When Malala Yousafzai was 11, she wrote a blog about how much she wanted to go to school and become a doctor. Her articulate, passionate voice made her a media darling for a while – it was at some point during this time I heard her interviewed on NPR. She sounded so tiny, and so brave.
A Taliban spokesman, Ehsanullah Ehsan, confirmed by phone that Ms. Yousafzai had been the target, calling her crusade for education rights an “obscenity.”
I cannot begin to fathom this kind of depravity; I just cannot deal. It just gets into my head and sits there like a rotten piece of meat, it makes me ache somewhere indefinable in my body – maybe wherever my soul is supposed to live – it makes my limbs chilled and slow, it makes me feel tainted by the fear and cravenness and foul, vicious ignorance of these men whose sense of self is so devoid of worth that this girl was a threat. Men who represent the nadir of humanity. Who make me wonder what this whole being human thing is all about.
I will go on, obviously – as we all do, when we read the bad news. It’s not the end of my world. But I’m going to spend some time thinking about what it must mean that this girl found herself on the wrong end of a gun, surrounded by her screaming friends, knowing that all the courage and truth in the world won’t save you now. And then, darkness.