Reparative Intercession

Reparative intercession is not a call to racial reconciliation. James Cone, the progenitor of Black liberation theology, pierced the bubble of optimism by asking, “Reconciled to what?” We must repair before we can reconcile. Without repairing the harm – psychological and physical – racial reconciliation rings hollow. The desire for universal brotherhood and sisterhood that avoids treating past and present racism is a function of white noise. The future of humanity asks us to abandon our assumptions that “togetherness” is a cure-all for generations of anti-Black exclusion, violence, economics, politics, and religion.

Likewise, reparative intercession goes beyond merely celebrating cosmetic diversity. The abolition of racial segregation and inequality mandate a form of speech – and ultimately practice – interested in building and sharing power with those condemned as “the wretched of the earth.” We need a new foundational question to silence white noise enroute to upending racism. A diversity approach asks, “Who is present?” An inclusion lens asks, “Who is participating?” Justice and repair account for the differences in needs, privileges, opportunities, and burdens in pursuit of authentic human equality. This work is about power-building and power-sharing. 

From “Silencing White Noise: Six Practices to Overcome Our Inaction on Race” by Willie Dwayne Francois III – Brazos Press