Lent VIII: My God, My God, Why Have We Forsaken You?

I heard more about the horror at the Binghamton immigrant center yesterday and thought “Impossible. Hadda be a redneck nursing a resentment. Hadda be some doofus who looked like Hillbilly Jim, complete with Ford pickup truck, shotgun rack, a whole-cloth upstate cliche as wrought by a former New York former Jew.”

Wrong. Now I find out it was some guy named Jiverly Wong, a laid-off employee of IBM in Endicott, 10 miles to the west of Binghamton. In the next days and weeks we probably will learn a lot more about Jiverly Wong and the demons that led him straight to making the world a little bit of Hell for his victims and their families.

[Addendum 4/5/09: BBC reports Wong did not work for IBM but for a company called Shop-Vac which manufactures heavy-duty vacuum cleaners. That is an amazing change of occupations.]

In the meantime, consider that Wong killed all those people with two licensed Beretta pistols, a 9 mm and a .45. He had carry permits. Read it again. He had carry permits for both guns.

Are you getting this? Are you getting a single word of this? Or do you still believe that happy horseshit about the obscene farce called the Second Amendment, the one paragraph I wish the Founders had never written into the Constitution because they actually believed that human beings would not fuck up anything they touch.

Picture Jiverly Wong. He comes to this country from a collection of war horrors imaginable only by guys who fought there or who lived there. Somewhere he learns the practice of engineering and goes to work for IBM, a company I used to know because once upon a time (1974) I worked in that same mile-square complex. Wong was an engineer but I sniffed trichlorethylene while I scrubbed the copper plates that became the base of computer circuit boards. My future wasn’t in IBM and I knew it. But Wong probably thought his was. So then IBM cans him. The terms is “lays him off.” The effect is the same. He becomes one of The Terminated, a non-person and death’s head to anyone who still has a job. America has never respected or given a damn about the unemployed. My God, don’t  you people know that even yet, with an unemployment rate over 8% and approaching Binghamton’s 9%?

We are afraid of our unemployed. We hold them in contempt because they make us afraid. So we create bars to cross: “Did you look for work? Did you work off the books? Did you kill anyone?” You have to prove you are worthy, that you’re not malingering, shirking, slacking, or giving up. We look at them and think “Right, he’s a spade. Oh, he’s from PR. They’re all like that.” And now Wong proves he’s one of the despised. He’s a gook. It doesn’t matter that he’s an engineer. I’m reminded of Malcolm X’s question:

Q: What do you call a black man with a Ph.D.?

A. Nigger.

I have not channeled this poor bastard on some Ouija board. I don’t know his motivations. He might have snapped if he were a white guy from Whitney Point, New York, 29 miles up Route 81. But at some point he lost it. He had absorbed the American Work Ethic: If you don’t have a job, it’s nothing to do with the economy, it’s because you’re a bum [this is where normal people stop]. And here is the madness: there are people who put you here, and you’ve got to pay them back.

So you go into an immigrant aid center after you’ve barred the escape routes, and you start killing people. And then you kill yourself.

I’m not saying Wong deserves pardon for what he did. If he is burning in Hell for what he did, he has earned his ticket. Many people have their careers shattered without going on a murder stampede. I know because I was one of them, and more than once. I am trying (oh God I am trying) to look past the acts of a man who went mad and instead discern the serpents eating his mind. I am also wondering why the hell someone didn’t see beforehand that Wong was a bit out of his mind and confront him on the way to getting him some kind of help. Even if that help was simply to care after IBM made him a non-person.

But nobody did. There was no support network for this man. He will be shoveled into a midden and any lessons we might learn from him will be forgotten because nobody wants to learn them or even to look a bit more closely than we do when we read yesterday’s baseball scores.

And of course we cannot imagine life without our precious Second Amendment, can we? Already the lesson is being turned around. Michael Savage, supreme Court Jew, is screaming about borders again, and the other Court Jews like Steve Malzberg and Mark Levin are yelling that we all need to go out and get ourselves a piece so we can shoot someone too. It’s called “protect ourselves,” but anyone who knows anything knows that’s a translation for “kill someone.”

We will learn nothing. We never learn anything. A nation of illiterates and morons will create more of the same, and the hole in the earth will open wider and wider.

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