Friday, May 04, 2007

Getting Real with History

Michael Breen has harsh criticism for a panel that recently ruled to confiscate the land of former pro-Japanese collaborators and give the proceeds to the families of independence activists. It's kind of funny that this morning I was thinking about writing something on the ridiculous lengths that certain factions in Korea seem to be willing to go to seek 'reparations' for the atrocities committed by Japan during its colonial rule. I think it was because the Queen of England was visiting the US and I heard a teaser on CNN as I was getting ready, "Will the Queen apologize for the wrongs during the Colonial period?"
And I thought to myself, "GOD!! I hope not."
That is not to be insensitive to the past atrocities done all over the world in the name of colonization, war, military expansion but give me a break and take a "Sliding Doors" hypothetical look at what could have happened if things had been different. What kind of America (or World for that matter) would there be if the British had not been so tyrannical? What if they actually respected the rights and wishes of the countries they colonized? What if they didn't commit all those atrocities?

What happened, happened. It sucked at the time and for a long time after the grieving, weeping and gnashing of teeth continued but that's done now. Get over it, move on and stop trying to punish people who have no business being punished. Just because my great great grandfather did something bad does not mean that I have any responsibility for it. Somewhere in my distant genealogy (so I'm told), Jesse James went around the U.S. west shooting up the place. But I'm also told that there are a few U.S. Lawmakers and Scottish Royalty that fall into the same distant place in my ancestry. And much as I would like to, I cannot make any claim to their wealth or notoriety. Nor would I expect to receive any punishment for their crimes.

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