No estoy seguro de si estoy de acuerdo con lo que dice, pero me gusta mucho su argumentación en contra de esa práctica curiosa: descendientes más o menos directos de los perpetradores se disculpan ante los descendientes más o menos directos de las víctimas por crímenes cometidos siglos atrás. Como bien dice, considerando la cantidad de crímenes cometidos podríamos simplemente acordar disculparnos por la historia.
I would never denigrate any civilized response of anyone for harm he may have done or misbehavior he may have engaged in. But apologies offered by people to their contemporaries for actions taken long before any of them were born strike me as vacuous and more than a little exhibitionistic. The events and practices eliciting apology are, in varying degrees, horrific, of course, but history is filled with others equally horrifying. Why should the pope apologize for the sacking of Constantinople but not for, say, the massacre of all the inhabitants of Jerusalem — Muslims, Jews, and even Eastern Christians — in 1009, when the city fell to the forces of the First Crusade? If the pope apologizes for the treatment of Galileo, what of the much crueler fate of Giordano Bruno or Cecco d’Ascoli, encyclopedist, scientist, and poet, burned at the stake in Florence in 1327, the fire fueled with the pages of his own books? Why should the French parlement stop with declaring post-15th-century slavery “a crime against humanity” but leave un-indicted the slavery that built the pyramids and the Parthenon and most of the other great edifices of antiquity? Or the slavery that supplied the manpower that propelled papal galleys around the Mediterranean throughout the Middle Ages and several centuries thereafter? Are not the million or more Europeans and Americans who, in the 17th and 18th centuries, were kidnapped and enslaved by the Barbary States of North Africa due an apology, too — from, say, Muammar al-Qaddafi or the king of Morocco? If the U.S. Congress starts apologizing to the Hawaiians for a treacherous regime change, what of the endless string of broken treaties with the Seminoles and the Cherokees and . . . well, with almost any tribe that managed to survive long enough for there to be a U.S. Congress to betray it? History, that is, offers so much to apologize for that the question is not where to start but where to stop. We could save time, energy, and the risk of invidious specificity by just apologizing for history itself.
(vía 3 quarks daily)