Jung On Karma, Guilt and Reparations:Jung on a Challenge of Our Time

“… karma (the fate earned through works in previous existences),…”

Jung (1959)[1]

“Increasing psychological insight hinders the projection of the shadow, and this gain in knowledge logically leads to the problem of the union of opposites. One realizes, first of all, that one cannot project one’s shadow on to others, and next that there is no advantage in insisting on their guilt, as it is so much more important to know and possess one’s own, because it is part of one’s own self and the necessary factor without which nothing in this sublunary world can be realized.”

Jung (1954)[2]

“Psychological collective guilt is a tragic fate. It hits everybody, just and unjust alike, everybody who was anywhere near the place where the terrible thing happened. Naturally no reasonable and conscientious person will lightly turn collective into individual guilt by holding the individual responsible without giving him a hearing. He will know enough to distinguish between the individually guilty and the merely collectively guilty.”

Jung (1945)[3]

“… there is something very like a felix culpa. He knows that one can miss not only one’s happiness but also one’s final guilt, without which a man will never reach his wholeness.”

Jung (1944)[4]

“… you are the same as the Negro or the Chinese or whoever you live with, you are all just human beings. In the collective unconscious you are the same as a man of another race, you have the same archetypes, just as you have, like him, eyes, a heart, a liver, and so on. It does not matter that his skin is black.”

Jung (1935)[5]

“But inner adaptation leads to the conquest of inner realities, from which values are won for the reparation of the collective.”

Jung (1916)[6]

The subject for this essay arose from students asking me to comment on the nationwide protests following the murder of George Floyd. Jung helps us put these events in a wider context, as well as cluing us in to how we may respond as individuals and as a collective to this and to the coming challenge we will be facing. In this essay I will first discuss the concept of karma, followed by the concept of guilt, individual and collective. Then I will apply these to American history. Finally I will discuss the challenge we now face, from a Jungian perspective.

Karma

The word karma is Sanskrit, meaning “action.”[7] Buddhism describes most clearly how this “Universal law of cause and effect”[8] works:

“The deed (karma) produces a fruit… when it is ripe then it falls upon the one responsible. For a deed to produce its fruit, it must be morally good or bad and be conditioned by a volitional impulse, which in that it leaves a trace in the psyche of the doer, leads his destiny in the direction determined by the effect of the deed. … The effect of an action, which can be of the nature of body, speech, or mind, is not primarily determined by the act itself but rather particularly by the intention of the action. It is the intention of actions that cause a karmic effect to arise…. Only a deed that is free from desire, hate, and delusion is without karmic effect…. The teaching of karma does not constitute determinism. … karma provides the situation, not the response to the situation.”[9]

As a “universal” law, karma is recognized by all religions. St. Paul, for example, cautioned the Galatians to remember that “As ye sow, so shall ye reap.”[10] Our modern colloquial expression expresses the same idea: “What goes around, comes around.” What we put out, we get back. Sometimes this law shows up quickly–we do something mean and very shortly it comes back to haunt us–but, in my experience, karmic effects can show up months or years later. The passage of time does not dilute karma.

Guilt

When we speak of “guilt” we mean “the fact or state of having done wrong; being guilty; being to blame; a guilty action or conduct; crime; offense; wrongdoing.”[11] Given our human tendency to project the shadow, we are more likely to regard the other guy as guilty or at fault than we are to recognize our own culpability. Jung recognized this tendency and deplored it.

Jung was explicit that we should work to become more conscious so as to “hinder the projection of the shadow.”[12] When we achieve “psychological insight,”[13] we come to realize,

“… first of all, that one cannot project one’s shadow on to others, and next that there is no advantage in insisting on their guilt, as it is so much more important to know and possess one’s own, because it is part of one’s own self and the necessary factor without which nothing in this sublunary world can be realized.”[14]

Rather than focusing on what someone else did wrong, Jung would have us recognize our own shortcomings, our own faults, our own guilt. And this includes not only personal guilt but collective guilt.

