There are so many aspects of these Horace Mann revelations that echo what we have seen at institutions from Poly Prep to Christ the King, Trinity Pawling to the Citadel, Syracuse to Penn State. The more seemingly pristine the reputation, the more secrets have been locked away to keep it that way.
Amos Kamil was on the Brian Lehrer show today discussing the article, taking calls from “reputation defenders”, and projecting this issue forward toward the outcome that I return to again and again…a Truth & Reconciliation Commission.
Over the last several months I’ve read three books about the Truth & Reconciliation Commission process in South Africa; Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela’s A Human Being Died That Night, Antjie Krog’s Country of My Skull, and Bishop Desmond Tutu’s No Future Without Forgiveness. These books, and Mr. Kamil’s statement on WNYC this morning tell me what I already know in my heart. As much as we individually or as institutions might wish just to move on, put it behind us…there is a prerequisite for that.
As always, that prerequisite is the truth. There can be no healing without it. It is the truth alone which can detoxify the soil where these crimes have taken place so that someday, we hope, a more positive future can take root and grow.
Truth, then reconciliation. In that order.