COULD I HAVE BEEN A SUICIDE BOMBER? | 2002-04-13
Many segregationists reacted in a knee-jerk way against integration. Only some of us understood what the battle was and what the stakes were. More than one observer noted that loud segregationists fell into two strange groups. One was the knee-jerk segregationists, and the other was made up of some of the most literate people they had ever met.
Most of the knee-jerk segregationists have since become knee-jerk integrationists.
I watched while we were steadily betrayed by conservatives who could not (or with the right incentives would not) see the big picture. Like so many other literate segregationists, I predicted exactly what we have today in every area of our lives.
It was horrible, and no one was striking back. Our hideous, treasonous, blasphemous traitors prospered. That must be the way teenage Palestinians see Israel today.
I felt terribly alone because I WAS terribly alone. Other "normal" teenagers were worrying about what kind of pomade Sal Mineo greased his hair with.
I was told by one "practical" person after another to worry about education funding or other "practical" issues.
If, on top of all the rest, my family was in financial trouble back then, and with my helplessness and hopelessness, it might have been fairly easy to get me to sign on to the suicide crowd if it had my enemies terrified.
What if someone had given me a real incentive back in the 1950's to become part of a movement of suicide bombers? In a world controlled by a sick and evil drive to destroy my people I can see that I might have taken the opportunity to get out of the nightmare once and for all and take some real enemies with me. But they would have been the worst kind of enemies, not random women and children.
As to my having been a potential suicide bomber, I have never been afraid of dying. Even as a teenager I did not regard life in this world as glorious and wonderful and of infinite value. In arguing with liberals, pro-lifers have given themselves to a Big Lie which nobody believes. It is a good example of how one becomes like one's enemy.
The Palestinians who are doing the suicide bombings are not Karl Marx's dispossessed poverty-stricken proletariat. They are educated young Palestinians who feel alone and see a bleak future for their people.
I like to think I could never be persuaded to go after innocent targets. I could never be among women and children and know I was about to kill them.