Language learning Truth, Reconciliation, and Reparations: a short history

A very short recap, since I posted a similar article recently:

We came, we spoke, we suffered.

Languages shape the ways that we think.  Grammar places action, object, and subject of a sentence, the articles and forms of negation differently in every language.   Languages accustom us to listening for different inflections, so learning more than one family of languages teaches us that communication involves more than just words, it involves gestures. Some gestures, like tilting the head, are physical, and other gestures, like opening the hand, are both physical and spiritual. The spiritual gesture being made by one city hearkens back to the language of the Bible: Patach, tiftach… Open, you shall open (your hand)…

Ashville, NC, has voted to make a start toward reparations for slavery…

In the Abrahamic cultures of the western world, the entire basis of justice is contained in these reiterated verses of a book seen as foundational to many, and used as the basis of conversation between many people in the western world. These verses, the open hand always followed by the release from debt and servitude, say in the richest and plainest of language, that slaves are to be released not empty-handed, after seven years, but with sustenance. Now, one city is looking at how these values were overlooked for far longer than that. This gesture may not go far enough, but it is a very promising start, in terms of the needed assumption of responsibility for the systemic issues which continue to plague the Black community of the USA for the many years since “slavery ended” on paper, but not in fact. May this step stir other cities, states, and nations to continue this process, and move all of us toward learning the languages of Mutual Respect, Truth, and Reconciliation.

Action Items:

1.)   Read and share a book on why the Black Community is still “The last hired and first fired.”

2.)   Read and share the statistics on generational wealth comparisons between Black and White communities in the US.

Let’s #EndPoverty , #EndHomelessness, & #EndMoneyBail starting by improving these four parts of our good #PublicDomainInfrastructure 4:
1. #libraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write, Ranked Choice Voting and Housing for ALL!!!!, Walk !

#PublicDomainInfrastructure #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19

August, 12020 HE

11 thoughts on “Language learning Truth, Reconciliation, and Reparations: a short history

  1. Enjoyed reading this post. You are right – language is so powerful and has many expressions. It is also very different, depending on where you are. I am definitely experiencing this as I am trying to learn German, too. Haha!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, and thank you for reading and commenting on my post: I’m very glad you enjoyed it. I’ve mostly enjoyed learning the languages that I’ve had to learn, but German was not one of them (ok, neither was French, but it was so amusing seeing reactions to my quick uptake that that really helped)! 🙂 Immersion and necessity certainly lend motivation and facilitate learning, but I never realized just how differently various language families frame everything, almost as much as different calendars, so I find them fascinating.


    2. How’s your German coming along? My Turkish is nearly making me cry! I can get the gist of a TV show, but to understand it clearly, I still have to stop every 10 minutes to look up words, and that’s using the Closed Captions so that I can see the words!


        1. Chin up, No tears! 🙂 I’ve just found a Turkish kids book (written by an Azeri, actually!), and I find that kids books are an easy way to start reading native language written stories, and that often helps. Keep at it! Have a good weekend,


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