In 1945, at the end of World War II, Jung wrote an essay “Nach der Katastrophe” (After the Catastrophe)[15] in which he discussed the “fate of Germany,” the acts of which had left “the greater part of Europe… in ruins.”[16] Jung knew that, while Hitler, Himmler and other prominent figures led the country, the entire German people shared the blame for the massive loss of life and destruction caused by the war.

Jung began his essay by making the distinction between legal/moral and psychological guilt.[17] Legal guilt is handled in the law courts, and many leaders of the Third Reich were prosecuted as war criminals at the Nuremburg trials. Moral guilt is the purview of religious institutions, and there were German figures both during and after the war who addressed the moral stain on their nation.[18] Jung recognized and defined psychological guilt, which

“… should not be confused with guilt in the legal and moral sense. Psychologically, it connotes the irrational presence of a subjective feeling (or conviction) of guilt, or an objective imputation of, or imputed share in, guilt.”[19]

Then Jung offered an example of how guilt can manifest in a collective sense:

“… suppose a man belongs to a family which has the misfortune to be disgraced because one of its members has committed a crime. It is clear that he cannot be held responsible, either legally or morally. Yet the atmosphere of guilt makes itself felt in many ways. His family name appears to have been, and it gives him a painful shock to hear it bandied about in the mouths of strangers. Guilt can be restricted to the lawbreaker only from the legal, moral, and intellectual point of view, but as a psychic phenomenon it spreads itself over the whole neighborhood. A house, a family, even a village where a murder has been committed feels the psychological guilt and is made to feel it by the outside world.” [20]

Perhaps the passage of 75 years and the decline in moral sensibilities that has occurred since Jung’s day have diminished the notion of “family honor” among mobile urban dwellers in the modern world, but in rural areas where long-established family roots are common, and in certain countries (e.g. Islamic nations) there is still a keen sense of family honor.[21]

Jung then extends the concept of collective guilt to the German nation. Its guilt transcends that of Hitler and his henchmen: It adhered to every German citizen, as well as to Europeans:

“The European can no more convince the Indian that Germany is of no concern of his, or that he knows nothing at all about that country, than the German can rid himself of his collective guilt by protesting that he did not know.”[22]

Jung was aware of the claim of ignorance that many Germans expressed, and he found it a bogus excuse, because, by making such a claim, the German “merely compounds his collective guilt by the sin of unconsciousness.”[23]

Jung regarded German, and more widely European guilt as “a very real fact, which no European outside Europe and no German outside Germany can leave out of account.”[24] It did not matter if individuals were not in Europe or Germany during the war: they still accrued the collective guilt of German war deeds. Jung was clear that

“If the German intends to live on good terms with Europe, he must be conscious that in the eyes of Europeans he is a guilty man. As a German, he has betrayed European civilization and all its values; he has brought shame and disgrace on his European family, so that one must blush to hear oneself called a European; he has fallen on his European brethren like a beast of prey, and tortured and murdered them.” [25]

Jung was aware that some people would consider “the whole concept of psychological collective guilt” as “a prejudice and a sweepingly unfair condemnation.”[26] Jung agreed, and then went on to say

“… but that is precisely what constitutes the irrational nature of collective guilt: it cares nothing for the just and the unjust, it is the dark cloud that rises up from the scene of an unexpiated crime. It is a psychic phenomenon, and it is therefore no condemnation of the German people to say that they are collectively guilty, but simply a statement of fact.”[27]

We do well, in reading Jung’s words, to remember that he regarded the psyche as real,[28] and therefore psychic phenomena also are real.

Jung then developed another reason for the validity of the concept of collective guilt: that each person “is connected with his fellow-men by his unconscious humanity,”[29] so no crime is really “an isolated psychic happening.”[30] It was Derek Chauvin’s knee on George Floyd’s neck on May 31st, 2020, but Jung would remind us that all of us were collectively guilty. Why so? This brings us to the next section of this essay.

