When My Childhood Best Friend Became a Skinhead
Tanya Knox
31

This is an important voice to hear, and what you shared is intense and powerful. That being said, I have an issue with “forgiveness” versus, empathy and owning your behavior. I empathize with Stephanie and her bad experiences, and I’m happy that she’s in a better place now, but more so than that, I feel for the anonymous brown person who was curb stomped and is still nameless but for being a part of someone else’s redemption narrative. I’d feel way more for that person. As a person of color, I’m slow to forgive someone who has trouble owning their part in terrible acts. Again I empathize with the difficult life someone has had, but I can’t forgive terrible acts of people who don’t attempt to make them right. And the advice of being tolerant towards those who are intolerant of others, again I agree to an extent. But actually threatening people or actual violent acts I just don’t accept that the best course of action is love. I will show love to the person who is not so far gone as the person with the boots on. I’m thankful Stephanie is back on the right path, but I’m uncomfortable with who got buried on her path.

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