Tuesday, August 29, 2006
The Quick-to-judge Filipino Versus the Innocent-till-proven-guilty American
Whoa! The first news I read today headlines "Prosecutors drop case against Jon Benet Suspect" on Yahoo. This is a shocker, as everyone thought that justice for Jon Benet and the family has been served at long last. They thought that they had the killer of this innocent little girl, and the parents, who were thought to be suspects, were exonerated.
Not so. Even the John Mark Karr's insistence claim that he was the culprit of the hideous act, the prosecutors dropped the case because DNA testing proved otherwise. When the news broke out that he was apprehended in Thailand, people already came to the quick judgment that he was quilty. That's right, people! Guilty! The news media, the interviews, the family, the friends. Everyone thought he was guilty.
I shook my head and thought, wait a minute, it's happening all over again. It's the guilty-before-proven-innocent syndrome. That is prevalent here in the US. It happens all the time. I believe that our justice system is not the most perfect, but it still the best damn system in the world. Our democractic system too. So yeah, Americans are so quick to judge. But our justice system, in the end prevails. John Mark Karr is innocent. He is proven innocent.
How about our beloved Pinoys? Let's start with my parents, aunts, and uncles, since I know them better than anyone else. Yes, sad but true, they, too ,are quick to judge. Making conclusions without complete evidence. "Jake was drunk." "What? He did that. Well he shouldn't have done that because it makes no sense to go around looking like a fool and this and that and blah blah blah...because after all, we can't be living like that ...blah blah blah...so next time he better..." And you get the point, right? Problem is, this happens a lot when only a small piece of the story has been given out.
So yeah, stories can be overblown with this quick-to-judge attitude. I see the Americans as more tolerant of other people. Diversity works here in the US. In the Philippines, diversity is a weakness. That brings us to the tribal and regional debates again. Let's leave that topic for now. Here, Americans bring equal treatment to gays, blacks, handicapped, elderly, women, ethnic minorities, and many others; in the Philippines, you are laughed at because you're gay or black or black or handicapped or older or a woman or of ethnic minority. What a difference!
Then this too-quick-to-judge mentality is super-boosted by the gossip machine. The Tsismis/Chismis Factor. Whoa! It will spread like wildfire, and before you know it, the whole province knows about his business with hers and the how's and why's and where's and when's. All without the real facts.
I really hope this is one thing we can get away from, as Filipinos, as Americans, as Filipino Americans. We should always examine situations first, before we condemn someone and start a wildfire. Mabuhay to the Filipinos.
I believe in love, justice, equality, and life. I believe in the pursuit of happiness. Above all else, I believe in God. I started blogging since since August 18, 2006. I am not the same person I was once. My thoughts, perspectives, and opinions are different now.