— UC-Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi, explaining why she shouldn’t be held accountable for the UC Davis pepper spray incident (numerous videos available at the above link, if by some strange chance you haven’t seen one yet).
“Moving forward” has become a handy euphemism for ignoring abuses of power and shielding the people responsible from consequences. (Though the call for starting the healing process and moving forward is strangely absent when the accusations are against, say, young people of color or non-citizens.)
Katehi’s call to move forward is hardly the first time the language has been code for free pass. As Glenn Greenwald wryly notes, that same day, Vice President Dick Cheney publicly lauded President Obama for not prosecuting people responsible for the Bush administration’s “enhanced-interrogation” policies, itself code for torture. (Just like “Iraq has WMDs” was code for “No it doesn’t.”)
Obama himself has used these words like a mantra, and even gained some devotees:
Oh wait. The last one was Obama referring to ex-Indonesian President Suharto. Apparently we only look backwards when we’re talking about some one else’s skeletons.
CLICK HERE and read more by Jeannie Rose Field on the topic.
Let’s weave this into my political platform…. Truth and Reconciliation? Fuck, who needs that, we are people of the Future. Look at that great big Future out there. Keep looking! Nevermind the past. Forget about the present. Look on to Forever, where the Future is, keep reaching for it as it keeps receding into the distance. Don’t look at the Present, that’d be like when the cartoon runs of the cliff and then it looks down to notice that there’s nothing there. CERTAINLY don’t look to the past.
As long as we’re at it, anything I’ve ever done wrong, let’s just forget about it. Let’s look forward. Again. Forever. why’d you even ever stop? As a friend suggested “I may have messed up all those times I suggested we just move forward, but let’s look ahead and not back to here.” and that time, just now (see there you go again with the Present), that I again said let’s look forward? Well NOW that’s the past, so let’s move forward. Again. Forever.
oh uh, but I just wanted to point out one thing before moving forward. That thing that you did terribly and horribly wrong that you need to be held accountable for. I’m sorry, but we simply can’t look forward without looking back. I know what I said, but that’s for you, YOU look forward, but I must look forward and back because I am like Janus, I am god-like, you’re a fucking mortal. So fuck you. And keep your eyes on the fucking future prize.