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.”
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.
June 15, 1995 - the Battle of Sarajevo begins. Pres. Clinton leaves for G-7 Summit, where topics to be discussed are the situation in Bosnia as well as brewing trade war between U.S. and Japan. Senate set to vote on bill overhauling Telecommunications laws, deregulating Cable TV. Michael Jackson gives interview on eve of release of new album, answers Child Molestation questions and Anti-Semitic lyrics. Houston Rockets win NBA title over Orlando Magic. Read more...