Monday, November 16, 2009

These People

Once is an accident. Twice is a coincidence. Three times is enemy action.

An apartment building burned down in St. Bernard Parish, making 19 families homeless. There is instant speculation that arson was the cause. I don't like to jump to conclusions, but there is a context to look at here.

The Parish has been at the center of a racially charged post-Katrina/Levee Failures reconstruction situation. At one point, property owners were forbidden to rent units to anyone other than blood relatives, in a place where the overwhelming majority of property owners were white. Though later changed, now renting requires an arduous permitting process. Some renters have faced harassment and eviction. Several Parish ordinances have succesfully been challenged in Federal courts as discriminatory in effect and intention.

This is not the first arson on record. One property owner who applied for a renter's permit found her property burned down after the town meeting. Be sure the read the comments, if you think I'm taking this out of context.

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I've held the thought recently that the Ft. Hood shooter's actions may have more to do with his psychological profile than his religion. He may yet prove to be a terrorist, but that description should follow from his actions and, more importantly, his intentions - not his religion. I think the individuals calling this an act of domestic terrorism are being premature.

This prematurity has not stopped many people from labeling the Ft. Hood shooter a domestic terrorist all over the airwaves and internets.

Because murder is murder is murder. Someone can be murdered over money, someone can be murdered over a political agenda or to strike fear into the hearts of a population. Deciding which murder equates to terrorism depends on the intent of the murderer.

Just like arson is arson is arson. A building can be burned down for insurance money, or a building can be burned down to run out those who live there, or strike fear into the hears of a certain population. Deciding which arson equates to terrorism depends on the intent of the arsonist.

I think the individuals calling the arson problem in St. Bernard domestic terrorism are being premature, even though there is a far more insidious pattern already established in this part of the world.

Though I do look forward to all the major news outlets, talk radio and pundits who will turn their investigative expertise onto this problem, what with their renewed interest in exploring the causes and effects of domestic terrorism right here at home in the USA. We wouldn't want political correctness to prevent us from seeing any warning signs, now, would we?

Me? I'm going to wait until all the facts come to light before drawing any conclusions.

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