29
Jul
09

A Grimace and a Quick Changing of the Subject

Let me thank Ashley and ColdSpaghetti for their comments on some of my recent posts.

Otherwise, it’s been kind of a glum week here at Hispanic Fanatic worldwide headquarters. Besides the stress of selling my house (see my earlier post), I was brought low when I foolishly read a newspaper.

I was checking out how the latest version of the war on terror is going when I noticed that we captured an American who fought with Al Qaeda. It isn’t too often that a real-life traitor is apprehended, so the story got my attention.

But I got queasy reading the article. Because just when I thought we had gotten over Jose Padilla, here comes Bryant Neal Vinas.

He is a Latino born in New York who, according to the L.A. Times, grew up in “working-class suburbs, where Elks Lodges mixed with taquerias.”

Perhaps that mixture didn’t work out so well, because Vinas has “admitted to meeting Al Qaeda chiefs and giving them information for a potential attack on New York” and has “fired rockets during a militant attack on a U.S. military base in Afghanistan.” Vinas has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder and to providing material support to a terrorist organization.

Now, as I’ve written before, Hispanics sometimes feel an irrational shame whenever a fellow Latino does something criminal, stupid, or vile. Reading about Vinas, I had to sigh and say, “Where’s John Walker Lindh when you need him?”

It’s not all bad news, however. A U.S. government official said that, when it comes to Al Qaeda, “Vinas’ background is clearly unusual. He stands out. A Latino American is an unusual profile.”

Well, at least it’s not common.

That’s something, isn’t it?

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