in housing, employment, the legal system, and social relations, to police brutality. We express our deep sadness, and regret at the humiliation, misery and indignity we have caused you. We hope it is not too late to apologize, as a veil has now been lifted and through a new lens of awareness, we are now able to see the costs to you of this unjust system which we have knowingly or unknowingly perpetuated. Our desire to remain in denial was stronger than our desire to embrace the truth. Until now, we agreed to ignore the problems your communities have faced in isolation. We wanted to believe, simply and ignorantly, that you brought them upon yourselves. Perhaps due to our own feelings of powerlessness and helplessness, as well as guilt, we were previously unwilling to understand that White people receive daily privileges that you have not. We who have been the beneficiaries of White privilege now pledge our unending allegiance and solidarity to people of African-American heritage as well as all people of color. We acknowledge that we have benefited from identifying ourselves as White while denying you the same rights, privileges and opportunities we have received. We will no longer underestimate the many ways and the extent to which we have hurt you and your pride by labeling you as somehow different when we really are the same. We will now bear witness to your pain and we will do everything in our power to right the atrocities and wrongs that were done to you, African-American people, in our names. For all the pain we have caused you; for denying and depriving your people of the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; for excluding you from leadership roles and resources in the land we are all meant to share; for making one-sided decisions that neglected to take into account your valuable and precious input; for taking credit for your accomplishments as if they were ours; for neglecting to notice your preciousness… We are sorry. We apologize.

An acknowledgement of mistreatment and an apology is due to all Americans of Color. Native Americans, Latino Americans and Asian Americans… I am sorry for the racism that White people of European American heritage have perpetrated against you.

Native American sisters and brothers, you were the first peoples to inhabit this land, and you deserve our apology, our attention, and our restitution as well.

First Peoples, First Nations Brothers and Sisters, you shared this land with us as it was your way, knowing that the land belongs to God and it is for everyone to share, and we took advantage of the kindness you showed to us when the first European Americans landed here. You already lived here and thrived here, peacefully enjoying the full bounty of God’s Great Earth. We stole from you in so many ways. We raped you. We murdered you. We forced you out.

We cry in sadness, too, today, my people with your people and with all people. The world cries with your Nations, for if we had let you live in peace and offered you our hands in lovingkindness, we could have co-created a different and better life together in this world.

Thank you for sharing with us. We now state that we fully regret the way we have mistreated you as well as the other peoples in our midst with whom we could have rightfully shared rather than destroyed. We will find a way to right these wrongs and create together a more perfect Nation – One Nation under God Indivisible with Liberty and Justice for All.

Our Latina sisters and brothers also require our love and acknowledgment. Our Asian sisters and brothers, too, deserve our apology. We aim to make amends with all humankind until we are kind to every human.

Many Blessings. I wish you freedom and the peace that goes along with it.