This same Harry Burkhart was just arrested, accused of setting more than 50 arson fires in Los Angeles including one at the popular Hollywood and Highland Entertainment Complex.
In typical fashion we are now hearing news story after news story talking about the mental illness Burkhart may be suffering. We’re hearing stories about how he was agood man gone bad. We should show some sort of sympathy because he’s upset about having his family torn apart….
Oh yeah three other facts y’all should note.. 1-Burkhart just arrived in the US on October of 2011.. His visa is set to expire at the end of January.. 2-He’s wanted for questioning in Germany for arson fires he’s accused of setting there..3-Burkhart’s mother is wanted for 19 counts of fraud back in Germany.
Is this a case of a distraught young man who loves his mother and acted out? is this a case of a young man who momentarily lost his way? Should we really be upset after all he didn’t kill anyone he just lit a few fires? Damaged property can be replaced. The love a man shows for his mother is universal and should be embraced and upheld-right?
Imagine if you would for one second, if those 50 arson fires was set by an undocumented Brown man-lets call him Julio. Let’s say 50 arson fires were set by Julio Gonzalez, upset that his wife, parents or kids were immigration legal limbo and set to be ousted from the United States. Could you imagine the outrage? Could you imagine the scorn that would come across every news station about the ‘evil ways of Brown folks?
We would have law makers climbing over themselves demanding we build more walls along the border and we would be empowering the police and any other law enforcement officer to check the papers of anyone fitting the description. Brown and immigrant communities would be under siege and sadly far too many of us would cheer. We would be asking are there any more Julio’s out there setting fires?We would be looking into Julio’s background trying to see if he was gang member and if his actions were part of a larger plan.
No one would dare suggest that we show sympathy and understanding to Julio for ‘monetarily losing his way because immigration laws were tearing his family apart.. And don’t let us discover that the object of Julio angst was wanted in her home country for criminal activity like Burkhart’s mother. Don’t let us discover Julio or his family member was wanted in Mexico or El Salvador for 19 counts of fraud.
Terrorism? Yes, Julio would be considered a Domestic terrorist if he set 50 fires in a big city like Los Angeles and you could bet some overzealous Congressman like a Peter King would be demanding we hold hearings about the community Julio came from and whether they represent a threat to society.
In the case of Burkhart.. No one is asking aloud if Burkhart’s actions are connected to a larger plot? After all, we had the firebombing of Mosques in NY at the same time as LA was being set ablaze-coincedent or connected?
Burkhart is a German national.. Can we connect him to the growing Neo-Nazi movement here in the US? Can we connect every German both here and abroad to Nazism? Should German Americans be concerned that the heavy arm of the law will see each person of German decent as potential arsonist? Do we start looking at Germans as Anti-American?
As this case unfolds one should keep in mind the way we have come to view the case of Burkhart and hows its being isolated and framed. He’s a troubled young man who has mental problems. Contrast that with the words we’ve heard used to describe undocumented farm workers, street vendors or undocumented students pushing for the Dream Act to be passed-They and anyone who even looks like them are seen as lawbreakers who should be swiftly and harshly punished removed from our land. They are seen as threats to society while Burkhart is not..
Something to Ponder..