(annotated for people who don’t feel like clicking all the links.)
Despite the name, Serbia & Montenegro is actually one country. But not for long. After this (they pulled out of the contest because they can’t agree on a song), can political separation be far behind? Also, what the hell is with the Serbs? Look how hard everyone in the area tries to get away from them. Do they have really bad breath, or something?
I know, I know, it’s that whole genocide thing. Maybe not so much that it happened, as that many Serbians (BBC roundup of Balkan press coverage on Milosevic’s death) seem genuinely perplexed as to why everyone’s so upset about it. And honestly, I can’t explain why without resorting to tautology, because it’s just so self-evident to me. It’s very hard to explain something to someone if you can’t understand their position, and “genocide is fine in some circumstances” is a cognitive leap that I am simply unable to make.
Okay, change of subject: I realize it’s a bit of a stretch to link one nation’s history of bigotry and violence to another’s via this incident (Duke lacrosse team rapes exotic dancer at a party) in North Carolina, but I’m gonna do it anyway. Because I kinda see a similar dynamic. According to Ancrene Wiseass,
The lacrosse team has closed ranks and refuses to offer any information about the incidents
That’s right – the team stands by the criminals in their midst. And why not? Members of this team have misbehaved before (15 team members’ prior offenses) and gotten away with it, so they already know that they’re above the law. And clearly, it hasn’t yet occurred to them that what they did – racist barking? rape? strangling? hello? – was, you know, wrong or anything. Because it’s not just an isolated event, but the product of a system that assigns more value to some people based on their race, class, income and athletic ability, and that value basically amounts to a get out of jail free card. I hope Duke comes down hard on them – the University owns the building where it happened, and they could legally suspend the entire team for obstructing a criminal investigation. But will they? Duke, like other universities, has obviously bought into the system (special privileges for athletes) for a long time.
Conservatives accuse us liberals of moral relativism. They say there are absolute truths, absolute good and evil. If this gets picked up by Conservative bloggers at all, I’m guessing they’ll blame the victims. I bet they’ll ignore the fact that if the race/class of the people were reversed, if it had been black athletes from N.C. Central assaulting a white girl from Duke, they’d already be wearing orange jumpsuits. Will they recognize their own moral relativism?
I don’t usually post politically-oriented things, because I usually don’t have time to do the research to back up my assertions (damn my journalistic principles, even though very few actual journalists seem to have them anymore). But I’m not a journalist, I’m just a housewife with a blog. I think the story should reach as many people as possible, and I really hope it makes us all question the assumptions we have about our society. Not just question. Change.
A good writer would bring this back around to the Yugoslavia thing, but I worked all day on this post, so now I have to go do something else.
The situation is being tracked over at Justice 4 Two Sisters.