Updated: Nov 5, 2021
Reparations is a fierce moral inventory. An accounting, not just a litany of what has been said and done although it is that too. There is a budget belonging to each item, a budget in the billions of exactly what is the harm that has been executed by whom and to whom because anything less countable will not hold any meaning.
But when it comes before a court, a high one for war crimes, a tribunal not a payoff. To count an atrocity under the law means to stand eye to eye with an accuser and know. This is a person and that is the cost. To put money on a person rather than a deed is how we got here to start with. Paying for crimes is not the same as punishment, as if punishment were an actual means of redress. Punish only means that the law of the body is all in.
To whom is the lynchpin, always the same and ever sliding because race in America exonerates individual atrocities on the one hand and reduces societal structures to personal attitudes on the other, all in a river made of flesh. An uncountable blur like Sambo’s tiger, food as flesh, work as waste, a one way centrifuge of disgust flushed reversed and enjoyed. It’s a chiasm of escape for white people, a metonymic chain capitalizing on the consumption of peoples who know how to resist, transmuting horror into joy.
The skill of resistance, the one that reads right to left as death into life contradicts the common senses of accumulation and mastery. Resistance is Life is Will, is Love in Force, overcoming mastery and lost to most white selves. It is self determination, self mastery and it draws forth punishment.
How does a person stand in for atrocities, the atrocities of one’s people. The people who did it. The people who suffered. Whose job is it to stand it the breach of the relationship as it is being violated, a violation that is happening. Oh God, some would say, only Jesus whose eye in on the sparrow. Watchers get sent up for decades by idling the car stereo outside an accident involving a gun because the idling was for a friend. Watchers in the heavens get a pass apparently when it’s for our own interest.
Jesus was never yours, never mine to crucify. That isn’t how God works. God doesn’t give humans creatures to torture, abuse and kill. If you wonder about reparations and who is going to pay for all that just look at your vet bill. Organic dog treats and tasty brown beverages and ask yourself why do white westerners love their brown liquids so entirely without question.
Jesus Christ will not repair this breach it was never his job to do. It is not destiny or fate or chance that brought humankind to these planetary brinks. And the one problem is not the same as the whole problem. Get it undone one horror at a time. I don’t want to hear one more resurrection yelp until you do.