Updated: Feb 20
One of the “good things” about being a victim is that it is convenient – your destiny is given over to another person, entity, or force who, for good or ill, is the determiner of it. As such, it will not be you that will be held responsible if anything does go wrong. However powerless you may be on Earth, you can always cop a plea in Eternity.
The descendants of the enslaved Africans in America are descendants of victims – victims brutally seized and ripped from their home and hearth, their family and faith, their native tongue, and even the raiment on their backs. Their bodies, personal spaces and even their orifices were violated largely without compunction by the Europeans and their descendants who seized them. From 1619 to 1865, this system was in place without consequence, and its unjust, painful, perverse, and impoverishing sequelae echo both covertly and overtly in the Black American experience to this very day.
As starkly unjust as the most severe manifestations of this system of wrong have been, enslavement is now removed from our present existence by many generations after civil conflict, executive decree, legislative action, judicial decision, and by time itself. None of the sufferers of American slavery walk the Earth any longer. They are victims no more.
But neither are we, the present age of Black Americans. As a result of whatever progress has been made, we are no longer victims, even though we remain profoundly “victimized”; that is to say, being a victim is no longer an inevitable consequence of our former almost complete and total powerlessness. Now that we can move freely and earn, be educated and educate as well as vote, victimhood now must not only be inflicted by the victimizer, but embraced by the victim in order for it to take hold of us. And even though efforts in America are passionately and well underway to rescind our rights and freedoms, we have the power through prayer, knowledge, and collective action to resist and to fight.
During our prolonged period of victimhood, God watched over us and protected us in America. He allowed us to ascend slowly and tenuously through a fantastically horrific system that consumed many a Black soul and crushed much Black hope. We could continue to be victims. So many want us to be; too many are willing to be. But the God who sustained us in our victimhood did not sustain us to keep us there any more than He sustained King David of Judah to keep him in the rocks and hilly crags of the Israelite wilderness to which he fled from his predecessor, King Saul. He sustained us to end our powerless victimhood. I submit that it is over – at least it is for me.
AASRT, Inc. (www.theAASRT.org) has dedicated itself (and whatever spiritual legacy on Earth that will outlive it) to the receipt of justice for Black people, and to bear witness to the irresistible righteousness of Christ and the promises of His Word in the matter of Reparations for Black America and all who endure prolonged injustice worldwide. We declare that we are not victims of White supremacy through enslavement or oppression, but overcomers of it through Christ Jesus and His birth, death, and Resurrection. Now liberated from victimhood, we can expect satisfaction – not from waiting for “White people” to do right (something they themselves, due to their shame of their past and their fear of their future in a polyglot society are unable to in their Whiteness) – but from “right people” of every hue (something White people can do beyond their Whiteness). The righteous are irresistibly compelled by a Spirit that lies within all who possess it, to act justly to balance the books on the theft of labor, treasure, and honor that quantitatively manifests in the current $13.166 trillion racial net worth gap between Black folk and White counterparts in America.
Jesus was a victim on the Cross who went to Hell on Good Friday; but the Cross and Hell is not where He remained on Easter Sunday. He did not remain “a victim.” In like fashion, Black Americans cannot hang still on “the cross” of our slavery past or languish in the “Hell” of our future oppression. To move forward is not the White man’s decision – it is ours. We must no longer beg White people or the government they control to their predominant benefit for justice; rather, we have petitioned the One whose very nature is just; the One from whose mighty hand the prophet Amos writes justice “rolls down like a river.” AASRT, Inc. has petitioned The Holy Spirit to move through the world to supply “every need” of the Black man. He will not fail us if we are faithful and seize the authority He has granted us and cede it back to Him.
AASRT, Inc. is, at its fundament, a clarion call to the Spirit of Good and God that inhabits righteous men and women to convene the just in the matter of Reparations for the descendants of African American slaves, and their kin and kind, for meaningful, transformative action. In making this request to the righteous among us, we end the struggle for Reparations and instead begin the process OF Reparations. “The wicked borrow (money, labor, life) and do not repay, but the righteous give generously” writes the Psalmist. AASRT, Inc. is through asking the wicked and their progeny who turn a blind eye to “repay.” Our Reparations Fund shows the righteous already are.
Which one are you?
Darryl L. Fortson, M.D. is a physician practicing in Las Vegas. He also serves as the Executive Director of AASRT, Inc.