Published on May 4th, 2011 | by Leonard Jackson0
I’m getting tired of the accusatory assumptions some people insist on assigning to others in regard to past offenses and abuses that occurred years ago, especially in our nation’s history. We are routinely convicted for our “compliance” in the mistreatment of Native Americans, the slaves in the Civil War, the Mexicans in what is now Texas and all the other unfortunate mistreated groups of people who struggled to find their place in these United States. I refuse to be responsible for what my forefathers did and how they survived in a completely different time-setting many years ago. And if one more well-meaning “person of the cloth” gives me another guilt-provoking sermon about how terrible I treated all these people I’m going to remind him/her that, although some days I feel like it, I really wasn’t around when we were trying to establish this country or fighting one another to see who was going to govern it. In the words of Stalag 13’s Sergeant Schultz “I know nothing” about any of that behavior.
There seems to be an urgent need in some quarters to affix blame for any actions that have become politically incorrect by today’s standards with no regard or consideration for the circumstances in which these actions occurred. The first thought after any incident is who do we blame and what punishment is merited. It doesn’t really matter what the facts are, someone was the victim and someone else must pay. Those who were abused never seem to have done anything to cause this mistreatment and in most cases it’s probably true. But if we weren’t there we don’t know, do we?
Well I, for one, make enough bad choices in my daily life already. I really don’t need to add to this sizeable list any more things to be guilty for, especially things that happened long before I was around. Actually, this came up in conversation with some well-meaning, deeply caring, feel-your-pain type folks who are friends (sort of) who though reparation should be in order in some way for those people in our history who were mistreated. First, I might point out that my ancestry is Irish and, as I understand it, my forefathers weren’t exactly welcomed onto our shores with parades and open arms. Secondly, and most important, I can’t think of any reason that I should give anybody any thing because my forefathers were disrespectful to their forefathers. If those differences didn’t get settled when they were happening it’s much too late to deal with them now.
As for the charges brought against me, I plead Not-Guilty!! I didn’t do “nothing to nobody” and if I’m found guilty of anything it’ll be a cold day in that hot place they talk about before I pay the fine.
To all my anglophile friends I must apologize for all the ugly things I have said about our brothers across the sea and their preoccupation with the Royal Family. Well, now I understand. Quite by accident (and being a routinely early riser) I stumbled onto “The Wedding” last week and was mesmerized for most of the morning with the spectacle. That was something to see. If you ever want to know how royalty is supposed to honor a sacred ceremony you need to do everything just like the Brits did it. No detail was overlooked, I doubt every little boy in England looks like an angel, but if he’s going to be in the boy’s choir he has to. Not one creature, human or animal, missed a step or a cue, had a hair out of place or a spot of dirt anywhere and not one rite of protocol was missed. It was truly an extravaganza worthy of all the hoopla. It made be proud to be an Episcopalian.