ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Politics and Social Issues»
  • Social Issues

Who would do such a thing?

Updated on March 30, 2015

Who would do such a thing?

Last week (March 19, 2015) a 27-year-old Afghan woman, a student and teacher of religious studies, got into an argument with a local mullah over his taking advantage of poor women by selling them charms and trinkets at a local shrine. As the argument escalated he changed tactics loudly and repeatedly accused her (quite falsely) of burning a Quran. Within minutes a crowd gathered in front of the shrine and, believing the mullah, began to savagely beat Farkhunda. But beating apparently wasn’t enough so they pushed her from a roof, ran her over with a car and set her on fire and then threw her body in the Kabul River. What kind of people would do such a thing? Or consider the case of three men who were also falsely accused of a crime who, without trial, were publicly castrated, stabbed, beaten, tied to a plow and then burned to death in front of a large gathering of casual onlookers. What kind of people would do such a thing? In the first instance, Farkhunda wasn’t assaulted for religious reasons, though that was the pretext. She was beaten for being a woman who dared to argue with a mullah. As a woman she broke social custom and tradition and challenged a man, a religious man no less, and tragically paid for it with her life.

The second instance did not happen in Afghanistan. It was not perpetrated by ISIS or Boko Haram (as brutal as these groups are). It happened in Kirvin, Texas in the spring of 1922. And it happened simply because the three men were black and they, like Farkhunda, violated some social norm and were punished. Lynching in America was routinely accompanied by incredible acts of brutality, beatings, stabbings, genital mutilations and other means of torture that often culminated in the victims’ bodies being burned, many of them still alive, some still hanging from trees. These typically occurred in the light of day in a public spectacle. It is not unlike the Jordanian pilot who was burned alive in a cage by ISIS and whose horrific death incited international outrage, except that such actions in America did not even stir national, much less international, outrage and condemnation. In a roughly 70-year period (1877-1950) nearly 4000 brutal lynchings have been officially documented while others will never be accounted for. According to the historical records the majority of these took place across a dozen southern states. In the 1920’s Congress couldn’t even pass an anti-lynching law. It is a matter of public record that 200 anti-lynching bills were proposed in Congress and not one was made into law, always being blocked by a strong coalition of Southern Senators. This history is so dark that finally, in 2005, the United States Senate issued a formal apology for its role in blocking all those anti-lynching efforts. In doing so the Senate acknowledged its failure to take meaningful action to intervene to stop the brutality and instead essentially protected those who perpetrated such brutal acts.

So what are we to make of Farkhunda’s murder, or the murder of Allen Brooks or W.R. Taylor or the thousands of other nameless black men murdered in this country? Only this, there is none righteous, no not one. We must deplore the actions of those in Kabul who violently beat a young woman to death. We must also acknowledge that we, as a nation, were not only capable of the same kind of brutality but our political and social systems (even our religious institutions) defended such actions and, by inaction, endorsed them. So while we are rightly condemning the brutal acts of radical extremists and terrorists, we need to bear in mind that our own history is such that our Senators felt compelled to issue a formal and public apology for our part. It took us 100 years to come to the point where we understand our own culpability. What might Afghanistan think about Farkhunda in 100 years? In 10 years? In 1 year from now?

We have a responsibility to stand against such violence, particularly against women, and demand justice. But we should never do so with righteous indignation, as if we have no darkness in our history. Nor should we pretend that women in our own country are immune to violence. Being beaten by a mob may be far more horrific but it is no less painful than being beaten by a single man. We should stand against violence with the full recognition that, in our past we, too, have fallen short of our own ideals and that, while we have remedied some of our failures, we still struggle to uphold the moral values that are our foundation: that all men (which we now understand means all men and women) are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. We pledge ourselves to be a nation committed to “liberty and justice for all”. These must become more than words recited. If we wish to promote freedom, equality and democracy around the world, let these values be truly modeled here first and then shared everywhere, for they are truly worthwhile values.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • maxoxam41 profile image

      Deforest 3 years ago from USA

      We are certainly not heading towards the light... Restis vs. UANI will corroborate it.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)