How Karma and Guilt Relate to American History

What happened to George Floyd was reprehensible, indefensible, and all too common a fate for African American men and women in our society. That dozens of people of color have recently experienced violence in our midst[31] reflects the structural violence and systemic racism that marks our national history.[32] Colonization, slavery, and the racism it spawned, are the “original sin”[33] of America, and this sin has created a huge karmic debt beginning in the 15th century with the decimation of native people who died by the tens of millions as the Europeans brought smallpox, measles, diphtheria, trachoma, whooping cough, chicken pox, bubonic plague, malaria, typhoid fever, yellow fever, dengue fever, scarlet fever, amoebic dysentery and influenza–none of which the indigenous people of the New World had any immunity to.[34] Europeans noticed how multitudes of native people died of these diseases, but rather than feel any sense of responsibility, they interpreted these decimations as “omens from their God” that confirmed their right to take over the natives’ lands.[35] Aside from Bartolomé de Las Casas, a Spanish priest and historian of the Spanish conquest of the New World, who felt guilt at the barbarity he witnessed,[36] few Europeans expressed any remorse for what they inflicted on the natives.

Less than a century later the first African slaves arrived in Virginia–the start of 244 years of enslavement in American history, the start of our “original sin.”[37] Two decades later, in 1637, New England Puritans fought against the Pequot Indians, captured many and sold them as slaves to the English settlers in the Caribbean.[38] There were to be many such wars over the next 250 years, each time costing native people the loss of lives and land. Europeans based their claims to these land grabs on arguments that native people had no right to the land because they had no religion, or no government, or no system of writing (bogus arguments indeed!).[39] When the Cherokees challenged Andrew Jackson’s Indian Removal Act by suing the State of Georgia, they won their case: Chief Justice John Marshall, in Cherokee Nation v. Georgia (1831), recognized the sovereignty of the Cherokee (but he defined native peoples as “domestic dependent nations,”[40] reflecting the white supremacist attitude which had become imbedded in our national thinking). Jackson, Indian fighter that he was, chose to ignore Marshall’s ruling and forced the Cherokee to embark on the “trail of tears” and settle in what is now Oklahoma.

In the Dawes Act of 1887 it became the official policy of the United States government to destroy Native American tribes, by giving native people “allotments” of farm land so they could learn to live like whites. In addition to this removal from their ancestral lands[41] and the systematic destruction of the buffalo, the government mandated the enforced separation of parents and children, who were sent to boarding schools run by whites, forbidden to speak their languages and to wear native garments–all designed to wipe out any vestiges of native life.[42]

Marshall’s rulings were not the only decisions of the Supreme Court to reflect racist thinking. In 1857, in Dred Scott v. Sandford, the Court declared that Congress had no power to limit slavery in the states. Chief Justice Roger Taney described “people of African descent” as “beings of an inferior order, and altogether unfit to associate with the white race, … and so far inferior that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect.”[43] Forty-one years later, in Plessy v. Ferguson, the Court continued to enforce racism, when it held that Homer Plessy violated an 1890 Jim Crow law barring blacks from white railroad cars. In a 7 to 1 ruling, the court made a landmark ruling that Jim Crow laws did not violate the Constitution.[44] Clearly the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, outlawing slavery, insuring equal protection and due process to all citizens, and barring discrimination “by race, color, or previous condition of servitude,”[45] became little more than pious pronouncements as Reconstruction failed, a victim of “seedy compromises, underhanded dealings, personal viciousness, and outright fraud of small-minded and self-gratifying men.”[46]

For five years from 1865 to 1870 Northern Reconstructionists had poured into the South, setting up schools, teaching reading, and getting former slaves on the ballot in both local and federal elections.[47] This led to the rise of the Ku Klux Klan which intimidated blacks who tried to vote (voter suppression still continues today).[48] The “seedy compromises” Jill Lepore cites in 1870 included the Democrats agreeing to support the election of “Rutherfraud”[49] Hayes as President in exchange for the Republicans (i.e. Reconstructionists) agreeing to end the military occupation of the South. The result was the abandonment of the fight for the civil rights of the black population,[50] and 90 years of increasing discrimination, segregation, and terror in the Jim Crow South.

