Just Me

Just Me
Look,I'm just sayin'

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Who is accountable ?

 It is something I have been thinking about and struggling with a way to say it. It seems as though we spend an inordinate amount of time looking to the past and regretting our mistakes. It is true that those that fail to learn from the past are doomed to repeat it. I wouldn't argue with that premise. The thing I struggle with is trying to correct the past. We can understand what was wrong, alter our attitudes and vow to never repeat those mistakes but that is all. This idea of reparations and atonement for the past is a rather baffling thing to me. What more can be done ? It is a source of aggravation and frustration. I am aggravated by the protests of the present and frustrated that nothing can be done.
 Yesterday I read an article about a man that had been captured in the Congo and placed on display in the Bronx zoo. Billed as the " missing " link he lived in a cage with monkeys for companions. He was in no way agreeable to this. He managed to obtain a gun at some point and committed suicide. I had never heard of this travesty. It glaringly represents the depths man will go to in search of a profit. This happened in 1915. How this was allowed in beyond my comprehension. It cannot be changed, it happened. That this man was a man of color is not lost in the story. This incident, but incident isn't a strong enough word to describe this, wasn't that far removed from the days of slavery in America. Fifty years isn't that long and the black man had yet to be recognized as equal to the whites. But this wasn't about racism, this was about profits. This man was nothing more than an attraction.
 That is just one of millions of stories about mans inhumanity to man. All races , creeds, and colors have been subjected to such treatment. In all periods of history this occurs. It is always for one thing, profit. The profit may be monetary or a personal gain in stature or prestige. All of these atrocities can not be undone. There is no way to erase them or make them right. We can only acknowledge the wrongdoing and move forward. To spend our energies " crying over spilled milk " is accomplishing nothing. In fact it is my opinion that more harm is done by creating an atmosphere of resentment. A meme I see quite often sums it up, no one living today is responsible for the actions of those in past generations. I am not responsible for what my great grandfather may have done. In fact I can only claim responsibility for my own actions.
 I think the question becomes one of, does injustice of the past give you a pass in the future ? That is, if I can show, in some fashion how my ancestors were wronged, that becomes my " ace in the hole ? " I can draw upon that past as a reserve ? Or is that past to be used as a crutch ? Does the past cripple us in the future ? I can see where one might get that perception. Once the injustice has been recognized, accountability assumed by the offending peoples and that injustice eliminated, shouldn't that be the end ? How long is that accountability to be validated ? How many times must the account be settled ?
 I am still struggling with this. Are we searching for excuses or solutions ? There are times when there is no excuse or solution. What do we do then ? Some things never change. Mans' inhumanity to man will continue into the future. That is the frustration. Picking at old wounds will not allow them to heal. I do live with the knowledge that it is easy to accept the past when that past wasn't yours. How much of the past do I own ? Only that portion I had control over is the answer. For all the rest I turn to my God or my government. I can turn to my God for forgiveness of my own transgressions and to the government to correct injustice. Injustice is allowed by government as it suits the society. Morality and ethics are personal concerns. Injustice should be the concern of all men. Is injustice the responsibility of government or of man ? Just who is accountable ?