Article in ?a? paper, by Leonard Pitts Jr.


in my den of inequity
May 1, 2001
The Barbarian Will Learn What America's All About
by Leonard Pitts Jr.
Syndicated Columnist

They pay me to tease shades of meaning from social and cultural issues, to provide words that help make sense of that which troubles the American soul. But in this moment of airless shock when hot tears sting disbelieving eyes, the only thing I can find to say, the only words that seem to fit, must be addressed to the unknown author of this suffering.

You monster. You beast. You unspeakable bastard.

What lesson did you hope to teach us by your coward's attack on our World Trade Center, our Pentagon, us? What was it you hoped we would learn? Whatever it was, please know that you failed.

Did you want us to respect your cause? You just damned your cause.

Did you want to make us fear? You just steeled our resolve.

Did you want to tear us apart? You just brought us together.

Let me tell you about my people. We are a vast and quarrelsome family, a family rent by racial, cultural, political and class division, but a family nonetheless. We're frivolous, yes, capable of expending tremendous emotional energy on pop cultural minutiae, a singer's revealing dress, a ball team's misfortune, a cartoon mouse.

We're wealthy, too, spoiled by the ready availability of trinkets and material goods, and maybe because of that, we walk through life with a certain sense of blithe entitlement. We are fundamentally decent, though -- peace-loving and compassionate. We struggle to know the right thing and to do it. And we are, the overwhelming majority of us, people of faith, believers in a just and loving God.

Some people -- you, perhaps -- think that any or all of this makes us weak. You're mistaken. We are not weak. Indeed, we are strong in ways that cannot be measured by arsenals.

Yes, we're in pain now. We are in mourning and we are in shock. We're still grappling with the unreality of the awful thing you did, still working to make ourselves understand that this isn't a special effect from some Hollywood blockbuster, isn't the plot development from a Tom Clancy novel.

Both in terms of the awful scope of its ambition and the probable final death toll, your attacks are likely to go down as the worst acts of terrorism in the history of the United States and, indeed, the history of the world. You've bloodied us as we have never been bloodied before.

But there's a gulf of difference between making us bloody and making us fall. This is the lesson Japan was taught to its bitter sorrow the last time anyone brought us such abrupt and monumental pain. When roused, we are righteous in our outrage, terrible in our force. When provoked by this level of barbarism, we will bear any suffering, pay any cost, go to any length, in the pursuit of justice.

I tell you this without fear of contradiction.

I know my people, as you, I think, do not.

What I know reassures me. It also causes me to tremble with dread of the future.

In the days to come, there will be recrimination and accusation, fingers pointing to determine whose failure allowed this to happen and what can be done to prevent it from happening again. There will be heightened security, misguided talk of revoking basic freedoms. We'll go forward from this moment sobered, chastened, sad. But determined, too.

Unimaginably determined.

You see, there is steel beneath this velvet. That aspect of our character is seldom understood by people who don't know us well. On this day, the family's bickering is put on hold. As Americans we will weep, as Americans we will mourn, and as Americans, we will rise in defense of all that we cherish.

Still, I keep wondering what it was you hoped to teach us. It occurs to me that maybe you just wanted us to know the depths of your hatred.

If that's the case, consider the message received. And take this message in exchange: You don't know my people. You don't know what we're about.

You don't know what you just started.

But you're about to learn.
Read This Instead For Something New:

First off, you people have to realise that most people around the world DONT sympathize with the yanks.
If you were Arafat or Poutin, you would obviosly say 'im sorry for you guys' for diplomatic reasons.
Diplomacy being the classiest and most socially acceptable form of hypocrisy.
Know heres a few things those crazy kamikazes forgot:
-nuke the white house
-nuke fort knox
-nuke hollywood

Oh so some Pakis are partying because of that?
what the fuck do you expect?!!
You expect them to send a fucking 'hope you get better' Hallmark card with a stupid beanie baby!!
The americans bomb Palestine AT LEAST once a week
We treat them like shit
we think 100 years of American history has made us MUCH wiser than the people that civilized Europe (yes the muslims put an end to the middle ages)
We GIVE weapons to the Israeli jews to slaughter the Muslims, and if Arafat tries to build a slingshot he has the fucking NATO on his ass calling him an anti-semite(ironically muslims are semit, jews are not).
Sure Id prefer they keep the hell out of Europe,
but why do WE have to bomb them in their homelands and tell them that they cant live according to their beliefs?
cuz yanks are idiots
We wont listen to them pakis,
we made them sign a contract at the beginning of "the Summit against racism" which made them promise not to criticize the jews...what the fuck?!those damn NATO peasants must check their dictionnary under 'rascism'
The occident has a choice not to bomb people, they do it frequently.
Muslims, dont, compare it to uncle Sam chasing a rat around the room with a hammer, it will run away.
but when its stuck in a corner, it'll bite uncle Sam's balls off as last resort.
This week America lost a mighty fucking chunk of their testicles, and its their own fuckin fault.
Theirs 140 wars going on in the world at any given moment.
America interferes in the larger ones, supplying weapons, bombing defend DEMOCRACY.
list goes on....
For the FIRST time they get a taste of their own fucking medicin, THEY SHOULD SWALLOW IT LIKE BIG BOYS
Why is killing for democracy correct but killing for Islam terrorism?
Theyre both cultural doctrines.
You believe in one or the other depending on the place of your birth, not by choice, unless youre some overman who is not a product of his environment.

-Razvan Arafat

ps-for those of you who are gonna, once again, call me a fascist, an ignorant and all that crap.
Mind you I have seen places and people that have been destroyed by the yanks,
so take this chainsaw and shove it.

- - -

That was a post made by a friend of mine on another board.
It makes u think a bit. And hes right on some points.
And no his last name is not Arafat. hehe
yes, he makes some points, but this is another sad case of someone who knows too little to know they're wrong, and it's become popular for some people to attack the U.S. now, claiming that we deserve it or that it was a taste of our own medicine. the truth is, for all our ills (those stated in the beginning essay and not), the united states is probably the most important economic and democratic force in the world, and there would be a lot of countries that would have a real hard time of things if it wasn't for us.
Actually, he's right saturnix. But the post was written in anger, which undermines his credibitility and isn't very admirable. I guess he had to vent some too.
I sympathise with anyone who has lost a loved one, but at the same time I recognise the hypocrisy of the U.S.

An interesting situation. It's very easy to empathise with others of European descent, and in Australia at least there is a tremendous knee-jerk reaction about illegal immigrants and Arabs, regardless of whether or not they have anything to do with terrorism.

It's sad to see.... I don't think we'll ever attain world wide compassion and forgiveness. As long as there is an 'other' there will always be this sort of thing taking place.