Thursday, July 21, 2011
News of the Weird
I really enjoyed this story about the execution of a Texas racist killer who targeted Middle-Easterners in revenge for September 11th, mostly because everyone involved came out looking good.
The Texas racist killer was evil, but he died brave, like a man.
At his execution, these were his last words:
"Even though I lay on this gurney, seconds away from my death, I am at total peace," he said. He later called himself "still a proud American, Texas loud, Texas proud."
"God bless America. God bless everyone," he added, then turned to the warden and said: "Let's do this damn thing."
Don't misunderstand me: I hate murder and racism, yes...but I also despise cowardice. Actual bravery is so shockingly rare.
Besides, he shot Middle-Eastern looking people as revenge for 9/11. There was a lot of anger and revenge momentum after that. In fact, the attack on Iraq was basically just misplaced anger and vengeance. Lots of people, even a lot of liberals, wanted to attack Iraq despite the fact it didn't have anything to do with 9/11.
Hear that, America? You're just like this guy: misplaced bloodthirstiness over 9/11 made you support violence on a bystander, and the only difference is he actually got a gun while the rest of you settled for being craven, jeering little war-cheerleaders. Are you all really such angels of mercy you can tsk-tsk this man with a straight face, especially someone who did what the lot of you jackals secretly wish you could?
Better yet, it sounds like Nark Stroman learned his lesson. Imagine that, actual redemption, something you never see because most people are proud and willfully ignorant, cruel and incapable of remorse. A case might be he was trying to do it to save himself from death row, and that's certainly possible. Prison has a way of breaking you. The thing is, Mark Stroman's been to prison before, for armed robbery no less (at age 12 - damn!). He wasn't broken there, and his death wasn't the death of a guy who was begging for mercy because he realizes he's going to die. He most sincerely came around to actual remorse.
The story gets better, though, in terms of displays of real human virtue and sincerity.
The killer's convenience store clerk victim, Rais Bhuiyan, so sincerely believed in real forgiveness and mercy he fought at the last minute to save his own attacker from the death penalty. He believed his attacker had reformed and didn't deserve to be executed and his Muslim faith urged him to forgive his own shooter.
Now, if anyone in the world would be understandably excused from showing mercy, it would be an innocent convenience store clerk who had an eye taken out by a racist on a shooter rampage who shot him in the face, especially if that shooter is responsible for other murders. If Rais wanted to see a little Texas-style justice done, who could possibly blame him or hold it against him?
I guess there goes to show there are as many good, forgiving Muslims as there are good, forgiving and sincere Christians. Which is to say, they're an insignificant fraction of the population.
Again, other virtues on display that's seldom seen: mercy, and actually practicing what you preach. It's obvious enough why not being a hypocrite is virtuous, but mercy is not seen as a virtue anymore because people forget it is actually difficult to have mercy, and very easy, in fact it's the most natural thing in the world, to want revenge.