Prima Facie

Throughout the history of mankind people in positions of power have occasionally wielded that power like a club to bludgeon favors out of those that they perceive to be their inferiors. Using one’s ability in such a way is never honorable, and it’s a real cowardly use of a lofty position. With great power comes great responsibility. It is not a responsibility to better one’s self at the expense of others but if you can, better yourself while improving the lives of those around you.

With that said, we seem to inhabit an environment where mere allegations of wrongdoing are enough to destroy a person’s reputation. Reputation is so much more than what others think of you; it affects a person’s long-term prospects of providing for themselves and their families. People tend to believe the worse in others without evidence merely because they recognize the same dark thoughts in themselves. Thoughts, however, have not yet become a crime, and evidence should be provided when allegations are so inflammatory that they can destroy a person’s life by the mere utterance of them.

I’m all in when it comes to prosecuting wrongdoing as long as it can be substantiated by more than words. When accusations become a fad, and everyone is doing it though it becomes highly suspect and as dark as our society has become it’s difficult to believe that all of them could be telling the truth. When the reputations of both men and women are destroyed by mere words, and it later comes out that many of the statements were fallacious, a real possibility of a backlash against the accusers exist. Such an outcome will make it harder for people with real complaints in the future from being heard. While it sheds light on a genuine problem in our world, the false accusations have a derogatory effect on making a lasting change. People are willing to believe the allegations against those they dislike or disagree with politically while ignoring the accusations against those they admire.

This type of tribalism actually trivializes the severity of the real accusations that undoubtedly exist that can be backed up by incontrovertible evidence. It forces people to pick a side based on group loyalty. Essentially people don’t care about the accusations so much as whom these statements might harm. They seek to use these allegations as a club to beat their political opponents over the head until they are silenced.

The point of today’s entry is to remind everyone to take a step back from time to time and take a deep breath and truly take stock of the veracity of these claims before we ruin the lives of people simply because we don’t like them. I’ve personally been accused of something I didn’t do very recently, and it was because someone didn’t like me. We love to believe the worst of our enemies whether these enemies be real or imagined.  There has always been a bogeyman for mankind to blame their woes. It is comforting to cast blame on some phantom which we have no control over. If we can throw stones at our adversaries, it allows us to postpone introspection and villainize those we hate. If people took the time to look inside themselves, they would have to face an uncomfortable truth. The truth that people would discover is that we are very much alike despite differences of opinion and we are all capable under differing circumstances of acts that would cause us to shame our fellow man, by shaming that phantom I spoke of earlier we can ignore how far short of perfection we fall.

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Author: James Borden

I'm a veteran of the U.S Army, with one deployment to Afghanistan. I will not pull punches in my articles and what you see is what you get.

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