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
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
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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This archive was generated by hypermail 2.0.0 : Wed Sep 19 2001 - 10:33:04 PDT