Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Haiyang Zhu Pleads Guilty in Decapitation of Xin Yang: Which Goes to Show Something

In some circles, "everybody knows" that America is a hotbed of racism and hate and intolerance and always lynches black people and communists and stuff like that.

Oh-kay. Let's take a deep breath, and look at America in 2009. Not Harlem during the riots in 1935 or 1943. Or Selma in 1965 - that was a protest march.1 This country's not perfect. (July 3, 2008) But it's no septic tank of big-bellied sheriffs and small-minded bigots, either.

Yes, you'll encounter the occasional law enforcement official with a weight problem and personality disorders. And there are people whose minds are made up - and they don't all dress funny and have broad southern-redneck accents. Some, in my opinion, are considered "tolerant" only because they despise the 'right' people and support the dominant culture's views. (August 5, 2008)

Haiyang Zhu: A Case in Point

Haiyang's guilt plea yesterday is big news in Virginia - and made both America's national news and the international news.

Haiyang Zhu has been held in the decapitation death of Xin Yang, a graduate student in the Au Bon Pain restaurant in the university's Graduate Life Center on January 21in January. Yesterday, he pleaded guilty.

Since the account is in English-language news, at least, around the world; and with a world population somewhere upward of 6,000,000,000; the odds are that someone, somewhere, thinks that Haiyang Zhu is the victim of white racism, American imperialism, or shape-shifting space-alien lizard people.

To paraphrase the proverb: When the only intellectual tool you've got is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

Me? I think that Haiyang Zhu killed Xin Yang and cut off her head: There were witnesses to the murder, and Xin Yang was in two pieces when law enforcement arrived. I also think that killing someone because you feel like it, even if you don't cut off the victim's head, is generally an illegal act in America.

American law and custom call for a formal trial in cases like this: which is what happened. The guilty plea may - or may not - be part of an effort to ratchet down the legal sanctions Haiyang Zhu will experience.

That's my opinion. But then, I'm not inclined to see everything I don't like as the work of commies, the military-industrial complex, crazy professors, or Islamic terrorists.
Related posts, on tolerance, bigotry, racism, and hatred.
Related posts: In the news: 1Background:

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.