By Britton Miller, YWA Ambassador at Liberty University
In June, the United Nations Human Rights Council published a report concerning the necessity of responding to the issue of racial injustice. Detailing a proposal to resolve such abuses of human rights, the report called for reparations on behalf of those affected by deliberate discrimination. As cultural institutions demand reparations and retribution on behalf of history, the widespread victims of injustice seem to endlessly increase in count. Whether some member of an individual’s family tree participated in the inexcusable horror of slavery or the relocation of indigenous people, the culture will, case by case, affirm the marred past of society’s oppressors and the necessity of reparations. Even those apparently blameless or significantly applauded by the media fall short of innocence: Vice President Kamala Harris’ Brahmin ancestors historically oppressed the Dalits, the lowest members of Indian society. According to this movement, the only fathomable way to right the scaring injustices of the past is to offer extravagant services and privileges to those wronged and, in doing so, deny self-respect in shame. The mantra reads: the debt incurred is unforgivable; yet, people must embrace responsibility and bear retribution. The present must be held accountable for the past. As this message gains traction, the stories of oppressed multitudes resurface, echoing the reminder that none are free from some history of oppression or innocent of association with injustice practices. All owe retribution. For a cause so progressive and emphatically collective, it rings of the core of human nature: None are without fault. The Truth is that the more society exposes the oppressed and identifies the oppressor, the more it will come to light that all are … fallen. Woven into the course of history is a simple fact written in the Book of Life, “There is no one righteous, not even one.” What nation, culture, or family escapes the train of oppression? Unearthed again by a societal agenda, the devastating predicament of all people looms in the light.
However, beyond the cry for reparations and retribution arises an answer. No human extravagant act of self-denial or honor could ever atone for the occurrences of injustice marked across time. People cannot wholly make right the past or place an adequate balm upon insurmountable wounds. When the weight of all of humanities’ atrocities is measured, no retribution suffices. Only, a perfect Deity could ever atone for all the sins of humanity, assuage the pain of the suffering, and clear the guilt incurred by society – and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
Even when the masses demand what some may deem an impossibility, the reality of humanity glimmers through their darkened mentality. Do we deserve retribution? Most definitely. Could human reparations ever satisfy the injustice of centuries? Only wishfully. Yet, the Just One bore our retribution and made reparations on our behalf through bodily absorbing oppression. And, we stood once again – the oppressors. Try as we might, all attempts at reparation will be insufficient and futile in atoning for humanity’s past. Even so, this anthem of atonement reveals a Truth society longs to forget … only the Lord Jesus Christ could ever rescue and redeem both the oppressor and the oppressed. A human rights council’s aim to resolve societal issues may originate from admirable intentions, but human reparations and retribution for some only reiterate the desperate need for reconciliation with the Father for all.
 United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner. (2021) Report: Agenda Towards Transformative Change for Racial Justice and Equality. <https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/G21/122/03/PDF/G2112203.pdf?OpenElement>
 Mason, Melanie and Shashank Bengal. (2019, October 25.) The Progressive Indian Grandfather who Inspired Kamala Harris. Retrieved August 5, 2021, from <https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2019-10-25/how-kamala-harris-indian-family-shaped-her-political-career>
 The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.