Tuesday, March 15, 2005

The reactionary inside.

Every time I hear about MS-13, otherwise known as Mara Salvatrucha, I somehow morph into a slavering reactionary. They are, if you're not familiar with them, a very violent Central American gang that operates with virtual impunity in DC, LA and other major cities. The feds captured something like 100 of them this weekend, with thirty-five or so coming from DC. In any case, when I read this news, my first reaction was, "When do the executions start?" How fucking weird is that?

I understand the various social factors (death squads, Salvadoran civil war, poverty, etc.) that fed into the founding of the gang, but I find it impossible to empathize or even care about the folks who join MS-13 and commit crimes. Anyway, I've been trying to understand how I can feel such loathing for one particular criminal organization and its members and I just can't figure it out. Needless to say, I find it disturbing that I can be so blithe in my discounting of these 100 human lives.

My gut reactions aside, I do hope that these people are given a fair trial. If they're guilty, let us hope the feds do not decide to send them back to the Honduras and El Salvador, but instead safely seperate and incarcerate them in federal prison. If they're not, let us hope they can return to normal life and avoid further run-ins with MS-13.

Anyway, I wonder if there is anything I can do but struggle with my personal biases?