Let me begin by saying I support GHRA’s objection to the ‘name and shame’ campaign. Quite frankly, it’s shameful that we have a policy endorsing public humiliation as a method of discipline. The principle of “name and shame” is simple: to psychologically humiliate to deter others from committing the same crime. In a society in which shaming persons for their behaviour is more common than not, it is simply another way to encourage shame-hating discourse. ’Name and Shame’ ruins an individual’s opportunity to sincerely feel, on one’s own capacity, remorseful.
Although these methods of ‘correcting’ may seem to work (arguably a short term effect), we ought to be very wary of endorsing this archaic method of discipline and disturbed by the thrill some get by the idea of embarrassing or instilling fear to express moral disapproval.. The measures a society or state takes when it comes to punishing its people determines what kind of society or state it is. Rightfully, people ought to be corrected or disciplined accordingly when they err or have committed a horrendous crime. But the principle of justice, that is, what is fair and decent, doesn’t allow for barbaric measures of punishment.
When the state inadvertently sanctions what really seems to be an act of vengeance, it reflects poorly on our justice system. History informs us that this is not the sort of state one would want to live in. For progressive values to flourish, novel approaches to law and order are necessary.
Ferlin F. Pedro
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