Foreword to Stoltzfus, de-Leon Hartshorne and Shearer, Set Free: A Journey Toward Solidarity Against Racism

Friday, 1 June 2001

Herald Press. 2 pp.

The authors of Set Free: A Journey Toward Solidarity Against Racism advocate that we must all contribute to the struggle to “melt the iceberg of racism.” Similarly, Christina Pacosz concludes her reflection on the shattering impact of lies: “We must chase them to the sun, again and again, no matter how tired we think we are…until all the lies in the world are herded together and burned up.” These two metaphors couldn’t be more appropriate. Fire and ice are the two oldest elements humans have used for treating their most serious wounds.

Racism is truly our “hidden wound” in North America, as Wendell Berry put it in his book by that name. To ignore or to bandage this wound cosmetically is simply to ensure it will fester—surely the twentieth century proved that. Racism can only be healed by the painful but cleansing fire and ice of the truth. And if we do not speak the truth—about both the past and the present of racism—then we must deal with a very different kind of fire and ice. For history shows us repeatedly that the “cold war” of frozen race relations inevitably erupts into the heat of built-up rage.

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by Ched Myers

All articles on this site were written by Ched Myers unless otherwise specified.