All that you have is your soul (Tracy Chapman).

Sunday, 24 July 2005

The Victims

The horrendous and tragic killing of an innocent Brazililan by the British Police, on a tube train, has understandably sent shock waves throughout the world.

He approached the underground station, dressed in a heavy winter coat on a warm summer's day and for reasons only known to himself, did not respond to the Police when asked to stop. To make matters worse, he ran away and jumped over the barriers with the police giving chase. We know what happened next.

It's no secret that the Police are very jittery these days and without condoning their actions, I can fully understand why they did what they did. If I had been a policeman, I would have reacted in exactly the same manner.

I see this poor Brazilian as yet another murdered innocent and duly blame the terrorists (if only indirectly) for his death. In his death, the poor man has unwittingly further demonstrated that whether or not we were on those trains or buses when the attacks took place (last week and on 7/7), we are all now victims of terror.


As always... Rachael said...

I'm answering you here, because I don't know if you go back and read responses to comments.

The boy with the swastika tattoo? Can you imagine how horrified I was to see it, AFTER I danced to John Lennon's idealistic music with him for hours. Then he shows the tattoo, like it's gonna impress me. Maybe he thought that since I'm white and non-jewish, I'd think it was cool. I didn't.

This kid illustrates the kind of ignorance that is required to fall into a hateful mindset. Someone got a hold of him when he was young, and easily molded - with poisonous clay.

I talked with him throughout the weekend. He wanted to marry me - yes, that's how young and dumb he is. I told him to take a cheese grater to his arm before asking me for anything more than a dance. He said he would. He said he would get it removed. AFTER 4 DAYS, with me working my point, but gently, and non-offensively, I continually reminded him that his tattoo was the only thing the prevented me from thinking he was a good guy. He told me he would cover it up... not good enough I said... Remove it, and learn to think for yourself. Then maybe you can be someone I'll share ideas with. I told him that as long as we wore that symbol, part of me would refuse to like him. It wasn't a threat, it was an assertion.

I leave this weekend not knowing if I did any good... but I tried. In the earlier discussions I was called a Jew-Lover, and a nigger-lover... by the end, he was much less offensive, and a bit more open to what I was saying. SAid he wished he had a girl like me... I told he would be shut out as long as he had that thing on his arm.

I tried. I can't change the world. I just take life one person at a time... stick to my beliefs, and hope my points are sharp enough to permeate the thickest of skulls.

Your comment was, am I afriad. The answer is no. Never. Whenever I feel afraid, I see a chance to fuck with someone's head... they did it first, if they made me afraid, right? I simply reciprocate.

No one cares about me, but I would die for what I know is right. Or, it'd be better phrased... for what I know is NOT right. I prefer not to die, of course.... so far so good!

Why am I writing this windy comment on your time? It's to say thank you. I've been anti-racist since the day I was born... but the plight of the Jews never fully hit me until I started reading here (well, that and the book you recommneded.) I was always against anti-semites... because it feel under the racism umbrella, but because of you (claude, denton, whoever!!) I've been able to personalize the issue. I can't promise I'll convert, because religion pisses me off... but I'm still fighting against ignorance.

If there is a god, I hope he'll consider my fight against injustice as a good thing... and not shun me for lacking faith.

I gotta shut up now. Somehow I made myself cry.

The Teacher said...


Firstly, thank you for your eloquent comments. I do read everything you write (including the comments). I was just curious to understand the motives behind your "friendship" with this guy.

I read of your exploits with a mixture of horror and fascination. The fact that you are reporing events that happened to you is all the more sobering, but I do sometimes worry that you're going to get yourself into serious trouble. Saying that, I know you're the kind of person who always ends up on your feet - so I probably shouldn't fret.

Being Jewish is wonderful and difficult. We have a lot of inner neurosis to contend with, as well as open hostility in the media and now on the streets. Saying that, I don't think one needs to be Jewish to experience persecution. I can only talk about it from a Jewish perspective, being that I'm of the faith. I am therefore sympathetic to other cultures, even if I too sometimes fall into the trap of stereotyping. The difference is that I try to learn from my mistakes and internalise them.

You write that no-one cares about you. You must know you're wrong. From what I read, there are a lot of people who care deeply about you and your presence. You have touched so many lives, for so many years, how could they not care?

Good luck to you in your battle to make this world a better place. The rest of us of right there behind you - just read the positive comments you get on virtually every blog.

BTW, I think Swastika should leave the tattoo on. For as long as he wears it, everyone else knows who he really is. The moment he goes from that position to removing it, he, within himself will have moved a higher plane. But he's obviously not ready to go there yet.