November 24th, 2008

One Species

Today a jury in Texas convicted some people of funneling charity money to a terrorist group - Hamas.

I was struck by this quotation:
“My dad is not a criminal!” sobbed one courtroom observer after the verdicts were read. “He’s a human!
I don't know the age of the speaker, who was doubtless in deep distress. But the line of thought struck me as odd. Being a criminal and being a human are not exactly contradictory.

The first, I reckon,
is a subset of the second.

It's true that we often speak metaphorically of criminals as if they were subhuman animals.

But criminals are people too!

Committing a crime? You may go to jail.
But no way will you grow a tail!