Humans were made to work in the garden that God had planted; now they would toil on land with which they were at odds. The wounds of sin are deep.
Wendell Berry wrote a book called The Hidden Wound where he talks about the problem of racism in America. He says that racism is not simply a thought we have or a judgment we make; it is a wound that whites inflicted on blacks, and in doing so they inflicted a wound upon themselves as well.
In the Harry Potter series, when you kill someone, your soul is literally ripped in two. Humans were made to be in relationship, and when we kill or oppress or hurt another person, we harm not only them but also ourselves, though in a different way. Wendell Berry says that the wound of racism has harmed both blacks and white, and those wounds have been passed down through generations.
Berry says that the wound of racism is connected to the brokenness of our relationship with the earth. Somewhere along the line, whites decided that working the land, that hard labor was inferior to lines of work that were emerging with industrialization. So they took a people they considered inferior to themselves and forced them to work the land. Whites put black slaves between themselves and the earth. The wounds of broken relationships among humans were deepened by the horrors of slavery and perpetuated by Jim Crow, and they continue to bleed to this day in our prison system, the drug war, and many other places where barriers of oppression based on race and class separate us from one another.
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