what would it look like for our entire nation to repent for the sins of those who make decisions on our behalf?

i know, i know, you did not give your permission to the President to blow 150 Somalian people off of the face of the earth;

but what if you repented for it anyway?

what if instead of throwing your hands up and saying, "I didn't enslave anybody, I wasn't alive then"

you got on your knees, you tore your garments, you exposed your heart and repented with every ounce inside of you for the sins your ancestors committed, for the continued persecution of black life

what if instead of pretending like you're fine with the gender neutral bathrooms in your work place,

you repented for your use of derogatory transphobic slurs behind closed doors, for the way you turn your head when people openly harass trans people in front of you

what if you repented for looking at another creation of the Holy and not seeing them for the divine reflection that they are, for not seeing them as a person

what gaping fractures could repentance close?

what radical healing of trauma could occur if we repented for the impact of our words instead of clinging to what we intended

i do not want your empty, "I'm sorry you were hurt by what I said."

i want you to get down into the ditch with me, the ditch where the systems you benefit from have put me

pull me out of the ditch and turn away from the evil structures that make it so that you benefit over me

what if repentance meant more than 'sorry'?

what if, "I repent" was code for "I will rise up, I will overthrow the systemic evils of this world, no longer will I be complicit, no longer will I be silent, no longer will I whisper behind closed doors, no longer will I turn a blind eye, I will live life as though your liberation is bound up with mine, and I will not stop until we are all free."