It was a morning like any other in the tiny burgh of Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The overpowering stench of wet cigarettes and cow flatulence filled the salty sea air. Small children giggled with delight as they frolicked around the smoldering remains of last night’s cross burning. From the nearby cotton fields, the faint crack of horsewhips could be heard over the drunken whoops of hooded Klansmen.
At the town’s makeshift college, slack-jawed students gathered in the campus community area known as “The Pit”, perhaps to arrange dates with their sisters to the evening’s barn dance, or maybe to cram for the big exam in Tobaccy Chewin’ 101. Little did they know an insidious enemy lurked amongst them, secretly plotting their destruction, patiently waiting for the right moment to strike. It was an enemy allowed to roam freely within our borders for years, welcomed and even embraced by those sworn to protect us. Yet no amount of duct tape or visqueen could prepare the nine hapless Tar Heels for the two-tons of cold metal death that would rampage through their school like Dick Clark through Columbine High, scattering hogs, chickens, and empty cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon to the four winds.
The terrifying evil of SUV’s is nothing new. A Jeep Cherokee killed ten people in Glendale last year. Another was responsible for the death of an elderly man in Miami just two days ago. An SUV was even witnessed at the scene of one of the many church fires that have been plaguing Alabama the past few months. The news of SUV-caused deaths has become so commonplace that the media no longer reports it, this latest incident being no exception. But the threat these oversized vehicles pose to pedestrians is enough to raise even the most pro-SUV eyebrow. When plowed into a crowd of people, a sports utility vehicle is ten times more likely than a passenger car to kill someone, and will do so far less fuel efficiently. In most cases, the Republican driver of the vehicle will walk away from the accident unscathed. The nine young men, women, and transgendered UNC students struck down that day weren’t as lucky, and will face years of reconstructive surgery and emotional therapy before the atmosphere burns off and the ice caps melt, killing them all anyway.
Yet Bush does nothing.
The romantic “terrorist” label has been recklessly bandied about the right-wing blogosphere, yet no abortion clinic was targeted and the SUV was rented, not purchased. Since the man behind the wheel was not a white Christian male, there is little need for the FBI to investigate a “hate crime”, either. Indeed, the whole thing seems like a tragic misunderstanding on the part of the driver, and any further speculation about his motives would only be divisive in time when the Magical Healing Powers of Unity are needed most. However, I would hope that the families of those injured in the accident pursue civil action against both Chrysler and the Bush administration for criminal negligence. Perhaps a hard hit to their bankbooks will force them reconsider unleashing any more dangerous vehicles onto our streets.