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Monday, October 09, 2017

Society's Scapegoats

I want society to think about the way that they scapegoat people--the public shaming that occurs is problematic, but not necessarily negative. I'm on the fence about this.

When people are caught after years of wrongdoing, I find myself both angry and empathetic. The empathy comes from a part of me that wonders if the people really knew that what they did was wrong. Did they get swept along with a popular culture without thought or consideration of the dire consequences and impact their acts had? Should they be punished for what they did then with what we know now?

Yet, on the other hand, in some of these situations, I wonder how they could have fooled themselves into thinking that indignant and, at times, the inhuman ways they acted could ever have been right or good. Does one individual ever have the right to hurt, demean, disrespect, or degrade another?

No one would ever want to be the scapegoat for an act that was once acceptable, but now is seen to be detrimental or evil. Scapegoating is a painful and hurtful process.

I'm thinking of this as society becomes better and we understand the acts of the past that were painful, debilitating, and altogether wrong, and incriminate those who took it upon themselves to forward those acts.  What do you think?