Letters to the Editor

Joe Elinoff: Confess and heal

Regarding the Dec. 17 column “ Targeting America itself”: J. Peder Zane apparently does not know the saying “confession is good for the soul.” It is not only good for the soul but helps assure the “confessed” behavior does not occur again in the future.

The German people have, to their credit, admitted to their terrible crimes before and during the World War II and have taught about the Holocaust in their schools. German society is much the better today for having done that. Austria and other European states that participated in the torture and killing of Jews, Gypsies and others have not been nearly as honest. Nor have the Japanese. Those countries would be better today if they had faced their past.

While Americans should be proud of the ideals we were founded on, and the strong democracy we created, we also need to admit when we fail in practice to live up to those ideals. From slavery, the slaughter of Native Americans and Jim Crow to the support for repressive dictatorships, Vietnam and the second Iraq wars, we have come up short when judged in relation to our ideals. Sexual assault, police killing black young men and torture are all very serious issues; they can hardly be exaggerated.

It is to our credit and advantage to bring these matters out in the open, discuss them and try to solve the problems.

Joe Elinoff