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« Edwards to Gnomedex | Main | Father's Day »

Jun 18, 2006

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John D. Young

Ed, in April 2005, in a message about Reconciliation given at the First Baptist Church, Dr. Peter Storey who was very involved with the T&R process in South Africa, a member of the GTCRP National Advisory Committee, and long time friend of Nelson Mandela said something similar to your column today.

Peter Storey said:

"Let there be a 'prime mover'

Somebody has to initiate, to take the first step toward the other, to make the opening move toward restoring relationship.

In the 1980s there was terrible, bloody war going on in the streets of Johannesburg, between two different tribal and political groups – Zulu followers of one leaders and Xhosa followers of Mandela. With every killing the cycle of violence was ratcheted up, until one man took a radial step: a humble Zulu mineworker walked into the barricaded hostel of his Xhosa enemies, and said, “I know you will kill me, but listen to this one question before you do: how many more must die?” His courage touched his enemies to such an extent that they not only spared him, but one of their leaders offered to join him in seeking out a black church leader together, to begin a peace initiative that ended that terrible slaughter.

There can be no reconciliation without courageous ‘first movers’, but when we find such people, whole new processes toward reconciliation can begin."

John

Hmmm... So the *survivors* of that horrendous day should apologize "for their roles"? That makes about as much since as asking survivors of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising to apologize for their resistance.

Ed Cone

False analogy. People in the Warsaw Ghetto were targeted for their ethnicity. The TRC report identifies things for which the CWP organizers might apologize or acknowledge fault.

If the goal is reconciliation, someone has to swallow hard and go first. All discussed in the column.

Billy The Blogging Poet

Ed, This was true when you first posted it in 2006 and time has proven you right.

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