Claim or Shame ?

Every now and then we look around and realise that most people have subtly changed their memory of their personal history. This happened recently with equal marriage in Europe & N.America. One day we looked around and found that virtually everyone was in favour of equal marriage, and most people believed that they always had been. Sure, there are a few people around who are still against it, but fortunately I don’t meet them. Most people think that they’ve been marching with Stonewall all of their lives.

We find the same thing happened with Apartheid. One day (probably in the mid 1990’s) we looked around and found that most people were anti-apartheid, and thought that they’d always been anti-apartheid. When Mandela died even David Cameron claimed to have been anti-apartheid despite having worked for a pro-apartheid S.African Parliamentary group at the end of the 80’s.

I call it ‘Claim or Shame Day’, it’s the day when most of us either claim to have always been on the side of ¬†progress, or we keep quiet out of our own personal shame.

I don’t think Claim or Shame is duplicitous, nor false – I think that rewriting of self history is a healthy ego response mechanism.

There are many examples of claim or shame from earlier generations: standing against institutionalised racism, sexism and child abuse in the 70’s, fighting for civil rights in the 50’s & 60’s, fighting against the Nazis in the 40’s, fighting for equal votes for women etc etc.

I wonder when Claim or Shame Day is coming for the killing of children who play football on beaches ? I wonder when we will all subtly rewrite our personal histories of what we did on the 17th July 2014 ?

with apologies to Pastor Niemoller:

“and then they came for the children who play football on beaches,

but I didn’t speak out because I was not a child playing football on the beach”.



About danieltrump

breathing and sensing human. Learning to observe, learning to write, exploring ideas and thinking.


  1. Well said. The wilful disregard of Palestinian suffering by the West in favour of Israel ‘defending’ itself is truly vile. I freely admit that until we moved to Crete and watched Al Jazeera for news, I was pro-Israel through blind adherence to their right to a state in view of their suffering in WWII. Then I became aware of the difference between being a Jew and being a Zionist and learned a great deal more about how Palestine had been traduced, to put it mildly. I have no words for the anger I feel about the situation. It would seem, as per, that the bullied have, in turn, become the bullies. Sick. Now I understand why Vanessa Redgrave put her head above the parapet and have a new admiration for her.

    • Many thanks for your personal and heartfelt reply, such disclosure is admirable. I agree that an understanding that Judaism and Zionism are not the same thing is key. Israel is a reality which cannot be unmade, it needs to see different solutions for its security as violence only breeds violence. Inclusion &development for all Palestinians is the only way forward. Many thanks for reading and commenting.

  2. Beautiful post! Violence will not achieve the solution needed in this conflict. Ego … Unfortunately talks louder than heart and compassion. Thank you for sharing what many are thinking. If we all voice what we think small actions can become big actions!

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