South Africa's whites and restorative justice
Jun 09, 2009
We hear a lot in the news about racial conflict, and a lot less about racial reconciliation. But from South Africa to South Central Los Angeles, there are communities engaging in what experts call “restorative justice" to resolve the wrongs of the past and present.
From Susan Anderson's post on The Loop: White perpetrators of injustice and violence — and blacks involved in racial violence - were encouraged to come before the Commission. But, Commission Chair Tutu said,
"It is something of a pity that, by and large, the white community failed to take advantage of the Truth and Reconciliation process… Many of them carry a burden of a guilt which would havebeen assuaged had they actively embraced the opportunities offered by the Commission… Apart from the hurt that it causes to those who suffered, the denial by so many white South Africans even that they benefited from apartheid is a crippling, self-inflicted blow to their capacity to enjoy and appropriate the fruits of change."For Americans, the lack of participation by whites in the Truth and Reconciliation process should be a warning.