by Frank Paynter on July 4, 2022

It’s the idea of how we’re able to build bases in our society where tolerance, understanding of diversity, integration and not discrimination will be the main policies.

When I’m speaking of love, when I’m speaking of reversing hate, I’m speaking not only of reconciliation - even I don’t use that word — I use another word in Spanish, that’s called “reencuentro”– it’s not reconciliation.

Michelle Bachelet

On this fourth of July, 2022 it is appropriate to look forward to a time in the United States of America when the hateful passage marked by the intolerant era of twen-cen Republican repression will finally end, a time when concern for human rights, public service, and equal treatment under the law returns as a focus of government; a time when the great criminals are tried, found guilty, and punished; a time when the Rumsfelds, the Bush family, the Cheneys, and their hidden partners in corporate life are offered an opportunity to stand at the bar and speak honestly and share their motivations for all of us to understand.

Looking forward, how will we depolarize the American consciousness? How will we cut through the carefully cultivated hatred, strip away the barriers of wealth and class and reveal our common conditions?

Looking backward, how many layers of the onion must be peeled to reveal the roots of this evil? Is it enough to acknowledge the genocide perpetrated on our indigenous people, the terracide that continues from great mountain leveling coal excavations in the east to the cyanide laced mineral extraction that desolates further the landscape in the west?

Looking around us, is it enough to acknowledge the vile behavior of the corporate and wealthy elite? What about the racism that is part of the dialog at kitchen tables in the suburbs and inner cities all across the country? How can we stop the terracidal mania of the energy industries? How can we take these people and powers out of the game, put them on the bench, tear the greed and racism out of our play-book, neutralize the poison so that people of good will can go forward together improving the common lot of all life on the planet?

What can the United States of America do on this fourth of July to draw the line? I believe we must tell each other, “Up to this point, these vicious impertinent acts, this anachronistic competitive behavior was tolerated. Beyond this point we have no room in our power structures for people who behave this way, though we have love for them in our hearts.”

How did South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission deal with denial? What challenges does Chile face with their program of re-encuentro? How hard will it be for the people of the United States of America to dismount from our high horse and accept the facts, realize how we have acted and behave responsibly in the face of that realization?

Here are two links that might help us get started…


History and Reconciliation

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