Recently I overheard a report on the radio about certain ties between a terrorist group and an organized crime syndicate overseas. Since 9/11 We have been deluged of reports of them in America, England, Irag, India, Pakistan… the list is just to long to repeat here. We have heard of their actions against groups and individuals, young, old and middle aged, and include many unspeakable acts. It would seem that those who perform these acts are being revered by calling them “terrorist’s”, for they carry out their activities for an idealistic and/or nationalistic end.
It occurred to me that whenever I heard the word “terrorist”, I had a certain image in my mind. I wondered if I (and others) have been giving them the same popularized status that America did to entities like Al Capone and others since him. During the 20’s and 30’s, many Americans talked about these gangsters leaders as though they were the “good guys”. They weren’t! For greed they unloaded untold amounts of misery and death unto humanity. The only difference between organized crime of that era, and today’s so called “terrorist”, is their reasoning behind the action. Their crimes (or actions) have the same results.
It occurred to me this reverence had no merit then or now. I thought “should I be calling these groups by names that puts them in an iconic or “martyr” like category, or should I be thinking of them as what they are: criminals”.
By thinking of this from that perspective, an entirely new picture came to my mind. Now, when I hear of groups called by the “T” word, instead of freedom fighters, I now picture something entirely different.
I believe that this change in vernacular was what I, and most others need at this time, a first step.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.