Truth and Reconciliation

A thoughtful reader recently inquired about the possibility of using mediation to resolve the conflict at New College. Here is our response:

Mediation only works between parties negotiating in good faith. When one party has consistently and consciously subverted communication and obstructed the pursuit of justice, mediation is an inappropriate tool.

When the misbehavior is abusive, indeed criminal, then prosecution is in order. In fact, diplomacy under these circumstances is entirely counterproductive.

One element essential to any truth and reconciliation process is the exposure of untruths, injustice, and irresponsible parties. Fairness demands accountability, including the removal from power of those who’ve violated social norms and human dignity.

Once the truth has come out in a full accounting derived from a complete investigation, and culprits have been judged by society as well as courts of law, then — and only then — is reconciliation an option to be considered.


~ by Jay Taber on August 3, 2007.

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