Reconciliation starts with listening, understanding

Published 10:51 am Thursday, February 18, 2021

To the Editor,

One of the big themes of 2020 was division, including division over race. Unfortunately, we can witness this in our local community.

Mayor Sadler mentioned growing up that Market Street seemed to divide the white and black part of town. Weekly, we read wonderful stories of the past of the African American community from Leesa Jones directly followed by the charming past stories of the white community from Harold Robinson. I was raised in California, but my mother always told me my grandfather was Southern. I now know that his family was a slaveholding family and, therefore, I carry the heavy burden of white privilege.

As a Christian, we are called to bring the Kingdom of God to earth through justice and unity. I am hopeful that we can build the future of Washington together, rather than divided. I think Mr. Gaskins’ proposal to modify the historical marker to reflect our checkered past may be a step in the right direction. However, I’m curious to hear from African American voices. Reconciliation starts with listening, followed by understanding.

Dominic Reisig