The South was not alone in its mistreatment of African Americans. “Racial conventions”[51] in the North also demeaned people of color, including Chinese immigrants and other groups deemed inferior,[52] but this discrimination did not stop the “Great Migration,” in which half-a-million African Americans left the South between 1915 and 1918 for northern and western cities.[53] The Great Depression caused widespread suffering, impacting people of color especially hard, but the New Deal did not deal equally with all Americans: Franklin Roosevelt had to accommodate the Southern wing of the Democratic Party, so anti-lynching legislation died, and New Deal programs were segregated.[54]

After World War II Harry Truman abolished segregation in the military, courted black voters and worked closely with black politicians,[55] but racial discrimination and racial violence (e.g. lynching of black men) remained persistent manifestations of racism,[56] thanks mainly to the Republican-controlled Congress which stymied nearly all of his legislative initiatives. Some Southern Democrats found Truman’s efforts on behalf of blacks so offensive that they bolted their party and became “Dixiecrats.”[57] It would fall to the skillful politicking of Lyndon Johnson, picking up the mantle of the martyred John Kennedy, to get major civil rights legislation through Congress in a series of bills[58] which Johnson knew would cost the Democratic Party the South.

Richard Nixon was a suspicious, mean-spirited bigot, paranoid, insecure and reckless.[59] His administration did little to advance Johnson’s civil rights agenda, and the rise of the New Right during his term in office bode ill for African Americans.[60] Redlining (the practice of demarcating certain neighborhoods off-limits for renting or buying of houses) kept blacks in poor neighborhoods, and despite the decision in Brown v. the Board of Education of Topeka, barring segregation in schools, most African American children still experience inferior schools many years after the Supreme Court ruling.[61]

By 2008, when Barack Obama won the presidency, a pattern had become clear: Any advance or improvement in black lives has been followed by a backlash by racists.[62] Reagan and the Republicans did little to support the civil rights accomplishments of the 1960’s. Clinton was forced to deal with a recalcitrant Congress determined to thwart his efforts, and Obama was blocked in nearly all his legislative efforts by an obstructionist Senate. There was great hope when Obama was elected–hope that the nation was finally casting off its “agonizing legacy of racial violence,”[63] but Obama “walked on shards of glass,”[64] his presidency challenged by a devastating stock market crash, highly partisan politics, widespread public mistrust of government, and a host of hostile new movements, like the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street.[65] As if all these difficulties were not enough, Obama faced the racist taunts of Donald Trump, with his spurious birther claims that Obama was not an American. Trump capitalized on the revival of a white nationalist movement[66] that proved to be both racist and violent, as we saw in the Charlottesville, Virginia tragedy in 2017.[67]

For over 13 generations people of color have experienced terror and trauma at the hands of white people. As Jung reminds us “Hate had found respectable motives and had ceased to be a personal idiosyncracy, … And all the time the esteemed public had not the faintest idea how closely they themselves were living to evil.”[68] We saw this recently in the Jungian Center course “White Privilege.” Being based in Vermont (one of the “whitest” states in the U.S.), we discovered some of our students had never been in the presence of a person of color! And they certainly had no idea they were implicated in a karmic system. This is one of multiple challenges we now face as individuals and as a nation.

Challenges We Now Face

As I reflected on the students’ request in the light of Jung’s wisdom, I came up with six challenges related to our karma and guilt. I’ll begin where Jung always began: with the individual.

~ the need to recognize our personal karma

Because the only thing we can ever change about a situation is ourselves, we must begin with wising up to how we individually are implicated in the racism of our society. Jung knew that “the wise man learns only from his own guilt.”[69] When I began to read widely in preparation to teach the White Privilege course, it quickly became obvious to me just how guilty I was in being unconscious about my whiteness, my blindness to the reality which African Americans experience in this cruel country, and the myriad ways our culture operates on the assumption that “white is normal.” I warned prospective students who were signing up for the course that we would be confronting the shadow, and it would be discomfiting (albeit a tiny discomfort compared to the life-sucking tension that people of color live with every day). As the course progressed, I heard some students vocalize just what Jung predicted we would say: “… we are innocent, we are the victims, robbed, betrayed, outraged;…”[70]— outraged because shadow work hurts. “White fragility”[71] leads us to resist accepting our role in maintaining and benefiting from our racist system. Jung reminds us that “it is necessary that someone should feel indignant,”[72] for few indeed enjoy being brought face-to-face with their own evil. Racism is evil, and unless we are actively working on ourselves to become conscious of the shadow we perpetuate the evil. What to do? Jung notes that

