Friday, February 8, 2013

The Ugly Side of Human Nature

I recently wrote an article asking what situations warrants death. I'll show my ugly side and will answer about a situation where I believe death is warranted. When one or more people show intent to use violence to take the life of another, all safety measures are off. Lethal force can and should be used to defend those who are the target. The aggressors have forfeited their rights by demonstrating an intent to kill another human being.

With that said, the killing of Kepari Leniata in Papua New Guinea is beyond words for me.

I can't even begin to describe the helplessness and anger I feel. When a crowd of hundreds gathers to watch a person burned alive and drives the police away, I lose all faith in humanity. This is, in a very sick way, is an amplified version of what I talked about in Bow Your Head to the King where I pointed out people's elation about the judge's punishment against Penelope Soto: it is a desire to see someone punished for a perceived crime. But in the case of Kepari Leniata, the mob's retribution manifested itself in its sickest form: torture followed by murder. Those involved in her death need to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law for committing a hate crime. A dank, dark dungeon can not hold these miserable excuses for human beings long enough.

Furthermore, I have no compassion for the police either. The police indicated the crowd drove them away. Excuse me? Police have weapons: at times, hand guns or in the least, batons. Yes, I understand how facing a mob of hundreds would be near impossible. But the moment the first bully takes on the brunt of bullet, many will break and run with fear. Personally, I believe in my heart I couldn't stand by and watch something like this unfold. My rage would overtake me and I would end up being killed trying to save the victim. I would rather die trying than to live with the guilt of doing nothing.

Yes, I realize I hold a belief that is a paradox. Wanting to save someone who a mob targets even if it means killing the instigators becomes necessary goes against itself. But as humans, we live with diametrically opposing beliefs in our life and I accept this inability to resolve the issue. Just as a reminder for anyone who thinks people don't have conflicting beliefs, abortion and the death penalty are two examples of contradiction. Those who support a woman's right to abort a pregnancy typically oppose the death penalty. But an abortion is death so a paradox exists. And the same is true for the converse for people who support the death penalty but believe abortion is a crime.

Adding to my confusion and disgust, the comments to the linked article are abysmal. The trolls who comment about Christianity being guilty of similar crimes are using diversionary tactics to distract from the real issue. Humans do things on their own accord. Religion can and does influence, but we must take responsibility for our own actions. I don't even want to hear anyone attempt to blame the girl in regards to her indicating she used sorcery. Youth doesn't make good judgment calls. We are inexperienced at that age and are usually completely confused about how to handle life. In our youth, we take more chances and sometimes do things that end our life. Regardless of what she said, a crowd has no justification in carrying out a vigilante-style action.

Ultimately, the horrible people who took a role (including watching) that lead to the loss of this young woman's life are fully responsible and need to be brought to justice.