Young Male Loser
Rahami is the suspect in the bombing and placement of explosive devices in the New York area.
He is a naturalized citizen (1995) who was born in Afghanistan and later returned there and then to Pakistan, perhaps to learn the do’s and dont’s of bomb-making.
In the midst of our political frenzy he is this week’s point person in the great immigration debate.
Take just one step back and Rahami’s birthplace, and religion, for that matter, become not especially relevant.
Rahami is a latter day John Wilkes Booth/Lee Harvey Oswald/Timothy McVeigh, that is to say, a young and deeply disaffected male who stumbles upon a doctrine which explains his lack of success and provides a way forward.
Booth saw the killing of Lincoln as his way to fame, Oswald viewed communism as a unifying epiphany and McVeigh’s savior was the anti-government militia movement.
All, including Rahami, came from troubled homes and backgrounds.
Immigration and religion are convenient red-herrings detracting from the perennial problem of young males using violence as a means to assuage their failure.
In the 19th and early 20th centuries it was the Irish and the Germans who were the immigrants under siege.
They were beaten to death in the streets and burned to death in their homes.
The “other” always provides a convenient, if incorrect, scapegoat for our fears.
Stopping these failed and dangerous lads occurs when:
-the people around them see their actions and report them,
-we make the common tools of violence (weapons, black powder, etc.) subject to reasonable control,
-we both empower and closely monitor agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation to ferret out plans and plots.
All three take personal commitment, energy, interest, and awareness, commodities in short demand when prejudice is the default, and lazy, option.