“How do we make right what has been made wrong? How do we address the impact that racism and injustice have had across generations? We need to ask “Where does my personal story concretely intersect with the larger story of injustice, privilege…and racism?” In South Africa, the conversation has revolved around the word restitution; in both Canada and the United States, I’ve noticed the word reparations. I am using the words interchangeably to refer to the idea of making the world more right, including the transfer of wealth and social capital. Ultimately, restitution is about changing the structures that sustain injustice and seeking justice instead.
“Many beneficiaries of apartheid expect those who were oppressed under the old order to just move on as if the past had not happened,” says Michael Lapsley, the Anglican priest and social justice activist who lost both hands, an eye, and both eardrums in the anti-apartheid struggle. “Forgiveness and healing relationships involve making restitution for what has been stolen. “
From Recovering Racists: Dismantling White Supremacy and Reclaiming Our Humanity by Idelette McVicker