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Forgiveness is Overrated

By Caitlin Johnstone | 5 October 2018

MEDIUM — Journalist David Sirota has just published an excellent op-ed titled “America’s new aristocracy lives in an accountability-free zone”, which begins with the observation that “Enron executives were among the last politically connected criminals to face any serious consequences for institutionalized fraud.” Sirota goes on to remind readers how there was never any attempt by either mainstream political party to bring accountability to anyone responsible for monstrous offenses ranging from the disastrous invasion of Iraq to the ecocidal manipulations of fossil fuel plutocrats to the Wall Street plundering which led to the 2008 global financial crisis.

Sirota’s argument is solid: there is an aristocratic class which has successfully neutered all the institutional mechanisms which were meant to protect the powerless from the powerful. The government is bought and owned by the plutocrats and so is the media, as the continued forgiveness of unforgivable transgressions which those institutions have been bestowing upon the aristocracy clearly reflects. This means that the only thing left protecting the populace from the powerful is the populace itself.

A couple of years back I read a Shaun King article titled “Stop asking black victims of white violence if they forgive their victimizers”, about a bizarre trend in which the black survivors of police shootings and racially motivated terrorism were consistently finding themselves barraged with questions about forgiveness. King wrote about how “before her son, Philando, had even been buried, his body riddled with bullets from a Minnesota police officer, Valerie Castile was asked live on CNN if she forgave the man who shot him,” which is a truly demented thing to ask someone in such a situation. Why would a newscaster bring up forgiveness when a horrific injustice has just been inflicted and no measures of any kind have even been taken to rectify it? […]

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