Sunday, October 09, 2005

A Long, Long Time Ago...

A few hundred years ago, a travesty was committed. Foreign invaders swept across this land, raped women, engaged in brutality, germ warfare, and slaughter. They formed treaties, and then they violated those treaties just as soon as it suited them. It was a terrible, horrific time, and a stain in history.

As apalling as this event in history is, it is very important to remember something. This did not happen to anyone alive. It didn't happen to their parents, or their grandparents. It didn't happen to anyone that anyone living today knows. And yet some Aboriginals seem to be personally upset about the situation. To maintain a grudge centuries later doesn't make much sense to me.

Lets take a look at one of the invaders. A thousand years ago, foreign invaders swept across Britain. They raped their women, engaged in brutality, germ warfare, and slaughter. They took what they wanted, they killed those who stood up for their rights. It was a terrible, horrific time, and a stain in history.

A thousand or so years berfore that, foregin invaders swept across Britain. They raped, engaged in .... yadda, yadda, yadda.

Mankind has a long and bloody history of warfare. Countries invade other countries. Entire peoples are slaughtered. It doesn't do anyone any good to lay blame on the heads of people who were not involved. Should the British despise all Italians because the Romans invaded their country? Should they despise the French because of the Norman invasion?

So, there we have it: sometimes bad things happen. When, exactly, do we get over it? How long does it take for our society to move on. Should we be like the Serbians and Croations, despising and hating each other over something that happened thousands of years ago? Does that sound healthy?

I am not saying that we should all forget what happened.

My point is this: stop laying blame. It is not right - nor is it healthy - for an entire people to dislike another entire group of people for acts commited hundreds of years before their birth. If you are not the victim, then why should you feel like one?

Now, an apology: I understand that this is a deeply divided issue. There are many strong feelings and opinions on both sides of the debate. I respect those who disagree with me - and their opinions - even though I disagree with them. This post is not meant to insult or anger anyone. I just wanted to express my opinion and feelings on this matter, hopefully without alienating anyone.

Now, I ask an favour: please be calm. I invite and encourage (in fact, actively look forward to) comments on this issue. However, please do not respond in anger. If what I have said pisses you off, then please do me the favour of taking time to cool down before responding. I want to talk about this, but have no respect for flames or attacks.


Daxohol said...

I totally loved our conversation last night about all this. I have decided to do another posty on my blog about it. I hope I enlightened you a little last night ;-)

Jerry said...

I guess here's the question for me: what's the difference between blame and responsibility? I agree with you that there's a point where blame is pointless. The past is the past, and it should stay in the past -- otherwise, there would be no peace in the world. On, the other hand, I do share sympathy with daxohol, in that, if nothing else, we have to learn and remember the past so that what happened in the past doesn't happen again. So, somebody needs to take responsibility for certain things, so, we don't make the same mistakes twice.

It's a hard issue, especially when ideas of self-identity and pride and emotion come into play. (8-/