Acts of hate and racism have existed in many forms throughout history, they continue to grow and claim millions of innocent lives, and although it is impossible to repair the loss of a loved one, it is necessary to seek measures to form a society more sensitive and exchange hatred for acts of healing and compensation that manage to ensure a better future for anyone.
This is what experts pointed out during a press conference organized by Ethnic Media Services, who They pointed out that documenting and validating the acts that generate trauma to the damaged people are a key element to be able to sensitize society and generate changes.
Helen Zia, author and founder of the Vincent Chin Institute, said that hateful acts should be taken into a process of learning and change, as was the case with Vincent Chin, a young man who was beaten to death by two men who blamed him for his economic situation, it was an act of hate towards Japan, but one that took the life of an innocent Asian-American.
For Zia, the healing process was through a community strengthened by creating new organizations, forming new generations of activists working together against racism, injustice and hate. "That is what has been generated as an act of union."
«Today I start to do something, it is part of my job, to document this. But also being an active agent for change, using my journalistic knowledge to make the community heard, to help Vincent Chin's mother who was willing to speak through her suffering and became an example for the Asian community. American," he stressed.
James Taylor, Professor of African American History, spoke about the acts of hate that have damaged communities throughout history, such as slavery that lasted for many years. But this is only a fact of many that Afro-descendants have suffered, which is why there must be legal measures that seek to repair these acts, not as a favor but as compensation for the damage done.
“Repairs are about healing and reconciling, fixing what has been broken. And the truth is that Afro-descendant people seem to always be hurt," he said.
For Professor Taylor, acts of reparation in society are already present and today there is nothing that can stop them. All communities must be supported to continue moving forward, not only in society but also legally before governments.
For his part, Nestor Fantini, editor and sociologist, former political prisoner in Argentina, shared his experience in the South American country and how he experienced inhumane acts during this time.
"They kidnapped people and took them to concentration camps, there were more than 300,000 missing people and five hundred babies who were kidnapped," he said.
The sociologist shared a saying that he heard at a conference in South Africa: “only the individual who suffered the damage has the authority to forgive, no one but him. Forcing a victim to make a certain decision is to revictimize the person who suffered it. Not the state or the judge, only the individual can forgive," he said.
For Fantini, acts of reparation are necessary, however, the life of someone who has already lost it cannot be repaired, the absence of a loved one can never be repaired, but society cannot be confined to these events, one must talk about what has been lived so that others know what is happening and the guilty are punished before the law.
The specialists agreed that reparations are not the result of acts of hate, they are the consequences of what has been experienced, which is why it is necessary to document, expose these acts and analyze them through history in order to better understand, and thus seek measures that restore damaged communities.
Compensation to repair acts of hate is necessary, ignoring or forgetting would only leave more space to continue hurting innocents, however, the issue should not be focused on how to compensate society, it is necessary to generate acts that prevent hatred towards communities vulnerable, forming a society based on respect, having measures that guarantee legal justice, supporting associations that promote equality and getting governments involved to be part of the solution, is what we must turn to see as a society.
This publication was supported in whole or part by funding provided by the State of California, administered by the California State Library.
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