OPINION

Racist opportunism

The arguments have long been ready: First, the attacks on two Pakistanis last Monday – carried out by a gang of motorcyclists – are isolated incidents. Second, we must take into account the vengeful anger, grief and aggravation that followed the death of the 15-year-old child struck down in a previous hit-and-run incident and the culpable driver – a Pakistani – who left him to bleed to death. Third, such blind and vengeful attacks on foreigners occur in all countries, as we witnessed in the United States following the September 11 terrorist attacks. We should take all this into account, but we should also go a little further, a little deeper. Because if we remain on the surface – on what is obvious and convenient – we are merely seeking to preserve a faultless image of ourselves. The excuse of vengeful anger would be understandable if claimed by those who pursued and manhandled the driver’s passenger, also a Pakistani. But the attacks carried out four days later cannot be described as any reaction «in the heat of the moment,» but must been seen as a cold and calculated decision involving planning and organization – a plan that may not have any connection to the tragedy and the emotions that elicited it, but which exploited the death as an opportunity for racist outbursts. And insisting that «these things happen elsewhere too» is no excuse either…