Tuesday, April 23, 2002

I found this in my inbox this morning.

Message: 4
Date: Mon, 22 Apr 2002 13:08:14 -0700 (PDT)
From: Michael Christopher {anonymous_animus_at_yahoo_dot_com}
Subject: Re: Digest Number 625

I've noticed a tendency for people who agree with the Palestinian drive for statehood (which I also agree with) to make excuses for suicide bombings. "Despair drives people to do it". If despair is justification for crime, then quite a few people in our own country who are in prison should be let free. Kids who lost too many family members to gang violence and grew up to commit murder...rapists whose mothers scalded, bruised and choked them. Racists who had horrific experiences which led them to attack people with the wrong skin color. Despair does not "force" anyone to do anything. To claim it does is a slap in the face of anyone who survived terrible abuse or oppression and CHOSE NOT to abuse the innocent.

At what point does an explanation become an excuse? When the choice of those who surpass their victimization goes unrecognized, and those who abuse others because they were abused are the only ones recognized. The Palestinian boy who grows up to practice nonviolent resistance, or who becomes a paramedic or counsellor, that is the one who should be famous. Despair can drive people to great heights as well as great depths. Let's not ignore the ones who made the better choice.

Michael

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