In our little intellectual "salon" (French word) of semi-pundits that include [Fred] and the new guy, [Lawrence], we have at work, we were discussing the recent assassination attempt on Barack Obama by two young pieces of s**t.
A couple of white supremacists in Tennessee, Daniel Cowort, 21, and Paul Schlesselman, 18, drew out a plan to kill a total of 103 people: they would first kill 88 African-Americans, as "88" is the code for "Heil Hitler". They would then behead 14 more, 14 being the number of words in the slogan "We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children." The final kill would've then been Obama at a Democratic National Convention.
I'm sure, in court, they will run behind the First and Second Amendment, although they were arrested for illegal firearms possession and intent to steal guns from a dealer. The First Amendment being because they were not caught in attempt but just with drawn-out plans.
[Fred] suggested that the government just kill off their leaders and then begin to work on the members individually. And while an enraged, violent version of myself says this is a truly delightful and efficient thought, the morals in me say that this will not work. Besides not always being able to identify who does and does not hold terrible beliefs, killing them will only strength the divide between races. And there are worthless idiots out there who will sympathize with the supremacists' deaths and continue to carry the torch themselves. Perhaps with even sharper conviction.
I began to think that what would really be ideal is for these guys to change ("Yes We Can!" =D). I am fully aware that white supremacists groups have been around for ages, and that for every person that wises up and leaves, some other impetant cur who is angry that they got jumped by a group of black people when they were younger will join (because, of course, there are no Chinese or Japanese or Spanish or Dominican or Indian or Middle Eastern or Russian or British or Italian people who have done death-penalty worthy acts). But I personally feel better about seeing these people be enlightened, looking back on the things they did or/and said and, after months of deep depression and quite possibly suicidal tendencies from the megaton load of guilt (the necessary process through which they must proceed), begin to be understanding and sympathetic for other cultures and races. Begin to recognize people by their personality, adherence to morals and their human rights. Of course, keeping them alive after they've committed atrocious racist hate crimes runs the risk of them just rejoining the White Supremacist movement later on. And hoping Mr. Cowort and Mr. Schlesselman to redeem themselves in the light of rational society may just allow them to better carry out their plan another time. This all gets complex.
Intellect was high during the old days, around the 19th century and before. But in those times, people read or watched plays for entertainment. So, a much higher I.Q. average was more of a side effect then a goal. Then again, the words 'intellect' and 'culture' are very much linked. If European nations were truly cultured or the forefront of civilization (which we'd now have to argue the meaning of), slavery of Africans and the near genocide of Native Americans would not have been. But this is another tirade altogether.
My point is, W.E.B DuBois spoke of having a nation led by a team of elite intellectuals (today's American governments never embody this, and if you think McCain and Palin does, you should be putting your head in an open car door and slamming away), but I think we should all be much more rational on a basic level. I mean, I personally believe that there should be a national mob mentality against people like the two listed above. Against all white supremacists. But there isn't, and I think that's because people don't realize how truly destructive this kind of mentality is. I don't think that people realize it and are just indifferent; if one grasped all the kinds of harm white supremacy does in the short and long run, they would be affected.
I'm beginning to sound like a lousy Repub in telling you what you should and shouldn't feel, so I will stop. But a truly enlightened generation (like the one Obama is working to have =D), would not withstand these sorts of things, nor would there be even half the proliferation of such plans as there are now.