Penelope Simpson

College lecture can open thought, dialogue

A friend sent me a talk by Mark Charles at Calvin College on “Race, Trauma, and the Doctrine of Discovery” ( His message - which takes a little less than an hour - is the antidote to all this critical race theory and explains factual, American history and why it is so hard to talk about it.

It is not meant to shame anyone, but to open thought and dialogue. It is a non-blaming look at reality and what we need to do to feel, grieve, and lament and to be conciliatory so we can move into a new way of communicating and dialoguing together.

(Charles also gives a slightly different slant to Abraham Lincoln's ambivalence about true equality, as evidenced by his writings in the little museum room next to the Lincoln Memorial. Yet, what he accomplished in favor of creating a path for all the people is admirable, nonetheless.)

I am interested in using this film - and other talks by Mark Charles and other solution-focused thinkers - to begin talking with one another in small groups across our nation. It is time for change, and we are the change. If not us, then who?...

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