Billie and Louise — Our Friends, Too
Rutland Herald (Vt.) Editorial, Oct. 27, 2012:
Billie and Louise have won friends around the world. Letters have arrived at the Herald, via email, from Portugal, Ireland, England and around the United States, mostly pleading for the lives of the two coeds. Green Mountain College has reportedly been flooded with angry messages.
It is safe to say that the college’s decision to invade Castleton State College and target these two students for rape, torture and ultimately slaughter has excited alarm around the globe precisely because it was a deliberate decision. Women have been subject to rape, torture and slaughter in every country. Teenagers are chained in confining little houses for the violent pleasure of soldiers before they are dispatched. Old women are crowded into cages. Children are maintained in squalid, crowded camps covered in their own waste, stuffed with grain then trucked to their demise.
But it is the fate of two coeds whose end will be the result of a thoughtful, deliberative process that has produced an outcry. Probably it is because it puts the fact of human slaughter squarely before us as a human choice. Yet that is precisely why Green Mountain College carried out its exercise in thoughtful decision-making. It is part of an educational program about sustainable societies.
The cruelty involved in raising children for slaughter is a fact of life — if you want to call it cruelty. The end to which Billie and Louise are headed is ordinary and common. Their lives are what have been consequential. They have allowed a college community to understand that social relationships are about cycles of life and death. That is a useful sort of education.