When the image of God was crushed, broken, twisted, distorted, covered, or erased, the ancient Hebrews originally hearing this text would have understood these acts against humanity to be acts of war against God. European conquest of land and people throughout the Enlightenment period was actually a period of European wrestling against God for control and dominion over the planet. For a time, Whites won. Enslavement was not the prize. Control was the prize. Status was the prize. Empire was the prize. Black, Native, and Brown bodies were simply the collateral damage of war waged against God – in the name of God, with the blessing of the church under the legal shelter of Pope Nicholas V’s Romanus Pontifex.
Repentance will require people of European descent to face this truth. Repentance will require people deemed White to lay down distorted lenses, crafted for them by parents’ and grandparent’s stories, history books, museums, and media. Repair for the ones who broke the world will require that they renounce the lie that Whiteness is inherently good, inherently noble, and inherently right. Repeated lies distort perception, making it difficult to see reality. The lie of White goodness wore down the capacity for empathy, moving people deemed White into a series of knee-jerk justifications crafted to cordon off emotion from the requirements of progress – White progress.
From “Fortune: How Race Broke My Family and the World–and How to Repair It All” by Lisa Sharon Harper