i couldn’t quite believe that the victims’ families were already talking forgiveness. i can understand eschewing hate, but what about the hurt and the anger? so soon after the massacre, i would still be too hurt and angry to forgive. i’d need time to process the loss of a loved one in a house of god during bible study. i’d need to know more about this killer — is it genetic, he has ku klux klan roots? is he psychotic, completely out of touch with reality? or is it racism, he simply hates american blacks the way hitler hated jews? where did he learn this hate? from a family member? a friend? a teacher? the web? all of the above? i would want to know where he was coming from when he planned and carried out the killings. to start a race war, he confessed. as if a race war has not been going on in america like forever. i guess he wanted to liven things up, he was bored? i would need convincing that he did not know what he was doing before i can even begin to think forgiveness.
Flying time from Barcelona to Dusseldorf is an hour and fifty-six minutes—not a long haul—so there’s no reason to imagine that Andreas Lubitz, the co-pilot of Germanwings Flight 9525, could have anticipated that his commander, Captain Patrick Sondenheimer, would get up and leave him alone in the cockpit, as the captain did, a little more than twenty minutes after takeoff on Tuesday, while the plane, an Airbus 320, cruised over the French Alps. There is no reason to imagine, in other words, that Lubitz could have foreseen, on that route, or on that day, much less in that precise airspace, that he would find himself, without any struggle, in a position to lock himself in the cockpit and take control of the plane, initiating its descent, and continuing to fly it steadily down, down, down over eight minutes that must have seemed to anyone conscious of the trajectory a god-awful eternity, especially after the captain began knocking, then shouting, then pounding at the barred cockpit door—flying down, down out of the sky, down into the mountains, down into death: his death and the deaths of the hundred and forty-nine other souls whose fate he had become.
There is no “but” about what happened at Charlie Hebdo yesterday. Some people published some cartoons, and some other people killed them for it. Words and pictures can be beautiful or vile, pleasing or enraging, inspiring or offensive; but they exist on a different plane from physical violence, whether you want to call that plane spirit or imagination or culture, and to meet them with violence is an offense against the spirit and imagination and culture that distinguish humans. Nothing mitigates this monstrosity. There will be time to analyze why the killers did it, time to parse their backgrounds, their ideologies, their beliefs, time for sociologists and psychologists to add to understanding. There will be explanations, and the explanations will be important, but explanations aren’t the same as excuses. Words don’t kill, they must not be met by killing, and they will not make the killers’ culpability go away.
To abhor what was done to the victims, though, is not the same as to become them.
it’s three days later and (correct me if i’m wrong) nary a news report, whether on mainstream or social media, on the huge explosion that rocked binan, laguna last saturday night. learned about it lang on facebook, from the sunday morning status of my niece ainee amador-mapili who lives in filinvest, binan. she and husband art were on their way home along dona justina right beside the wall of binan steel when hell broke loose.
Leilani Marie Amador-Mapili : It was really scary. A sudden blast of hot air and then falling debris in flames! My car window was open and I thought I was going to get burned. Biñan Steel is our neighbor. It is located within a residential area but was re-classified into an industrial area by the then Biñan municipal govt when this was pointed out by concerned homeowners. According to an engineer friend who also lives in the area, a furnace may have exploded. Mayor Lenlen Alonte-Naguiat, Vice Mayor Dimaguila, city councilors: The blast could’ve been stronger, it could’ve been fatal (or is it? We heard sirens in the distance). What are you waiting for?
more from ainee and the comment threads:
…mukhang malakas nga kasi may nadinig kami kakaibang pumutok kahapon,, nasa bandang bicutan kami.. malaki yung tunog kasi.. hindi transformer ng meralco ang tunog … Explosion was so strong it ripped the roof of Binan Steel when I passed by the highway this 7:30 am. Columns of twisted sheet metal on the plant’s wall along Dona Justina st … nabingi nga yung right ear ko kasi nasa side ko yung explosion … aside from previous explosions, acrid smell was emanating from the steel mill, and according to homeowners living near the site, fine gray powder is often found on their cars and garden. The Sanggunian said they will look into the classification. And they did, they changed it!! Galing ‘no! … super lakas na as in parang World War 3 was declared!!! … Yeah!! Everyone in the village was jolted!! The blast was horrifyingly strong!!!…and the powers that be in Binan surely felt the strong blast as well….strong enough for them to investigate and act on the Binan Steel long pending issue … Don and i did the same (googled) and we were surprised na wala talagang news! Dumating daw ang gma7 and abs-cbn, don’t know kung totoo. … not sure why it’s not in the news. sobrang lakas ng kapit ng BS kung nagawa nila ng news blackout. Nothin on tv, radio … Mga anak ko nga just finished watching Prometheus nung nangyari yung blast, kala nila merong naglanding na aliens sa bubong, hahaha!
The firetrucks and police weren’t allowed to enter the BS compound on the night of the blast. There were reported casualties and the police will try to find out where they were brought. … according to the police, kung bomb explosion daw, they can force their way in. But still, they have to make a report na ayaw sila papasukin. E yung firetruck, bakit d nila pinapasok? … somethin is cookin here….smells like cover up…Again!
Hi Ainee! Just got this message from Mayora….denr issued an interim cease order to BS to stop operation…according to cenro mas titibay daw order ng local govt for the order to stop operation…good morning…
calling out media. bakit kayo dedma? who owns binan steel ba?