Creating a Common Memory: An Evening with Mark Charles

I didn’t know exactly what I was getting into tonight. To be honest, I didn’t know much about Mark Charles or his work. I knew I wanted to support the Journey Center and my friend Mindy Braun, who organized this event. But as I sit in my car in the parking lot, I can’t even drive yet. My head is spinning.

Our nation has an evil history of white supremacy, genocide, sexism and ethnic cleansing all in the name of Christendom.

We have won our wars, so we have written our American mythology. And it is bullshit. The truth, the history is brutal. And we are as guilty of horrific atrocities as the totalitarian regimes we are taught to demonize. 

Something has to change. First we have to agree - all of us - that this is the truth. That this is our common history. 

“Where common memory is lacking, where people do not share in the same past, there can be no real community. Where community is to be formed, common memory must be created.” - Georges Erasmus, co-chair of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (Canada).

“The United States needs a national dialogue on race, gender and class, a conversation on par with the Truth and Reconciliation Commissions in South Africa, Rwanda and Canada.” - Mark Charles 

Grateful for this powerful, deeply troubling talk by an important Native American Christian prophet. Grateful for the (unlikely?) partnership between Journey CenterInterfaith Council of Sonoma County, and SRJC Intervarsity that brought it to us. And may God give us courage to stand for righteousness in these troubling times.

Follow Mark at instagram.com/wirelesshogan and twitter.com/wirelesshogan or on Facebook at facebook.com/markcharleswirelesshogan.