Ancestry.com is problematic for people with checkered pasts

Ancestry.com is problematic for a person with a checkered past.  People have asked me why I “put myself out there” with my blog. After all, people do not know what you do not tell them, right? Wrong!  Do you remember the scene from Titanic when the survivors arrive in New York and the British heroine states the name of her choosing for the record. She becomes Rose Dawson as if she was the widow of her cruise ship lover. The better part of a century later she explains to the Titanic researchers and her granddaughter that she does not have a picture of him except in her memory. The researchers doubt her and challenge her recollections with the fact that there are no records of a Jack Dawson ever boarding Titanic. Of course not. Very few people had the fact that they existed memorialized and people from the lower classes were often not part of any official record because the authorities were accessible to the upper class only. Being born in a hospital that kept records of births was not something everyone could afford. There was no overarching “system” that kept records of your residences, your deeds or misdeeds, your death. The quality f the records depended moat of all on the specific people in charge of writing things down. If you wanted to change your present by giving yourself a new history (oxymoron), you simply offered an interested party a name of your choosing and voilá! You’re a new person. Today technology has made it impossible for people to keep themselves to themselves. Did you know there’s a service that gathers every use of your social security number during each calendar year to track your banking, employment, however you used your social security number. Many of the forms we are asked to fill out about our finances, for example, are used to test our honesty. Institutions do not need for us to give them the info they already possess. Similarly, our criminal records are right there for the public to see. If you find yourself paying for background searches online there’s a reason.

You are kidding yourself if you think no one will ever know your past

You can be certain you need to pay these services BC you lack the know how about gathering freely available records. It is not always easy to access free records. Hawaii’s system of recording court appearances in felony cases can be found on a site called ho’ohiki or e-court kokua, I forget exactly. Both sites have court records and both are decidedly user UN-friendly. Nevertheless records are there if you have the patience and luck to wade through the deck. And if you do the wading you will find that the new way the underclass exists is different from the normal we we nobodies disappeared into anonymity.  Criminal records make us part of the overarching record keeping system. It takes money not to have a criminal record when you break the law.

Rich, White, or Law Abiding

As a wealthy person you get a lot of favor in the legal system from the word “go.” Maybe you never get arrested. My friend who died? He had the same last name as the family that owns the Hawaiian island Ni’ihau. When he was pulled over for drunk driving the cops had to make doubly sure he was not from that family BC if he was they were most definitely not arresting him. Once they ascertained his status, or lack thereof, he was summarily detained. If people know who you are, they don’t want to make powerful enemies or better yet, they want someone who can do them some good to owe them, big time. If they do enter the criminal justice system, they can get the lawyers to find them “programs” once the doctors on their payroll reclassify their criminality as sickness and not badness. Worst case scenario, they get convicted of something on the record–what then? Anyone who has done anything can ask the governor for a pardon after they pay hefty fees, and, again, hire the legal dream team to do whatever needs doing to get a governor’s favor. There are two ways for people like me to not be in this position. Be rich or keep it legal. Well three ways. White people are more likely to be given the favor rich people receive. Cops let them go. Judges don’t want to ruin their lives with convictions, probation officers don’t want to send them to prison when they mess up. Yes, I have seen it and I will say more on this later. To avoid my

Published by Harvard Grad elite meets Honolulu backstreets

The story, full of wit and wisdom: Harvard➡Homeless➡Heroin➡Happiness. Past degradation➡present edification.

One thought on “Ancestry.com is problematic for people with checkered pasts

Your comments shape content!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: