There is this belief being pushed in different circles that the use of shaming achieves nothing of worth. Instead it dehumanizes the human spirit, further pushing that person into despair. I do not believe this to be the case when justice is involved. Justice as it pertains to the current society is a must. Whether that is thru the current court and judiciary system, or thru the eyes of those people who feel the need of recompense in non-traditional ways.
Currently people are on the side of the current trend of shaming, or against it and hoping for the courts. What is not mentioned strongly enough is that there truly exists frustrations in the public when it comes to our judiciary system. The current news of how 24 people have been convicted out of 1100 arrested at theG20 Summit Riots in Toronto is what frustrates people.
So while the one side sits frustrated and hoping that things get better, the other side has accepted that in our world of social-media public shaming occurs whether a webpage is made about it or not. One form of justice waits for the courts, while for some the recompense begins when shame has been laid. Once satisfied, that’s where consequences have been laid out, and the road to redemption begins.
This site exists to provide shaming, but it also exists to provide healing for our city, those injured, and even those who committed offense. The healing of our city shall take time as will those injured by this event. Angry emotions were being shared and vented at such a rate that at this time I had to limit comments to registered readers only. Those against shaming were also directly inciting and posting against the very frustrated people I mentioned earlier. Both sides of this mass of people were hindered in their ability to also begin healing by fighting amongst each other when only days earlier they were united in cheering for our beloved city, and team the Vancouver Canucks.
Is it too early for those injured to give up their anger? Time will tell as each of us is a different being and differing forms of injury had occurred. What will help I believe is for those who were caught, and were involved in some form of participation in the riots is to come forth and turn themselves in. Their photos are already out there and someone will know who they are. Also, for those who have felt the sting and spotlight of being made publicly shamed online, I believe that they can make amends.
Despite what everyone keeps saying (and even my own words at one point) now, it is only the person who was involved in the Vancouver riots that does absolutely nothing to repair the damage done thru restitution, community service, the judiciary system, and in general being a good productive citizen that will remain shunned and despised. Every other person who has come forward already such as Nathan and Camille the process for them has begun. Whether at this time while emotions are still running high people accept this as sincere that is another question. Forgiveness is in our nature, so long as there is a perceived correction of what they had done wrong, and it is sincere in our eyes.
How this relates to my site (and certainly anyone else currently featured on it or in the future) is that while it is a tool for public shaming, it must end at redemption for those who seek it. This is what makes us Canadian. Now, I must reiterate this isn’t about Captain Vancouver going soft. I still believe that there will be amongst those photos, people who actually couldn’t care less if their picture and name was plastered on billboards on the streets.
So while some have this fear that if they’re featured on this site, they will be forever carrying that dreaded scarlet letter, they should also know that there also exists its unmentioned redemptive side. Redemption that acknowledges any news, apologies, and stories of the positive things they are doing will be noted. So while I have mentioned before that an employer can google someone’s name and consequences may occur, that will happen whether my site exists or not. Anonymity and digital foot prints ended when sites like Facebook became live. With that scenario, it is imperative that justice and redemption for all have a chance to occur. Should I then have positive information in the future to come from people like Nathan and Camille, I am duty bound to help in the fulfillment of what is just and fair
I am reminded of the hiring policies which are well-known for our policing forces. Even amongst these men and women, there exists those who at some point in their lives committed chargeable offenses. Now it can be debated whether we hire only pure saints to be police officers, but we all know that won’t happen. How they hire those with past indiscretions is they view their personal records and resumes, check references as they interview their family, friends, co-workers etc. At that point if everything checks clear, that person goes thru the process to become a police officer. I see no difference here for those who were once shamed, that they can regain their reputations.
Does this mean I must remove them from the site? At this point I don’t think it will serve good purpose for the digital imprint for everyone outed and named is far larger than the few I have on my site. This is where news media and bloggers should fact check and report that those 1,000,000 photos floating around are on other sites not my own and what they do is completely different from what is the purpose of my blog. By keeping them on this site, this blog then serves a greater purpose and chance at showcasing their redemption. Instead of a google search sending someone to photos only depicting the negative aspects of the historical online record, they will be sent here instead.
What about everyone else? There are many more photos that can be posted on the site and they will be at some point as they are properly assessed to make sure I do not make a mistake. If those who participated and are featured never come forward, or never make an apology to be added alongside to their name, that will be online for anyone to see in the future. If you were at the riots and know your photo is being circulated but feel secure that “nothing in the courts” will happen to you, remember that at some point it may end up here.
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