Friday, April 15, 2011

Just A Thing

When I was listening to NPR this morning, I heard Jennifer Griffin, who had been a correspondent for Fox News is Israel for a time, make an interesting statement. She was talking about the dreadful anticipation of the resumption of hostilities after sundown after the Sabbaths.

"[...] and you knew that a Palestinian suicide bomber was on its way to sites in Jerusalem[...]"
To be fair, it's just as likely, if not more likely, that Mrs. Griffin had simply momentarily lost track of the fact that she was referring to the bomber rather than the bomb, but it jumped out at me nonetheless. And I wondered, "Is this how it starts?" Because we are often told to think of the process of dehumanization as a more organized thing. A sort of emergent order that "exclude[s] the target of aggression from the moral community," even when it lacks intent or design. Still, in the end, it makes the commission of atrocities easier, even when we tell ourselves that we would never do such a thing, and so we're often invited to see an act of deliberate evil there.

But perhaps it just sneaks up on you. Hiding in slips of the tongue or a misplaced word. Until the next thing you know, it's wormed its way into your mind. And where once was a person, is now just a thing.

No comments: