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Group guilt will punish the innocent

Why is every Boy Scout in the nation being punished for the crime of a leader?

Where did the outrageously unjust concept of group guilt creep into the court of this country?

Why is every Boy Scout in the nation being punished for the crime of a leader?

Why is every Roman Catholic punished for the crime of an individual priest?

Is there a mind behind this kind of thing, which seeks to destroy any group seen as part and parcel of our way of life? Do they believe that to break them financially will break them, period?

The individuals found guilty of any crime in a court of law should expect the judgment of the law, including those who knowingly turn a blind eye to the offense.

How does it follow that the whole of any organization, or race, or ethnic group is as guilty as the individual? Unless, like the Ku Klux Klan and the Nazi Party, and certain gangs, part and parcel of their policy and function is to commit the crimes accused of?

In the 1980s a man blocked my exit off a city bus as he told the driver his excuse was, 'Her people made slaves of my people!'

Maybe so. How does that make me guilty?

Do all black people believe every Caucasian is their enemy? I don't think so.

Have I since labeled every African American as bigoted as he was? Obviously not.

Why are great, great, great, etc., etc., grandchildren looked upon as guilty of the offenses of their ancestors by some?

I am not guilty of the crimes of others unless I'm in collusion with them, neither do I take credit for other peoples' successes, or their honesty, even that of my own children.

It clings to the minds of some so-called Christians that all Jews, even after two thousand years, are still guilty of the crucifixion of Christ - which is just plain stupid, as well as patently unjust.

Stupidity is often unjust. I am grossly offended to see it practiced so blatantly in the courts of my country. That such lawsuits against groups even make it into our courts at all is an offense in itself.

I remember in 1942, when Filipinos, Hawaiians, and others were being attacked on the streets of Portland because some idiot thought they might be Japanese.

Even when they were, where's the rightness of that? And I remember feeling so good about the articles in The Oregonian fighting that.

I wish every Boy Scout, every Roman Catholic, and any others being sued for the crimes of individuals in their ranks instruct their lawyers not to settle.

Every time you do settle, you quash the freedom of the rights of others, in every group there is, to the freedom to follow their choices for fear of retaliation against them all, because of an accusation against any one individual in that group.

Please. The only way to stop it is to not give in to such demands. Picture every Boy Scout in America sentenced to jail instead!

Bev Walker lives in Forest Grove.