Mumblings & grumblings: Politics, crime, and other assorted notions occupying my thoughts as I muddle through late middle age.
Monday, April 22, 2013
An Open Letter to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev
Dear Surviving Boston
It is a week, today, that you and your brother bombed the
You murdered three
innocent people who never hurt you directly or indirectly.A couple in China lost their only child, Lingzi Lu.They invested
everything in her, for her future and theirs since their family was limited by China’s One
Child policy.They don’t even have the
comfort of a remaining child to succor them in their mourning.Another family lost their son.Martin Richards.He was just a boy waiting to cheer his father
crossing race’s finish line.Do you
remember ever feeling the excitement of cheering for your own father when you
were so young?What personal
impersonal thing did he do to harm you or your older brother that he
deserved to die like that while his little sister lost her leg?The last person, Krystal Campbell was there
to cheer on friends and family.She
worked feeding people as a restaurant manager.How interesting it is that someone who worked to nourish others was
murdered by a couple of destroyers.They
were loved members of their families and communities.
Then there are the people you maimed forever as well as
those who, thankfully, suffered lesser injures that were easier to treat from a
medical point of view.But what
infuriates me, what is truly galling to me, was the intention to maim and
cripple as many people as you could – to permanently alter their futures and
rob utter strangers of their abilities to get by – whether to run for pleasure
or to save themselves in the event of danger, to be independent physically and
financially and all the rest that matters to them and their loved ones.
You and your brother murdered a cop who found his way in
your path of destruction as you fled and sought to evade capture.You stole him from his family and, again,
from those who loved him, who he loved.You deprived his community of his work and good will efforts.
Whatever so-called war you and your brother thought you were
fighting and striking a blow over, they didn’t even know existed.
News writers and pundits trying to piece together the whys
and wherefores of your actions blame your older brother as the radical one who
pulled you into this mess.They say your
brother didn’t have any real American friends.Probably not.Friendship takes
effort to build.Friendship takes a
certain amount of curiosity mixed with tolerance and a few other virtues.The fact that he didn’t have American friends
speaks more about your brothers own character defects than anything else.
It doesn’t matter how your brother dragged you into this
terrorist crap.It doesn’t matter whether he and you were
ideologues, hyper-religious true believers or anything else.What you did was vicious and wrong.Yet you chose to stay in it.You chose to work with your brother in
building those bombs and it seems you both had plans for even more.
But I think, somehow, you’re actually more depraved than your
big brother.Last year you took our country’s oath of
citizenship.You voluntarily became an
American.Were you already planning this
bombing with your brother even then?Then, the night of the bombing, you actually went and partied as though
all was right in your world.As though
you were oblivious to the harm you did.Now
the people who thought you were friends with are going to be wondering for the
rest of their lives about their judgment when they cultivated their association
with you.They befriended you with a
certain level of trust and good will and you shit on them.How are they ever going to trust in their own
sense of who is a good person from here on out?You betrayed them.You betrayed
That, kiddo, is some serious deep corruption right there,
Lastly, Dzhokhar, you betrayed your adopted country.After all, you are an American.For the time being.
You got caught, Dzhokhar. Hooray! You got caught. Your
brother is dead, shot “from head to toe” in that firefight with the
police.The ironic cap to his demise is
you drove over him with a car as you escaped, trying to save your own skin.Wounded and hiding in a boat, you were
I’m so grateful for that.I’m sure I’m in good company on that, because we do want you to face
trial for your crimes.We do want to see
a jury convict you.We do want to see a
judge sentence you to prison.And, lastly, I
want to see you stripped of your U.S. citizenship. You don’t deserve it.America has problems aplenty.But you added to them.You added to the prejudices of the
Islamophobes.You hurt people who had
done you no harm.You sold out to
bigotry.You added to the burdens of
ordinary people struggling to get by in a tough economy manipulated by factors
far beyond their control and influence.You’re just another killer, another destroyer, another corrupt actor,
but you’re no American.
Since late yesterday, there has been speculation as to
whether you will ever speak again.I
don’t care really. I know a lot of our
Senators and Congressmen want you to face the death penalty.Everything you and your brother did certainly
earned it.Perversely though, I’d rather
you live.Live.Without a voice, without the rights of a
citizen, and imprisoned for the rest of your natural life in one of those dread
communication management units where you will be forgotten and left to infamy.