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Dear White Media: Stop Asking Black People About Forgiveness

Photo by Wil Kristin.
Photo by Wil Kristin.

By Yvette Carnell

Walter Scott’s mother said during an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper that she forgives the cop who killed her son. This came after Cooper asked her about the clergy as well as the police chief visiting her home. Watch:


There were 1,000 more relevant questions Anderson Cooper could’ve asked the mother of a man who’d been slaughtered by a lying cop. But nope, he opened the door and steered Scott Walker’s mother down the path to forgiveness.

“Because of the love of God in me I can’t be like that…I feel forgiveness in my heart. Even for the guy who shot and killed my son,” she said.

“You feel forgiveness?” Cooper asked again, with emphasis.

“Yes, yes I do,” she said.
I’ve discussed before the “forgiveness olympics”, obviously a pastime among many blacks, but it should be noted how quickly mainstream reporters open that door, in hopes that family members of murdered blacks will pocket their pain and give mainstream society emotional permission to move on.

This is also why I was proud of Jordan Davis’ father for telling CNN that he doesn’t forgive his son’s killer, Michael Dunn. Watch the CNN anchor insert forgiveness into the conversation with Jordan Davis’ parent. . .



I do not, however, understand why that question was even asked. Forgiveness is personal and interpersonal, while racism is systemic. By allowing the media to insert forgiveness into the conversation, we are allowing them to diminish racism, as if it could be eliminated by personal religious preferences. As if occupying the zenith at the tip of the moral high ground somehow erases centuries of racist actions and their manifestations.

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