|Situation Desperate But Not Serious
||[Mar. 8th, 2017|11:52 am]
Does Trump- with his assertions that his office's communications were hacked in the closing stages of the presidential campaign- realise he actually won the election- and isn't still running against Obama? Is all the noise he's making just the way he is or a cunning strategy to confuse and bedazzle his enemies (which at this stage of the proceedings means just about everybody in the world apart from his inner circle).|
Following the revelations from Tuam I find myself wondering (as I often have before) why the Catholic Church doesn't just crawl away into a corner and die of shame- but then I remind myself that power elites just don't do that- not ever, nohow.
The bigger the organisation the more widely the responsibility is spread- and the easier it is for the cogs in the machine to say, "We were just obeying orders, we didn't have the full picture, we didn't really know what was going on, we were just pushing paper around...."
Somebody knew, though, and at the end of the day the responsibility lies with the organisation as a whole. Both for the Catholic Church and the Irish authorities.
But of course there was a previous discovery at Tuam that led to absolutely no recognition of responsibility, so I am under no illusion that this will be different.
(In that respect, Tuam mimics the way Britain is handling their legacy of empire and the way Denmark is handling our slave-trading past; the former Danish West Indies islands have actually donated a sculpture commemorating that past to the State of Denmark, but it's in storage because "we don't know where to put it" or some other inane excuse. I think we all need to take a leaf out of Germany's book on how to handle past guilt, really.)
Germany had its feet held to the fire. That hasn't happened to other European states.
Have you been following events in Bristol where there are moves afoot to expunge the memory of the slave trader Edward Colston whose name and memorials are all over the city?
Still, they managed well on the whole, I'd say.
And no, I haven't been following the Colston thing, though I've been unable to avoid the Rhodes issue in many academic institutions.
I generally like explorations of communal memory. Berlin has some wonderful museums with that focus.
There's a balance to be struck between memory and denial. Rhodes and Colston are historical facts; we may not want to celebrate them but it would be irresponsible to wipe them from the record.