Forgiveness?

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Aleirys Jimenez, Literary Journalist

I believe that people who are racist can be forgiven only by the victim or victims.  If a certain person is personally targeted, not the people around them or on the internet, by racism it’s up to them if they want to forgive the person who apologized.  This is important because many people like to fabricate stories and only the people who were victimized should respond to these things.

The first reason to my argument is Emmett Till. Emmett Till was wrongfully accused of “assaulting” a white woman at a grocery store.  Before he could even defend himself,  the woman’s husband along with her half-brother killed him. If Emmett Till had survived the attack, his word and his word only would matter – although he would be silenced considering it was the 1950s. If Emmett Till decided to forgive them, which is kind of crazy, it would be better because instead of a riot, everything would calm down a little. People would obviously still be angry but at least there would be some peace between the victim and the attacker.

The second reason to my argument is the Scottsboro Boys.  The Scottsboro Boys were nine boys, ages 13-20, who were wrongfully accused of raping two white women on a train in 1931. All of them except a 13 year old boy were wrongfully convicted of rape and sentenced to death. It was obvious that they didn’t commit the crime considering there was even medical evidence to show that they didn’t do it. Some of the boys were lynched and it was all just a very tragic situation. If the boys were still alive and forgave the people who accused them of the crime, it would be because at the time since the fact that white people were always overreacting on anything said about black people committing crimes, whether it was big or small, they would still get punished severely.

I think the reason why people believe that we shouldn’t forgive people for racism is really obvious. Let’s say you’re in public and someone says or does something that really hurts you or seems really racist – you wouldn’t want to forgive them considering what they said hurt you. The Central Park 5 is a great example for this. The Central Park 5 was wrongfully accused of raping a woman in Central Park. Because of this accusation the kids went through the worst and were treated very bad. After it was revealed that they didn’t do it years after being in prison, they were very upset considering that it took forever to be proven innocent and believed that they wouldn’t  forgive the people who ruined their lives.

In conclusion, I think that people should be forgiven for racism only by the victims. In the world we live in, there are many people who like to cause trouble and like to fabricate stories so it’s better to hear the truth and be forgiven by the victims instead.  I think this is important because we are trying to make this cruel world a better place.  Many people go through horrific things and never received the justice they deserved.  It’s not really an easy task but, if we work together, we can make this planet a better and safer place.