By now, dear reader, you undoubtedly know that the JonBenet Ramsey murder mystery has reemerged in the public consciousness, thanks to the arrest of one John Mark Karr. We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” must say that we have no special insight into the guilt or innocence of Mr. Karr, although we should add that we find him suitably creepy to be a pedophilic serial killer. Or, at least, we wouldn’t be terribly surprised to learn that he is one, and that he even possesses business cards advertising this as his occupation.
Rather, we aimed at discussing another matter pertaining to the JonBenet murder media frenzy. Perhaps it is just us, but we have noticed that some people have shown a very different attitude toward the Ramsey parents than that directed toward the suspects of other crimes.
Allow us to explain what we mean. Although the guilt of Mr. and Mrs. Ramsey in the death of their daughter has never been proven, many people have long harbored the suspicion that the parents were, in fact, guilty of the heinous crime in question. In order to support their assertion, those inclined to this view would often point out the purportedly strange world of ultra-rich Colorado residents who compelled their children to join gaudy beauty pageants.
“Look at the deranged stuff these wealthy, white freaks had their daughter do,” they’d say. “Of course such folks are capable of killing their kid.”
Now, we must say that we haven’t any idea about the guilt or innocence of Mr. Ramsey and/or his late wife. But we think that this miring in the supposed sordidness of the Ramseys’ lifestyle serves as an interesting counterpoise to the treatment of suspects of other high-profile cases.
Take, for instance, a prime example of American Islamist nuttery. First, Mohammad Reza Taheri-azar, a 22-year-old Iranian recent graduate of the University of North Carolina, infamously drove a rented SUV on the campus of his alma mater, hoping to run down as many people he could in a display of Islamist anti-Westernism.
Now, rather than give Mr. Taheri-azar–who was quite talkative about his desire to kill Westerners in retaliation for America’s supposed brutality–the Ramsey family treatment, the officials at UNC couldn’t even bring themselves to call his actions terrorism. Unlike in the Ramseys’ case, they didn’t want to link his background to his crime.
The administration at UNC wasn’t interested in whether Mr. Taheri-azar’s course of study at their school may have fueled his anti-Western animus. They didn’t say something like, “Well, gee, he’s an Iranian who attended a school with the typical leftist anti-Israel, anti-American professorate; of course he’s going to wind up doing something like this.”
The same is true in the case of Naveed Afzal Haq, the man who pleaded guilty to shooting six women at a Jewish community center in Seattle. Rather than focus on the background and profile of Mr. Haq, most were content to disassociate the crime from the community to which he belonged.
So, in these admittedly disparate cases, the treatment people offer supposed perpetrators differs–at least publicly. In short, it’s un-kosher (if you will) to bring up the background and habits of suspected criminals; this could lead to un-PC views of entire communities. That is, of course, unless you’re talking about rich white people–then it’s open season.
After all, what’s more suspicious: Coming from a community replete with extremists who refuse to condemn terrorism in strong terms or putting your five-year-old in a beauty pageant?
(Note: The crack young staff normally “weblog” over at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” where they are currently envisioning a makeover show aimed at John Mark Karr called Queer Eye for the Creepy Serial Killer Type.)