Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Yesterdays discussion at work was all about William's execution. The converstation went on something like this. I said "Yes the guy was a founder of the Crips street gang and yes the courts found him guilty of murdering four people during two armed robberies. But why couldn't he be given life emprisonment?" In response, I was told "The crime was so heinous that we need to make sure they never do it again." What if it was the wrong person? "It's not." "Does his life not have value? Certainly if you believe in pro-life values his life should be just as precious as the life of an unborn child." "Who cares about animals like him? I think they should exterminate them all. We would not have crime anymore. They still shoot horses don't they?"
I really never understood the apparent contradiction between "Pro-Life" and "Pro-Death Penalty" until one of my "red" colleagues at work ''explained'' it to me. By labeling the criminal as an animal, they can separate them from their personhood. The label categorizes criminals as subhuman. The label also is and has been attached to other people such as Native Americans, Germans, Japanese, Koreans, Vietnamese, and now middle easterners. It's pretty clear to me now - they claim to be the uebermensh and the rest are untermensh. And this rationale is used to justify the death penalty, torture, even war.
I have to wonder how soon until this rationale is used to eliminate non-productive drug users, prostitutes, old people, handicapped people, sick people...
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