Sunday, April 21, 2013

 Dark Skins and the Boston Bombers
Before the suspects in the Boston marathon Bombing on April 15 were caught (one killed, the other in hospital) CNN and other stations were reporting that the suspects were dark skinned.  Upon later review of their photos, one sees that the two brothers were in fact more light skinned than dark, and quite handsome by western standards. This is a conundrum for many Americans.  And Canadians, too, for that matter.  How could these two young men, not especially foreign looking (i.e. very dark skinned) pleasing in countenance, academically talented and into sports, and with all the qualifications needed to succeed in America, be terrorists?
These questions wouldn’t even have been asked had they been very dark skinned and not so American looking.  These two brothers just didn’t (don’t) look the part they are accused of playing in the Botsom bombings.  But why has this notion lingered on for so long, that somehow very dark skinned men are more suspect of heinous crimes than white skinned men?  When we know that the most heinous crimes of recorded history were perpetuated by fair skinned people on others they considered not worthy.  

 Prejudice against black skins in the US is widely known in spite of electing a half black president. The aboriginals on this continent were almost wiped out by whites. And aboriginals are still being wiped out by US backed dictatorships in other countries. And yet white Americans on the whole act as if black and brown skinned men are more prone to violence than whites and the Canadian government thinks it’s okay to lock up young people for stupid pot charges as most are dark skinned anyway.
This is not to say that the Boston Bombers are not heinous criminals if they are proven guilty of heinous crimes (which is a foregone conclusion). 
 My worry is that because they were (are) young and handsome, talented, and above all, not black or brown skinned there will be excuses of sorts found for them in some quarters, such as the brothers were victims rather than cold blooded killers, that somehow they were “turned” by evil Jihadists. And this may very well be true.  But for Pete’s sake, let’s consider what John Paul Sartre had to say in his theory of Existentialism and I paraphrase…
 That no matter how deeply conditioned people are, they always retain an element of free choice.  And because this is so, every person making a decision is choosing that decision for the entire human race.  These young men made their decision for the human race.  Let us make ours.  Free of prejudice.

No comments:

Post a Comment