We can only be defeated by ourselves

London’s St Paul’s Cathedral surrounded by smoke and bombed-out buildings, December 1940.

Thoughts after the bombing in Manchester, England on May 22:

Hitchcock’s 1936 movie “Sabotage” portrays a terrorist bombing, based on a Joseph Conrad novel set in London in 1886. There are Britons still alive, including the Queen, who lived through the Blitz in WWII. In later decades the Northern Ireland troubles led to attacks in England. On July 7, 2005, bombings hit London’s transport system. Britain has never been defeated by this. We know we won’t be either. We can only defeat ourselves.

Some of the worst terrorism in America was home-grown, from the white mob that destroyed a thriving African American community in Tulsa in 1921 to Oklahoma City in 1995 to the murder of nine people at a Bible study class at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston in 2015. Us-vs-Them attitudes led to those crimes; they cannot be a sane response to them. We must live our principles when doing so is hardest. We have been manipulated enough by xenophobes and religious bigots.



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