Readability

Farming Fear

by baldilocks

Report: ISIS eye­ing Mex­i­can bor­der to infil­trate Amer­ica and exe­cute ter­ror­ist attacks

Islamist mil­i­tants tweet grue­some images of dead Amer­i­can sol­diers and vow to blow up embassies

Saudi King warns that the west jihadis’ next target

dandelions (1)

The weeds of fear are the favored crop of any terrorist.

Two years after that bit of unpleas­ant­ness in New York City, in Wash­ing­ton, DC, and in the Penn­syl­va­nia coun­try­side, I wrote this:

Ter­ror­ists com­mit their acts not for the ben­e­fit of the dead, but for those who remain alive. “Look at what we’ll do to you and yours,” they say, “if you don’t do what we want you to do.” They revel in our hor­ror. They rejoice in the sor­row of the fam­i­lies who will never bury the atom­ized [or beheaded] bod­ies of their loved ones. They say, “yeah, we did it and we’ll do it to you unless you….submit.”

Does any­one remem­ber the story of Emmett Till? Sev­eral years before I was born, Till, fourteen-​years-​old, was the vic­tim of another set of ter­ror­ists. This young black man, not know­ing or not car­ing about the ways of the South of that period, was mur­dered for allegedly mak­ing an inde­cent remark to a white woman. He dis­ap­peared and, days later, his body, beaten and shot, was found in a river. The men who were tried for his mur­der were acquit­ted. Emmett’s mur­der wasn’t an iso­lated case of a man sup­pos­edly defend­ing the honor of his wife. As we know, all over the South, black men were being mur­dered for “step­ping out of their place,” whether they actu­ally had stepped out of their “place” or not.

Those who com­mit­ted these crimes did so not only for “revenge” on the dead, but to send a mes­sage to and strike fear in the liv­ing. That’s what made it ter­ror­ism. Sound familiar?

In 2001 (and 1968 and 1979 and 1983 and 1988 and 1993 and 1998 and 2003 [added: and in 2014] and every year in between), the play­ers are dif­fer­ent from that of 1955, but the mes­sage is the same: do what we want or this will hap­pen to you or to those whom you love. In this case, it is “wor­ship in the way we wor­ship; bow five times a day to Mecca or else.”

I men­tion the Till case not to com­pare the two sets of ter­ror­ists, per se, but to com­pare the dis­sim­i­lar reac­tions of the vic­tims’ loved ones. Mamie Till, Emmett’s mother, had an open-​casket funeral for her son. […]

[Till’s] head – mon­strous from the beat­ing, the bul­let and the decom­po­si­tion – con­trasted against the nor­malcy of the cas­ket and the suit that Mrs. Till had picked out for the body. It gave the pic­ture that much more ugli­ness: your worst night­mare in banal black and white.

But Mamie Till’s steely words about the open-​casket deci­sion were elec­tri­fy­ing: “I want the world to see what they did to my son.”

Well, the “world” did see and, though there was much more sor­row to be had – as it is with any major upheaval of a soci­ety – things changed. Some of us even think that things have changed for the better…such home-​grown types of ter­ror­ists still exist, but when caught, they usu­ally sit on death row rather sit at home hav­ing beers with their friends. We can send our mes­sage as well.

Keep sow­ing, jihadis. Most of us are good at pulling up weeds – and at clean­ing metal.Baldilocks mini

All die once. But the fea­ful die twice.

Juli­ette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game,
was pub­lished in 2009; the sec­ond edi­tion in 2012. Her new novel,
Arlen’s Harem, is due in 2014. Help her fund it and help keep her blog alive!

by baldilocks

Report: ISIS eyeing Mexican border to infiltrate America and execute terrorist attacks

Islamist militants tweet gruesome images of dead American soldiers and vow to blow up embassies

Saudi King warns that the west jihadis’ next target

dandelions (1)

The weeds of fear are the favored crop of any terrorist.

Two years after that bit of unpleasantness in New York City, in Washington, DC, and in the Pennsylvania countryside, I wrote this:

Terrorists commit their acts not for the benefit of the dead, but for those who remain alive. “Look at what we’ll do to you and yours,” they say, “if you don’t do what we want you to do.” They revel in our horror. They rejoice in the sorrow of the families who will never bury the atomized [or beheaded] bodies of their loved ones. They say, “yeah, we did it and we’ll do it to you unless you….submit.”

Does anyone remember the story of Emmett Till? Several years before I was born, Till, fourteen-years-old, was the victim of another set of terrorists. This young black man, not knowing or not caring about the ways of the South of that period, was murdered for allegedly making an indecent remark to a white woman. He disappeared and, days later, his body, beaten and shot, was found in a river. The men who were tried for his murder were acquitted. Emmett’s murder wasn’t an isolated case of a man supposedly defending the honor of his wife. As we know, all over the South, black men were being murdered for “stepping out of their place,” whether they actually had stepped out of their “place” or not.

Those who committed these crimes did so not only for “revenge” on the dead, but to send a message to and strike fear in the living. That’s what made it terrorism. Sound familiar?

In 2001 (and 1968 and 1979 and 1983 and 1988 and 1993 and 1998 and 2003 [added: and in 2014] and every year in between), the players are different from that of 1955, but the message is the same: do what we want or this will happen to you or to those whom you love. In this case, it is “worship in the way we worship; bow five times a day to Mecca or else.”

I mention the Till case not to compare the two sets of terrorists, per se, but to compare the dissimilar reactions of the victims’ loved ones. Mamie Till, Emmett’s mother, had an open-casket funeral for her son. […]

[Till’s] head–monstrous from the beating, the bullet and the decomposition–contrasted against the normalcy of the casket and the suit that Mrs. Till had picked out for the body. It gave the picture that much more ugliness: your worst nightmare in banal black and white.

But Mamie Till’s steely words about the open-casket decision were electrifying: “I want the world to see what they did to my son.”

Well, the “world” did see and, though there was much more sorrow to be had–as it is with any major upheaval of a society–things changed. Some of us even think that things have changed for the better…such home-grown types of terrorists still exist, but when caught, they usually sit on death row rather sit at home having beers with their friends. We can send our message as well.

Keep sowing, jihadis. Most of us are good at pulling up weeds–and at cleaning metal.Baldilocks mini

All die once. But the feaful die twice.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game,
was published in 2009; the second edition in 2012. Her new novel, 
Arlen’s Harem, is due in 2014. Help her fund it and help keep her blog alive!