Collective Responsibility

Balint Vazsonyi

"Bigots, bigots, bigots" - NBC's Tom Brokaw just couldn't get past that word the other night speaking of Americans who are angry at Arabs just now. He might have waited until the dead are found and buried before passing judgment upon his fellow-Americans. He seemed to have his priorities really confused just then.

When out of nineteen highjacker/mass-murderers nineteen are Arabs, there is nothing wrong with Americans being very angry and Arabs being a little worried. That is a far cry from inflicting physical harm on anyone which, characteristically for Americans, did not happen. As we know, were the tables turned, the bodies of Americans would be torn apart bit by bit in the market place with crowds cheering.

In fact, I don't believe Arabs are worried enough, or they would come forward and protest the crimes committed in their name. The lame announcements to date do not come across as more genuine than Yassir Arafat's fake movie about donating blood.

I think being a little worried is a state tens of thousands of Americans would gladly accept instead of what they have had to accept these past days.

"But," I hear you say, "why should Arabs who had nothing to do with this be affected at all?" Surely, we cannot hold them responsible for murders committed by others?!"

OK - so invoking collective responsibility is wrong.

Hold that thought.