I read something today at work that, the more it simmers, the more absolutely offensive I find it. The story itself, appearing on Free Republic (no surprise, really) was about rape in Iraq and the concern of faimilies about their children and women about their safety. In the article, for the sake of anecdotal evidence, they focus in part on a nine year old girl and the reaction of her brothers and father (they now physically abuse her, since she’s no longer “pure”).
The truth is, this in itself is offensive enough, but the comments that people made in response to the article infuriated me even more. These had to be some of the most insensitive, cruel comments coming from what I’m going to guess are the most WASP-y people around. One person, in response to the distraught statements of a family whose daughter had been missing since May 22, essentially wrote “Who cares? I hate those people anyway.” Others were dismissive of the society as a whole, proudly standing from the “moral superiority” of America. An America which, need I remind anyone, was founded on what would today be called genocide, enslaved a whole other race of people, and subjected them to cruel punishments and substandard living conditions even after their “emancipation.” Sure, we don’t react the same way to rape victims, disowning them or otherwise lashing out at them (including “honor-killings”), at least not anymore. But even today, we don’t always cloak them in sympathy and ease their sufferings as much as we could. And lest we forget, what about the cross-burnings, the murder of Matthew Shephard, the L.A. Riots, and the many other societal tensions we have here. I’d like to see us clean our own house before we go about condemning other societies.