Does Ostracizing People Contradict Our Stand For Equality?
I stand for equality for all people…. and… I have an honest, and respectful intention as I ask the following question:
Are we telling society that people never change? By casting people aside based on their actions (regardless of what they were or how severe)…. are we telling people that they will always be the worst they have ever been in life?
Please tell me if you see whats happening all around us – people are being judged for many things they did in the past.
Listen – I understand how wrong some of the actions were….. based on today’s viewpoint. Kevin Hart said some really awful things…. Democratic Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam was wrong to post in that photo…. and don’t get me started on some of the other stories of things people have done in the past.
I was wrong to play Cowboys and Indians when I was young. You may laugh at my correlation to what I did as a child…. but if my daughter said she was going to play Cowboys and Indians I would educate her immediately on how wrong that is. The difference is – she is growing up today, with today’s viewpoint. I grew up in the 80’s where very different viewpoints existed. At the time, stores will filled with Cowboy costumes…. and of course we were allowed to play with plastic guns…. back then they were everywhere…. and it was on TV.
Times have changed…. and so has my perspective. To think that I participated in those games is wrong… but back then we didn’t know what we know today. Society has changed.
From where I stand, people absolutely do change. We have to, it’s how we grow! We do things at times not knowing what the context will be in the future……
I am not supporting the content or the individual in some of the many stories we are hearing…. many people have done many stupid things years ago – I am however asking an honest question – If we as a society don’t believe people can change. If we don’t allow people to change….. then where will some of our youth be tomorrow? Where will some of us be tomorrow?
Concepts like ignorance or peer pressure are valid reasons for poor judgement. And listen, we don’t know if these reasons would be honestly true or not…. but we are turning our backs on a lot of people for a lot of reasons…. people we don’t know… people who we judge based on whoever is yelling loud enough or calling for their resignation….. to be clear… I get that calling on resignations is causing change! And the change is good….. we are advancing as a society and I believe we must come closer together, with greater respect for everyone…. I believe fundamentally in equal opportunity… for all…. regardless of who you are or what you choose…. we are all equal.
I can’t help but ask…. I can’t help but wonder… have we become too quick to judge…. and how do we allow society to expand and enhance? How do we allow our past to be cleaned up and to achieve a place of true equality…?
For there is a contradiction in equality…. right now I see how equality only exists for people who believe in it and who have demonstrated it their entire life…. even before they understood it and stood for it.
I wish we could go back and change some of the worst moments in our history…. we can’t. What we can do is learn from them and move forward together…. not everyone will change at the same pace…. some may never change….. but we must consider that the change we are making today will impact our children. So if we stand for equality then we must stand for equality for all….. and we must find a way to allow people to thrive after making poor choices…. or doing really stupid things… we must allow the people who have made poor choices in the past to choose and demonstrate equality today! Otherwise, the equality movement will be built on judgement, built on the ostracization of some…. and do we see the hypocrisy in that? How do we allow people to demonstrate equality…. when in their past they haven’t.
If we don’t believe people will change…. if we don’t allow them to….. then where does that leave everyone that’s ever been deeply hurt, scared or in trouble…. and did something at the time that was….. wrong. We just don’t know what context we will have as a society 20 years from now.
We have a lot of cleaning up to do as a society….. I just hope that as we clean up…. we don’t create new problems that we look back on.
I want to believe people can, and do change. I don’t always like some of what I’ve done or who I’ve been in the past….. and I believe I have learned and expanded who I am as a result… my past has made me who I am…. and your past has made you who you are.
I’m not asking we forgive, forget, or even accept what people have done in the past – I am only asking that we not assume people are the the worst choices they have ever made… I am asking that we not cast people aside without seeing if by chance… just maybe they have changed.
So. Can people change? And how would they prove they have?