(results of the unhinged)
As talk of our fractured society enters the realm of the extreme, I'm reminded of how, after the first few hours of the bombing of the Federal Building in Oklahoma city on April 19, 1995, no one really wanted to believe this was something homegrown. One of us, a seemingly adjusted functioning human being, bent on destroying lives, most of them children, bent on proving an abstract incomprehensible thought might be responsible.
Gov. Keating (Oklahoma): “I know of no threat and I know of no warning. The size of the explosion indicated, I think, to many of us who have been in this business is that it had to be more that a utility blast, and apparently that’s what occurred and it’s, you know, a terrible, terrible thing that these innocent people could be savaged like this.”
As this compressed recording of the first 3 hours shows, from roughly 9:30 to noon, thoughts were geared towards some terrorist group from another country, much like the ones who tried to blow up the World Trade Center only two years earlier, or the ones earlier that day in Japan who set off poison gas in the subway system, fashioning themselves after the Tokyo subway attacks only a month earlier.
Even an early report linking the bombings to an erroneous phone call linking the Nation of Islam, seemed more credible than the real story that was unfolding. And it wasn't until almost two hours later that it occurred to someone in Oklahoma City that maybe, just maybe this bombing was some form of revenge for Waco - that this day, April 19 was an anniversary. And this, as twisted logic goes, was a good excuse even as the casualties rose on a minute by minute basis.
So I'm reminded how easily the unhinged can operate, how easily they are goaded into acts of extreme violence by manipulators to prove an abstract point even they aren't quite sure of. They are only sure of nameless hate and faceless fear.
And the propagators of hate and hate speech and hate media like that just fine.