“evil calls for expiation…. we need a proper rite de sortie, a solemn admission of guilt … followed by an act of expiation. As to what should be done about this… everyone must work this out for himself. It is indeed no small matter to know of one’s own guilt and one’s own evil, and there is certainly nothing to be gained by losing sight of one’s shadow. When we are conscious of our guilt we are in a more favorable position – we can at least hope to change and improve ourselves. As we know, anything that remains in the unconscious is incorrigible; psychological corrections can be made only in consciousness.”[73]

The benefits in owning up to our individual guilt include the fact that “Consciousness of guilt can … act as a powerful moral stimulus…”[74] and also the possibility of “psychic maturation and the widening of the spiritual horizon.”[75]

~the need to recognize the reality of collective guilt

As human beings we all have a shadow side. As Americans one facet of our collective shadow is racism. While individuals may say (and I’ve heard some people swear) they never did anything insulting, disparaging or negative toward a person of color, the fact remains that we live in a society that is racist. As a result, we all bear the guilt of this crime against the humanity of our fellow human beings. In working on this challenge, it behooves us to prudently share this fact with our family, friends and associates (prudently, because, as the Charlottesville tragedy showed us, there are some Americans who, as ardent white supremacists, are working hard to maintain the evil).[76]

~the need to understand the implications of the universal law of cause and effect: how karmic debts must be repaid: that what goes around, comes around.

For all the times we hear this adage, how many people who say it actually believe it applies to our collective reality? Given the centuries-old American belief in our “exceptionalism”–how we are a moral exemplar to the world, the best of countries[77]–it is hard for many Americans to face the fact that we have accumulated a tremendous amount of karmic debt, and what we put out (in our mistreatment of people of color) we will experience. When? Astrology gives us clues.

~transiting Pluto is in a conjunction to transiting Saturn, and these two planets are coming to conjunct the U.S. natal Pluto, an astrological configuration that can time a karmic debt coming due: we are living in a time of karmic payback.

Both Saturn and Pluto are karmic planets. Their transit around the chart of an individual can time when a karmic lesson shows up in life to be lived out. Likewise, on the collective level a nation can expect to repay a karmic debt when these planets make major aspects to its natal planets. In the case of Pluto, which moves very slowly, it takes c. 248 years for Pluto to return to conjunct natal Pluto.[78] This rare conjunction is happening now in America’s chart, at the same time as transiting Saturn conjuncts Pluto. We should understand that the events in the next few years entail karmic lessons: We are being goaded by the Cosmos to interpret what happens as opportunities to pay the debt our racism has accrued.

~karma can never be gainsaid: We cannot avoid it, but we can mitigate some of its dire consequences by making reparations. Jung felt that these begin with our individual growth and adaptation which “lead to the conquest of inner realities”[79] (e.g. our wising up to the racism in our shadow). This inner work produces “values [which are] won for the reparation of the collective.”[80] Never should we think that we as individuals are insignificant or powerless to support the reparative process. By acknowledging our collective guilt, by taking up the task as individuals to address consciously the challenges of racism and, on both the individual and collective levels, by wising up to our assumption of white superiority,[81] by refusing to condone white supremacy, by thinking being rich makes one superior, and by overcoming our complacency in the face of systemic racism and the structural violence it implies, we might lessen the severity of karmic payback. This agenda is neither simple, easy nor comfortable, as it requires all of us to work actively to guarantee equality, social and economic justice, and equal opportunity in a polity of true political democracy (rather than the defective gerrymandered, voter-suppression system we endure now).[82] This is our most difficult, as well as our most important challenge.

Multiple African Americans have given us specific ways we can undertake the reparative process, e.g. Emma Goldberg offers some basics, like recognizing the moral obligation we have as a nation, and then to educate ourselves and others to create consensus about making reparations.[83] Creating consensus involves discussions, and Madeline Halpert offers guidelines for talking about race: have realistic expectations about discussing race with others (i.e. it may not be possible to change minds); practice active listening (listening to understand, not just to respond); take a break if necessary (to lessen emotional intensity), set boundaries (limits around language, with certain words off limits), avoid social media for serious conversations; use the “three F strategy” as you remember your own evolution (“felt, found and feel”), and work together to unlearn racism.[84]

While the concept of reparations means “money” for many people, a “nationwide poll conducted last year found that… a majority of black Americans…think of the proposal [for reparations] as less helpful than other progressive policies such as a higher minimum wage and stronger anti-discrimination laws.”[85]

Byron Allen, an African American entrepreneur, lists 9 reparative actions: create partnerships between Blacks and Whites; reform the police on federal, state and local levels; reform the justice system, ending mass incarceration; reform education at all levels, with higher education free and available for all Americans; reform our economic system so Blacks have equal access to capital; reform the health care system; end environmental racism (in which so many African-American communities live in toxic environments); create more jobs, internships and mentorships for Blacks; undertake reparations by acknowledging, apologizing and compensating African-Americans for the enslavement of their ancestors.[86]

Omar Johnson, founder of Opus United, offers business leaders a variety of reparative actions they can take: stop profiting off Black culture and Black consumers; listen to your Black employees; dig into the data on Black employment; nurture Black talent; benefit from Black experiences, relationships, perspectives, insights and ideas; recognize that racism constitutes a social justice problem, an equal opportunity problem, and a business problem; hire more Black people by redoubling efforts to identify, recruit, attract, develop and elevate Black talent; fund educational institutions that champion Black students and their futures; help Blacks climb the ladder; turn over power and authority to rising Black leaders; set goals and put incentives in place, then measure them relentlessly; stop committing microaggressions; recognize obligations to the communities; support Black organizations; invest in Black-owned businesses; create a cycle of Black opportunity and prosperity; help shore up our democracy: mobilize voters; hold politicians accountable; take action; be open to change.[87]

Other excellent sources for what we can do to address this challenge are provided by Ijeoma Oluo (2018), Robin Diangelo (2018), Deray McKesson (2018) and Jesmyn Ward (2016).

~to share these facts and their implications with others, so more and more Americans wake up, wise up, and get motivated to overturn the myriad evil manifestations of racism in our society.

Conclusion

The United States of America is now facing one of the most difficult challenges it has ever faced. This Herculean task will require “all hands on deck”–hands that are reasonable, conscientious, responsible, determined, well-informed and committed to creating a safe, equitable, just and democratic country for all people. Students ask me “Will we succeed? Will we meet this challenge?” I find myself resonating as Jung did when he reflected on the challenge of facing, integrating and handling collective guilt: He asked

“But how many people are either reasonable or conscientious, and how many take the trouble to become so? I am not very optimistic in this respect.”[88]

Neither am I, especially given the fact that the cultural bias of America is ESTJ (Extravert Sensate Thinking Judging types), a type not much given to introspection, deliberation and empathy. Like Alice as she wandered through Wonderland, I think our future will get “curiouser and curiouser.” But this should not dissuade us from taking up the suggestions many people, whites and African Americans, are offering us now.

Sue Mehrtens is the author of this and all the other blog essays on this site. The opinions expressed in these essays are her own and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of other Jungian Center faculty or Board members.  Honesty, as well as professional courtesy, require that you give proper attribution to the author if you post this essay elsewhere.

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[1] Collected Works 9ii ¶339 note 131. Hereafter Collected Works will be abbreviated CW.

[2] CW 14 ¶203.

[3] CW 10 ¶405.

[4] CW 12 ¶36.

[5] CW 18 ¶93.

[6] Ibid. ¶1097.

[7] Barborka (1972), 37.

[8] Fischer-Schreiber (1991), 112.

[9] Ibid.

[10] Gal. 6:7.

[11] World Book Encyclopedia Dictionary, I, 882.

[12] CW 14 ¶203.

[13] Ibid.

[14] Ibid.

[15] CW 10 ¶s 400-443.

[16] Ibid. ¶400.

[17] Ibid. ¶403.

[18] E.g. the German existentialist philosopher Karl Jaspers; see Jaspers (1947) for a thoughtful and incisive examination of German guilt.

[19] CW 10 ¶403.

[20] Ibid.

