I became aware of Rodney King being assaulted by officers when I was reading Chapter 3 of the book, Forgiveness Is a Choice. I had no idea that a person’s wrath could have such a profound impact on an entire community and subsequent generations. How can a generation get past the stigma associated with unhealthy venting?

Community forgiveness is a relatively new issue that has profound implications for the peace movement.  It is possible for people within an entire community to see the impact of continued rage and, together, decide to forgive the other community.  This, in theory, should have the effect of lowering the anger-temperature within and between communities as people decide to offer forgiveness to those on “the other side.”  Here are two references to the idea of community (or group) forgiveness:

Enright, R.D., Lee, Y.R., Hirshberg, M.J., Litts, B.K., Schirmer, E.B., Irwin, A.J., Klatt, J., Hunt, J., & Song, J.Y. (2016).  Examining group forgiveness: Conceptual and empirical issues.  Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology, 22, 153-162. DOI: http://dx.doi.org.ezproxy.library.wisc.edu/10.1037/pac0000153

Enright, R.D., Johnson, J., Fu, N., Erzar, T., Hirshberg, M., Huang, T., Klatt, J., Lee, D., Boateng, B., Boggs, P., Hsiao, T.-E., Olson, C., Shu, M.L., Song, J., Wu, P., & Zhang, B. (2020).  Measuring intergroup forgiveness: The Enright Group Forgiveness Inventory. Peace and Conflict Studies, 27,1-29.

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