The Importance Of Restitution

1310 Words6 Pages
When distinguishing between “motive” and “intent,” the phrase “of a crime” often exists as an unspoken suffix. Yet even when contemplating the relatively more conscientious topic of restitution, one must still take into consideration the motives and intents of the parties involved, lest it inadvertently paves way for a system of politics to emerge that emphasizes forgetfulness over education [7]. Furthermore, to determine the necessity of restitution without falling into the multi-layered paradox of a colonial-style benefit-loss game, one must first define the purpose of restitution, the procedure that should be taken to implement it, and whether its scope lies in the past, the present, or the future. Due to the practical complications of monetary…show more content…
In this aspect, a component of restitution that frequently goes ignored is ironically one of the most straightforward: the apology. In instances such as the 2008 US resolution towards African-American descendants of slaves, or the more recent German-Namibia negotiations, apologies have been used to imply a commitment towards the restoration of the affected parties [6]. Because in many cases of colonial crime, such as the use of South Korean comfort women in Japan or the dehumanization of Kikuyu natives in Kenya, the primary issue has taken the form of a lost sense of dignity, or even that of identity in some senses, an official apology would act as an acknowledgement of wrongdoing, and serve as a step towards untangling the clutter of determining who is responsible, what they are responsible for, and to what extent reparation is needed. In the UN World Conference, former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo supports this point by defining an apology of colonial crimes as a “confront[ation] of the past,” a phrase that suggests that while direct restitution is important, an explicit knowledge of one’s mistakes and the determination to mend the rifts they created are perhaps even more so. Therefore, in any case of colonial restitution, a formal, and sincere apology, along with a promise of remembrance should be the first step…show more content…
Adam Hochschild, in King Leopold’s Ghost, calls into question the moral foundations of human nature, and berates mankind for its obsession with dominance and power [3]. Niall Ferguson, on the other hand, looks to the present prosperity of former colonies to build his argument, attributing the rise of modernization to colonial control [2]. But by doing so, both openly disregard the only part of a developing civil society that can be controlled: the future. In essence, by educating the youth of today, the world may hope to minimize the damage of tomorrow, helping them understand that although they may not have any direct connections to history’s atrocities, it is not a distant past to be ignored. This would also be beneficial in breaking down society’s stereotypical perceptions of race, ethnicity, and the theories of inferiority that drift between them, thus creating a far more unified global

More about The Importance Of Restitution

Open Document