ABC-CLIO

Crimes against Humanity in the Land of the Free

Can a Truth and Reconciliation Process Heal Racial Conflict in America?

by Imani Michelle Scott, Editor
Foreword by Sean Byrne

 

How do we end the ongoing hostilities between black and white Americans?

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Cover image for Crimes against Humanity in the Land of the Free

August 2014

Praeger

Pages 306
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Race and Ethnicity/African American Studies

This vital book considers the compelling and addictive hold that racism has had on centuries of Americans, explores historical and contemporary norms complicit in the problem, and appeals to the U.S. government to improve race relations, rectify existent social imperfections, and guard against future race-based abuses.

Despite an assertion by the founding fathers that "all men are created equal" and the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that guarantees "equal protection," the race-based oppression that has characterized most of America's history shows that in practice our society has rarely measured up to principle. Why has deep-seated racial conflict in America continued for so long? This unprecedented examination into the topic explores the evidence and consequences of what seems to be an "addiction" to racism in the United States, analyzing the related disconnect between our nation's stated moral principles and social realities, and assessing how U.S. citizens of all races can take individual action to start the long-needed healing process.

The contributors to this work present interdisciplinary perspectives and discussions on American history, politics, philosophy, and 21st-century psycho-social conditions as they relate to the oppression, social injustice, and racism that have occurred—and continue to occur—in the United States. The discussions allow readers to grasp the serious challenges at hand and direct them towards recognizing the potential for conflict transformation and reconciliation through a non-conventional co-created Truth, Reconciliation, and Peace Process (TRPP) to begin resolving America's dysfunction. This is essential reading for anyone who seeks to understand the sources of perpetual racially based conflict, disparity, and hatred in the United States; identify the social injuries of exposure to centuries of racism; move America towards harmonious interracial relationships; and improve its international standing as a peace-building nation that is truly committed to human rights throughout the world.

Features

  • Presents the inescapable evidence of persistent social violence, inequalities, and injustices perpetrated against blacks within America's borders prior to and for centuries since the nation's founding
  • Identifies the negative psycho-social consequences and harmful impact of "transgenerated trauma"—based on the experiences of living in an overtly oppressive society for centuries—on both the oppressed and the oppressor in America
  • Emphasizes the necessity for all American citizens to share the responsibility for exposing historical truths, working through painful memories and realities, engaging in long-avoided dialogue, and implementing systems to assure a more just America for all its citizens
Author Info

Imani Michelle Scott, PhD, is a consultant and speaker on the topics of conflict resolution and domestic violence as well as professor of communication at the Savannah College of Art and Design where she teaches intercultural communication and public speaking. Scott holds a doctorate in conflict analysis and resolution from Nova Southeastern University.

Reviews/Endorsements

Endorsements

"This book by Imani Michelle Scott is a powerful and meaningful exploration of the issues of truth and reconciliation, and race and racism in America and beyond. If people want to have a clear understanding about what African Americans have experienced over the years and how we are willing to have a true discussion on race and racism, then this book is a must-read. Enjoy every page, every sentence, and every word; in them, you will find a sense of history as well as some enlightening guidelines about the future."—Charles J. Ogletree, Jr., Jesse Climenko Professor of Law at Harvard Law School; Founding & Executive Director, Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race & Justice

"This new collection of work does an excellent job of presenting social, historical, political, ethical, moral, psychological, judicial, cultural, and practical evidence to support its call to action."—Johan Galtung, Founder TRANSCEND International, Professor of Peace Studies

"Truth and reconciliation efforts have emerged as an important tool in efforts to promote justice, healing, and understanding in the aftermath of crimes against humanity. This ambitious collection makes the case for why the United States should launch truth and reconciliation efforts to address the deep scars of our long history of violence and oppression against African Americans. This courageous and thoughtful call to action is relevant reading for anyone who believes in America's founding moral principles—and supports the ongoing struggle to live up to them."—Elizabeth Kiss, President & Professor of Philosophy and Women's Studies, Agnes Scott College, Decatur, Georgia

"Dr. Imani Michelle Scott and the contributors to this volume have taken on an important conflict-transformation approach towards healing the wounds that divide people in the United States through a federal truth and reconciliation process. This is a timely volume that explores [truth and reconciliation in the United States] from a transdisciplinary perspective."—Sean Byrne, Director of Peace and Conflict Studies, St. Paul’s College, University of Manitoba, Winnepeg, Canada

Look Inside

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