Lance Scranton: What would you do?
I’ve often wondered what I would do if someone leveled a charge against me that wasn’t true, but I couldn’t prove it, because I knew nothing about it, and having no memory of something that didn’t happen would make it impossible for me to defend myself. I guess I would be between the proverbial rock and a hard place.
We all agree that, if something terrible happens to someone, that justice should be served. We also should agree that people who live lives free of any indications of impropriety should be given some benefit of their reputation. We tell kids all the time that their reputation is important, because it is a reflection of their character. We work hard to help people around us preserve their integrity by doing what we can to guide and direct them away from the paths that might lead to poor choices.
But in a world gone mad with victimization and shaming, it is almost impossible to gain any kind of just outcome for victims or their perpetrators. We live in a culture that is risk averse to any kind of appearance of supporting anyone who has been accused of something we find socially reprehensible. We try our best to keep our distance from anyone who has been deemed “questionable” by accusations or charges.
On the other hand, when someone is accused of doing something for which they should know better, political correctness goes into overtime doing what it can to protect the wrongdoer from being unfairly treated before he or she can be identified by one of the myriad of psychological issues that plague those who make poor decisions.
It’s a confusing time we live in when the accused and accuser are, at the same time, victims of something beyond their control. The accuser is denied justice, because the accused suffers from some type of disorder that makes the entire incident beyond the control of the accused. Depending on the situation, the accuser is made to feel as though he or she is guilty of something over which he or she had no control and were guilty of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The accused is portrayed as the poor victim of some burdensome condition that gave him or her no other recourse.
It’s not easy navigating through life these days, and I am hopeful that it gets a bit clearer for our children, or our world might just be in for some difficult times, and good people are going to get hurt along the way as the culture does its very best to sort through what’s good and what’s not good for our country and our people.
Lance Scranton is a teacher and coach at Moffat County High School.