On a National Resolution of Atonement

The following letter was written by Robb Kushner, an Order of Interbeing Aspirant. Robb has given permission to post and share this very instructive and thoughtful statement.

~ Kenley


Letter to Sen. Cory Booker – On a National Resolution of Atonement
Jersey City, NJ 07302

14 August 2017

The Honorable Cory Booker
359 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senator Booker:

The tragic events in Charlottesville this past week have caused me to revisit a powerful idea: a National Resolution of Atonement – and I want to share this with you in the hopes that you may want to bring it up in Congress.

It is time for our country to officially atone for the twin atrocities of centuries of unconscionable subjugation of Native Americans – including stealing their lands – along with the tragic enslavement with ensuing subjugation of African Americans.

The Germans have atoned for their perpetration of The Holocaust. We as a nation desperately need to face up to these tragic elements of our past.

In atoning for these twin atrocities that have been an integral part of our history, we can send a message to the world and to all future generations that we are indeed fully dedicated to the immortal declaration that “all [people] are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

We are truly a nation of immigrants, and this has always been our key strength and point of uniqueness. We need to celebrate the diversity across our land that makes us such a blessed country.

In addition, by adopting this kind of national atonement, we will send a clear and unequivocal message that racism and bigotry will never be tolerated – in any manner – in our national dialogue, including public displays and assemblies.

I trust that you will give this idea the kind of serious consideration it deserves. And I hope to hear your thoughts in response.

With deep gratitude for your dedicated service to our state and country,
Robb Kushner

With copies to:
Sen. Bob Menendez
Sen. Bernie Sanders
Sen. Elizabeth Warren
Sen. Kamala Harris
Sen. Al Franken
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand
Sen. Chuck Schumer
Sen. Amy Klobuchar
Sen. Tammy Duckworth
Sen. Lisa Murkowski
Sen. Susan Collins
Sen. Claire McCaskill
Sen. Chris Van Hollen


In addition to the letter, the following practice statement from ARISE  (Awakening through Race, Intersectionality, and Social Equity) is very relevant to this topic.

GATHA FOR HEALING RACIAL, SYSTEMIC, AND SOCIAL INEQUITY: Aware of the suffering caused by racial, systemic, and social inequities, we commit ourselves, individually and as a community, to understanding the roots of these inequities, and to transforming this suffering into compassion, understanding and love in action. As a global community of practitioners, we are aware of the disproportionate racial violence and oppression committed by institutions and by individuals, whether consciously or unconsciously, against African Americans and people of color across the United States and beyond. We know that by looking deeply as individuals and as a community, we can engage the collective wisdom and energy of the Sangha to be our foundation for Right Thought, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Mindfulness, and Right Insight. These are the practices leading to nondiscrimination, non-harming, and non-self which heal ourselves and the world.

5 Replies to “On a National Resolution of Atonement”

  1. I think about these attrocities often in my meditation and when reciting the 5 and 14 mindfulness trainings. I believe a National Resolution of Atonement would change the views of many people. I wholeheartedly support this request. We’ll done Robb.

  2. Such a clear and firm statement. It is time that our country atone for the aggression that is the heart of building this country. As a person with Native American roots living at the intersection of many cultures I would personally feel a statement of atonement. I live in Oregon, I’m an O.I. Member. I will pass this powerful request on to our Oregon congressmen. Thank you for writing such a clear statement. Bowing deeply, Lucy McIver
    True Bodhi Garden

  3. Thank you for this message. It is very powerful. I will share it with our Sangha. I am appreciative that it was also sent to the other Senators listed. It is important that White people initiate this atonement–Native Americans or Indigenous peoples of the United States, and enslaved Black and African Americans have suffered the impact of colonization, white supremacy, and oppression. Senator Booker is African American AND he is the Representative for New Jersey, so I do understand reaching out to him if you are a NJ citizen. All of the Senators have a social and political responsibility to lead this atonement effort. I recently moved to Florida after living in New Jersey for 25 years. My husband and I are Sangha building in the South and is filled with wonderful opportunities to do so. Thank you Robb for initiating this call to action. Yvette Angelique. Violet Bamboo of the Source

  4. Just reading and being with the idea of the process of atonement gives me peace and hope for all of us 〰❤️
    Deep gratitude

  5. Roger Taney’s statue is coming down in Annapolis, MD. Several confederate leaders’ statues came down in Baltimore in the early morning hours. I think we are seeing a great opportunity to open our hearts further. It is time to atone and spread the peace work. Thank you so much for the beautiful letter and gatha.

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