How language learning can help with Truth, Reconciliation, and Reparations.

Languages are not only made of the words that we speak, but also, and perhaps more importantly, they are made of the ways that we think, and languages also shape the ways that we think. From ways that grammar places action, object, and subject of a sentence, to ways that the articles and forms of negation which exist, or do not exist in a given language, accustom us to listening for different inflections, learning more than one family of languages teaches us that communication involves more than just words, it involves gestures. Some gestures, like tilting the head, are physical, and other gestures, like opening the hand, are both physical and spiritual. The spiritual gesture being made by one city hearkens back to the language of the Bible: Patach, tiftach… Open, you shall open (your hand)…

Ashville, NC, has voted to make a start toward reparations for slavery…

In the Abrahamic cultures of the western world, the entire basis of justice is contained in these reiterated verses of a book seen as foundational to many, and used as the basis of conversation between many people in the western world. These verses, the open hand always followed by the release from debt and servitude, say in the richest and plainest of language, that slaves are to be released not empty-handed, after seven years, but with sustenance. Now, one city is looking at how these values were overlooked for far longer than that. This gesture may not go far enough, but it is a very promising start, in terms of the needed assumption of responsibility for the systemic issues which continue to plague the Black community of the USA for the many years since “slavery ended” on paper, but not in fact. May this step stir other cities, states, and nations to continue this process, and move all of us toward learning the languages of Mutual Respect, Truth, and Reconciliation.

Published by EmpathyCriticalThinking

A fictional ranger reporting on Babylon 5 history during the human Holocene Era... (for further information, please see http://ShiraDest.wordpress.com )

0 thoughts on “How language learning can help with Truth, Reconciliation, and Reparations.

  1. Reading, commenting on, and promoting of Black authors’ work, like that of Octavia Butler, can also constitute another form of in-kind reparations, while at the same time, helping white readers to see another very needed perspective: stories written from the PoV of people of color, whose differing experiences frame our lives within a system that does not work for 90% of us: http://mumpsimus.blogspot.com/2014/08/notes-on-octavia-butlers-survivor.html
    Shira Destinie

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Another form of reparations includes sheer recognition, rendering honest homage, and sincerely apologising fy not having done so back in the proper time, as with the colored soldiers of Adolphus Burwell Johnson, who did not get their merited medals, despite the incredible courage they displayed in battle:

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Michelle: Did it seem like I had some clear action items, or could/should I add a clearer “call to action” as a friend just mentioned each post should end with, in this on? Thanks so much for reading and commenting! Shira

      Liked by 1 person

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