[unrev-II] Vacuum-headed Vigilantes

From: Eric Armstrong (eric.armstrong@sun.com)
Date: Wed Sep 19 2001 - 10:45:12 PDT

  • Next message: Eric Armstrong: "Re: [unrev-II] Offensive Against Terrorism"

    I just sent this is a letter to the editor of the
    San Jose Mercury News. Later this week, I'll post it
    as an essay on my site.

    -------- Original Message --------
    Subject: Vacuum-headed Vigilantes
    To: letters@sjmercury.com

    There are people in our midst who are too damn stupid
    to tell the difference between terrorists and American
    citizens. They have more in common with the terrorists
    than the people they are attacking. They are victimizing
    innocent people who *look* like those they hate. And,
    at bottom, that is what terrorism is.

    Because these people exist, we all have an opportunity
    to be heroes in our daily lives. Like dealing with the
    terrorists themselves, there are several things we can,
    and must, do.

    First, we must help the victims. We can do that by going
    out of our way to be friendly, to be helpful, and to let
    them know they have friends. Like the firefighters, we
    can help clean up the rubble in the aftermath of an attack.

    Second, we can help defend potential victims. This step is
    not without its risks. One man on the news last night was
    knifed after coming to the aid of his Indian friend. We can
    reduce the chance of such a reaction if we *all* come to
    the rescue at such times. But we cannot eliminate the
    prospect completely. So we have to be alert, and aware.
    Tell someone to call 911 first. But be ready to help, for
    we can, and we must.

    Third, we must find *some* way to educate these people,
    and remove the inner hatred that drives them. Restraining
    them is necessary. Punishing them so they develop self-
    restraint is also necessary. But somehow, we've got to
    get inside them and open their eyes to a better, more
    beautiful world.

    When we have done that with the people within our
    borders, perhaps we will have learned enough to
    accomplish the same miracle in the lives of the people
    outside our borders.

    Only then will we be completely free.

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