Member Rara Avis
Want to hear a nice little paradox?
Nations are comprised of people, and people make mistakes. Sometimes, very horrible mistakes. Yet, you cannot, in the name of justice, judge people based on the mistakes of a nation.
I walked the paths of Vietnam, but never entered the small village of My Lai. I voted for the man who sent to me to that grim country, but I never started that war nor any war since. I carried a rifle, but never shot a student at Kent State. I am wholly and fully responsible for my own actions, my own decisions, even my own lack of actions at times. But please don't think to punish me for the mistakes of others - because God knows I've made enough of my own.
I fully believe people need to be held accountable for their own actions. I believe it so strongly it has cost me friendships and familial ties. But, while responsibility isn't always cast in shades of black and white, to punish someone simply because they were born in a country, or of a certain ethnic origin, or because they speak a specific language, is as far removed from any viable definition of "justice" as anything I can remotely imagine. A child, angered on the playground and unable to reach the object of their torment, will often lash out at anyone they can reach. Let us agree, as adults, to forego those childish ways.
America has made mistakes because Americans have made mistakes. Very specific, usually very identifiable Americans. Were those who died this past Tuesday guilty by association? Did they deserve their fate because others of their country transgressed? Of course not, and only a child on the playground would argue otherwise.
But, you know, that works both ways, my friends.
There is a thread in the Dark forum right now, Tragedy in the U.S., where a few heated responses are in danger of crossing the same line. There are very specific, and we hope very identifiable people responsible for this terrorism. If they are being given refuge somewhere, that refuge is being offered by very specific and definitely identifiable people. Let's not make the mistake of lashing out at a nation, or a religious group, or an ethnic population simply because we are righteously angered. Innocent people have already suffered. If more innocents suffer in the future, as sadly may happen, let it not be because we were childish and wanted them to pay for the sins of others.
Reserve your wrath for the few who so deserve it, and refuse to condemn others through association or residency. Else we will be no better than those we hunt, and no different than the misguided author of this poem.