Brass Scales of Justice on a desk showing Depth-of-field books behind in the background

There is a situation playing out in Canada right now that has me both sad and alarmed.  I won’t go into details, since at present we have almost none of those, and they will come out soon enough.

I didn’t want to put my face in this fan, honestly, but as a writer with a (kind of) public profile, sometimes to remain silent is to seem complicit or condoning louder voices.  So, here goes…

This shouldn’t need saying, but apparently it does: Opposing a rush to judgment/lynch mob mentality before anyone even knows what the allegations against someone are, is not “silencing victims”; it is upholding justice.

Without due process any one of us could have our lives destroyed simply because someone lobs anonymous, veiled hints as to some as-yet-undisclosed wrongdoing. Imaginations run wild. Reputations are destroyed with the flick of a Twitter. People, in fact, have actually been lynched (in case you don’t recall the not-so-distant history).

Of course, if someone has committed a crime I also wish for justice and will stand in solidarity with victims. Actions rightly have consequences. But that’s not what I’m talking about here, is it? I’m talking about the abuse of social media and inappropriate poop-slinging.

I must also say I believe everyone has the possibility of redemption, which I suspect will also cause some folks to have apoplexy, but since I have experienced it, I am bound to extend it to others.

We are better than this. Let’s tamp down the drama and wait. More shall be revealed as and when it’s appropriate.

3 Comments

  1. Rebecca Morley on November 22, 2015 at 12:39 pm

    Dear Lauren, thank you for this post. I think I know the issue that prompted you to write this, and I share exactly the same sentiments. As you say, let’s not jump to a conclusion before we have the facts. Sincerely, Rebecca

  2. Jeff linden on November 22, 2015 at 1:33 pm

    All too often I see accusations gain momentum via social media in a premature manner. As you wisely say, let’s wait for the facts and then react. Thanks, Jeff

  3. Anne Witherspoon on November 23, 2015 at 7:30 am

    Lauren, Thank you for this excellent and timely essay. I have seen what can happen when unproven accusations are spread around. I think you’ve said what there is to say to enlighten those that may not understand. This quote frames the issue well: “Without due process any one of us could have our lives destroyed simply because someone lobs anonymous, veiled hints as to some as-yet-undisclosed wrongdoing. ”
    Kind regards, Anne

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