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Double Victimization

2006-04-30

In the previous essay, we mentioned about parents bringing their children to nursing homes, taking photos, but not participating in interacting with the residents at all.

First, they surely know that visiting nursing homes and giving care to elderly citizens is a compassionate act. That was primarily why they were willing to bring their children to the visit. Yet, they stood aloof as spectators.

Some of the parents gradually and eventually have indeed become more involved in the visit. They may start interacting with the residents, taking part in the coordinating work, or doing other types of compassion works.

Some, however, have not changed their spectator status from the beginning till the end.

For the latter case, we can list some possible reasons we can think of, such as (1) They think that driving their children for the visit, and giving up their precious weekends is already a big deal. There is no capacity/need for them to do beyond that. (2) They feel inadequate or uncomfortable interacting with the elderly. And (3) Their minds are so engrossed in the entertainment provided by the children that they forgot to do anything else.

Whatever the reason, their standing aloof did not affect others in a negative way. Not being nice is not equivalent to being bad.

Crimes committed by murderers, robbers, thieves, rapists, and embezzlers will greatly affect others. But such cases are too obvious, hence not worth our discussions here. Besides, since these cases are too obvious, police and judges will go after these criminals. Often some justice can be done. Finally, the number of the victims is usually small, too.

In my opinion, the worse cases are those that are protected by laws or by the culture. Unethical acts protected by laws/culuture are sometimes worse than tigers’ biting.

Victimization is massive and doubled. Why is it “massive”? Because it reaches the masses. Why is it “doubled”? Because even when our behaviors are good and correct, they are judged to be bad and wrong under the unjust laws. Positive becomes negative. That is why the victimization is doubled.

Or shall we look at this "doubleness" this way: if we are mugged by a robber, we are victimized once. But if the robber is protected by crooked laws, then we are victimized twice.

Ms. Rosa Park sat on a seat in the front area inside a bus in 1950s. Her behavior was absolutely correct. But the law then required that she sit in the rear area. She resisted, and was sent to jail. She was doubly victimized.

I have been in the academia since 1978, and have personally observed and experienced unjust acts protected by unjust laws. Once we open the can, countless worms will crawl out. Fortunately, they are not real worms, and should not affect the taste of your tea. Sit and relax for the following few tea essays to come.

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