[21] E.g. the beheading of a 14-year-old girl in Iran by her father in May 2020; her crime? She had a boyfriend whom her father felt would dishonor the family; Fassihi (2020), 15.

[22] CW 10 ¶404.

[23] Ibid.

[24] Ibid. ¶405.

[25] Ibid.

[26] Ibid. ¶407.

[27] Ibid.

[28] CW 11 ¶757. For more on Jung’s concept of the reality of the psyche, see the essay “The Psyche is Real” archived on this blog site.

[29] CW 10 ¶408.

[30] Ibid.

[31] E.g. Tony McDade, Dion Johnson, Fred Hampton, Ahmaud Arbery, Trayvon Martin, Freddie Gray, Eric Garner, Kevin Hicks, Sean Bell, Philando Castile, Sandra Bland, Oscar Grant, George Floyd; Allen (2020b), 28-29.

[32] For more on structural violence, see Galtung (1969); for how racism is systemic, see Kerans (1974).

[33] Gordon-Reed (2018).

[34] Lepore (2018), 19.

[35] Ibid., 20.

[36] Ibid., 24.

[37] In 1619; ibid., 38.

[38] Ibid., 45.

[39] These are bogus arguments because they are false: Religion permeated Native life, including their art, their rituals and their relationship to the land; the Iroquois government was an inspiration to Benjamin Franklin; and the Cherokee Sequoyah developed a syllabary, a written form of the Cherokee language. Cf. Lepore (2018), 66, 214; Brown (1982) and Deloria (1994) describe Native religion in depth.

[40] Lepore (2018), 215.

[41] Ibid., 337.

[42] Waldman (2000), 218.

[43] Lepore (2018), 269.

[44] Ibid., 359.

[45] Ibid., 328.

[46] Ibid., 329.

[47] Gates (2019), 7-8. Gates provides an excellent account of Reconstruction and its aftermath, the rise of Jim Crow.

[48] For descriptions of 11 ways voting is suppressed in the United States, see Carnegie Corporation (2019).

[49] When the 1870 election was contested by Republicans, an electoral commission “brokered a nefarious compromise” in which the Democratic winner of the popular vote, Samuel Tilden, conceded in return for which the Republicans pulled out of the South, thus ending Reconstruction and giving Rutherford Hayes the epithet “Rutherfraud.” Lepore (2018), 329.

[50] Ibid.

[51] Ibid., 324.

[52] Ibid. 326-7. 355.

[53] For an immensely readable Pulitzer-Prize winning account of the Great Migration, see Wilkerson (2010).

[54] Lepore (2018), 458.

[55] Ibid., 531-532.

[56] Ibid., 531.

[57] Ibid., 541.

[58] E.g. the Economic Opportunity Act, the Food Stamp Act, the Voting Rights Act, and the Civil Rights Act.

[59] Lepore (2018), 639.

[60] Ibid., 667.

[61] Ibid., 577-82.

[62] Ibid., 673-4.

[63] Ibid., 726.

[64] Ibid.

[65] Ibid.,

[66] Ibid., 727.

[67] Caron (2017).

[68] CW 10 ¶409.

[69] CW 12 ¶152.

[70] CW 10 ¶410.

[71] For an in-depth discussion of white fragility–what it means and how it manifests–see Diangelo (2018).

[72] CW 10 ¶410.

[73] Ibid. ¶411.

[74] Ibid. ¶440.

[75] Ibid.

[76] See Eli Saslow ‘s account of Derek Black’s transformation for insight on the white supremacist movement. Saslow (2018).

[77] Lepore (2018), 43. The flip side of the idea of our exceptionalism is that we have a very dark collective shadow.

[78] Sakoian & Acker (1973), 224.

[79] CW 18 ¶1097.

[80] Ibid.

[81] Deray McKesson describes how as a child he wised up to this assumption; McKesson (2018), 83-90.

[82] Klein (2020), 241, 254 & 258.

[83] Goldberg (2020) ST10.

[84] Halpert (2020), D5

[85] Goldberg (2020), ST10.

[86] Allen (2020a), 8-9.

[87] Johnson (2020), 7.

[88] CW 10 ¶405.