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Published on May 4th, 2011 | by Leonard Jackson


Not Guilty

Not GuiltyI’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.

About the Author

As I prepare my “reentry” into the e-world of blogging, I am advised that I should provide my prospective audience with a brief biographical résumé covering my life’s work and future aspirations so that I, and my work, can be properly categorized and thus judged in the proper venue. Since I will be joining a new group in just a few short months, it came to my attention that for a quick summary I can cover my life span in 20 year segments that pretty well sum up the route that I took to get to where I am today. In December, the Lord willing, I will become a member of that esteemed group known as Octogenarians. . Now that may be a disturbing, even scary, pigeonhole for some folks to find themselves assigned to, but I’m beginning to realize some real benefits from being maturity advantaged. The first 20 years I grew up, was educated and began my married life and my career. Second period was about 20 years in the cotton business in Memphis, TN. Trading this commodity in the world’s largest inland cotton market. Third period was spent in the municipal bond industry in Memphis, Houston TX Chicago and finally to my present home in Kansas City, MO. The fourth 20 years I served as a registered investment adviser to a number of individual clients which I continue to do in a semi-retired capacity. In addition to all this, over all these years, I have been blessed with a loving wife of sixty years, four children, four grandchildren, two great grandchildren, and a menagerie of grand horses, dogs, cats and a donkey. Providentially, none of these, except of course my patient wife, are still living in the family home. And now the fifth period will be consumed in my new career. For the first time in all the years I have an opportunity to share my opinions with the world. I can truly express my thoughts without regard to any extenuating conditions. I can just say how I feel about any subject. How liberating. Let the blogging begin!!!! By the way – what I do in the next period remains to be seen and depends on how well I do in the fifth period.

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