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Letter to Judge: Ukrainian Immigrant Child Abuse Illustrates Tragic PastJohnathan H. Cannon Special to Salem-News.com
Copy of a letter sent to local judge by an east coast historian, in the recent Salem, Oregon child abuse case involving a Ukrainian immigrant family.
(SALEM, Ore.) - Dear Honorable Judge Hart,
I have the feeling I can help. I am an Historian of Russian History and Culture and my goal is to save the world from ever experiencing Cold War again by helping our two cultures understand each other better. As you know Russia is still 3 times the size of the US and the Slavic speaking nations account for 1/6th of the global landmass.
First, I in no way advocate child abuse. However, in this case extenuating circumstances advocate the expression of knowledge otherwise hidden from the view of very important people to be revealed for very important purposes.
I feel that this unfathomable behavior comes from trauma inflicted through the poverty of radical Communism and the tragic inhumane treatment of entire populations for more than 70 years in their society. Under Communist (Radical Socialist Dictatorial) rule anyone that didn’t follow the party line could be executed by a gunshot through the back of the head. (anytime) The dire need for children to understand the consequences of not yielding to authority was accepted by their entire society because if they didn’t learn from strong discipline as a child they would certainly be shot or sent to the Gulag Prison Camps and worked to death by the government at the first sign of non-compliance. (most never to be seen again and denied the right to communicate) A historical consensus of 60 million people were affected (killed) just by Stalin 1927-1953. That is 10 times as many as Hitler killed in WWII. (see: Gulag Archipelago by Alexander Solzhenitsyn). The USSR existed from 1922-1991.
Now these Ukrainian children here in the US have freedom and they cannot understand why they can’t enjoy it so, they rebel harder than any of our own children ever have just as their parents fight them not to so much stronger than we would. If one adds the complication of left over extreme alcoholism the likes of which our country has never known and running into the arms of Religion having been denied that for more than half a century with worries of what they did wrong to lose God; one can see that this issue is not so small as us Americans would like to think. This is what the Ukrainians have been trying to express through their religious gestures. Discipline is tolerated by our system but abuse is an entirely different matter. I agree with the verdict but I would ask for the court’s understanding and help in sending the right message. This is not blind abuse. This abuse has a legacy that will not be erased until we address it properly. The parents should still be punished but because of the circumstances; they and their community should be educated lest this become common practice and create deeper fissures between our two societies. Some thought must be given to the background that led to this tragedy. These people believe in America, God and justice. They came here to become a part of what we symbolize to the world. Shall we allow the injustices of that horrible time continue or show the world that we remember history and will not repeat it?
Thank you sincerely for your consideration,
From my heart,
Captain Johnathan H. Cannon, U.S. Merchant Marine Officer #1123418 and Permanent Member of the National Slavic Honor Society, Dobro Slovo.
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