Reparations and Reparations by Kate Poole Cover, a woman wearing a tallis is praying and rapping her fist against her chest in a traditional gesture for Al Chait for Yom Kippur, the same woman on the right is raising her fist in a sign of solidarity and looking up hopefully
Lately I've been thinking about reparations. Black Lives Matter protest image. Racialized wealth extraction. Images of Black and POC laboring under extractive conditions throughout history. Graphs and charts of historical racialized wealth extraction.
Some white Jewish folks have a complicated relationship to their whiteness (picture of my family). But I can see very clearly the ways my white Jewish family has benefited from our racist economy. We had a straw hat factory, owned land, and accumulated wealth.
I have felt called to act out of repentance. Images of work with Resource Generation and Regenerative Finance.
What is repentance? I know that I can't destroy capitalism (yet). I also cannot personally give back the trillions of dollars in reparations that we owe to our nation's African Americans. There's an immensity of this task--but we have to take action. I use my Jewish faith tradition as a guideline for repentence.
Action steps. First, forsaking the sin.
Acting in a way opposite to the sin
Refraining from lesser sins for the purpose of safeguarding ourselves against bigger ones
Teaching others not to sin
Correcting the Sin However Possible
Refraining from committing the same sin if the opportunity presents itself
Teshuvah is a hebrew word meaning return, or repentance. It's a turning towards right relationships with each other, our communities, our economies and our planet.
I would love to connect with you to talk about repentance and reparations. I welcome your thoughts. This comic was made near the High Holidays in 2015.

I made this comic before the 2015 Jewish High Holiday season,¬†using that structure of repentance to think about reparations, racialized wealth extraction, and redistribution of wealth. I was excited about how we connect the Jewish tradition’s deep and developed tradition of repentance with economic repentance. How can we connect our spiritual practices¬†with our economic practices?


 

Thoughts? Comments?