|Apartheid Era Sign (Public Domain)|
The strange case of South Africa’s Mr. de Kock can make the rest of us stop and think: Is there really such a thing as a thoroughly evil person?
Mr. de Kock, the apartheid tyrant formerly known as “Prime Evil,” has done some pretty grim things. After all, you don’t earn a title like that in the Boy Scouts.
Nevertheless, he has spent the last several decades expressing regret to victims and providing them with healing information.
Is this the façade of an incorrigible psychopath? Or could it be the sincere repentance of an at-least-somewhat reformed criminal?
Antgie Krog, Op-Ed Contributor to The New York Times, puts it this way: Can an evil man change? Krog goes on to theorize that some “prefer... [Mr. de Kock] not change so that the rest of us, who find it hard to confess our… co-culpability in apartheid, need not change ourselves.”
Krog ends with this vital question: Had Mr. de Kock not been initially “schooled in racism, indoctrinated through religion and educated into violence to protect an unequal social order,” could he instead have grown up to be a “soft-spoken, kind and caring” man?
Copyright March 15, 2015 by Linda Van Slyke All Rights Reserved