If he is found guilty of murder, he becomes an even more uncomfortable emblem of South Africa after apartheid. I doubt that many people who cheered for Mandela’s ascendance and a new “Rainbow Nation” expected South Africa to subsequently become a world leader in rape, violence, and genocide.
And I doubt that many sports fans who found inspiration in Oscar Pistorius expected him to murder his girlfriend.
Such are the pitfalls of romanticizing and idealizing the disadvantaged.
What’s perhaps most unsettling about his alleged crime is the fact that he’s disabled and is therefore presumed to always be a victim and never a perpetrator. But I like to believe in an equality of corruptibility. I cling to the hateful fantasy that blacks, women, gays, and the disabled are every bit as capable of malice, ill will, and murderous intent as are fully ambulatory straight white males. And as far as I can tell, Oscar Pistorius was perfectly able to kill.
The heedless valorization of the handicapped has been one of the least healthy fads we’ve been forced to endure over the last generation or two.
Wheelchair ramps are hideous.
Handicapped parking spots are inevitably vacant.
Rearranging society to accommodate a tiny percentage of people is what eventually got us gay “marriage.”