As the country is mesmerised following the farce that is currently taking place in Pieta, it is my feeling that unfortunately attention has been diverted from the tragedy that is slowly unfolding in our society.
I am talking about the ugly R word - racism.
The death of Mamadou Kamara has exposed the ugly underbelly of our so-called Christian culture. The great majority of the Maltese would be up in arms should anyone even dare suggest that crucifixes be removed from public places, because it is "part of our culture" - but mention the importance of charity and treating other people humanely as being intrinsic to Christianity and all you get is a blind stare. Their idea of charity is to drop €1 into the collection basket to be sent off to help poor children in the "missions".
Over the last few days I have been following the activity on the rather inappropriately named 'JUSTICE FOR SERGEANT MARK DIMECH & COLLEAGUES' Facebook page. The administrators of the page are insistent that they will not tolerate any racist comments and in fact they have been very zealous in deleting those comments that they found inappropriate.
What is rather revealing, however, are the comments that they have chosen to leave on the page - presumably because they do not perceive them to be racist. Dozens of photos have been posted to show damaged beds, slashed tents and "weapons" that were allegedly manufactured by the detainees in the closed centres.
What is the message here exactly? That it is OK to beat these people to death because they sometimes riot, or throw urine or faeces at a soldier?
Was Mamadou Kamara armed when he was apprehended by Sergeant Mark Dimech and his colleagues? Did he outnumber the soldiers who were hunting him? Were the soldiers in fear of their lives?
According to Lance Bombardier Gordon Pickard when he arrived on the scene, Mamadou Kamara was pinned to the ground by Mark Dimech, while his colleague Clive Cuschieri was kicking him in the back and "below the stomach".
The court documents state that a "post mortem examination revealed that he had died due to severe blows to his lower abdominal area". Now I am not a man, but I have always been aware of the fact that just one kick in the groin is enough to incapacitate even the strongest of men for several minutes. So the first kick would have felled him - why on earth was he kicked a second time, and a third time....
However, unbelievably, the people running the 'JUSTICE' page want us to believe that there is no way on earth that the soldiers could possibly be held responsible for the death of that poor man.
I am willing to accept their very valid argument that we should not judge prematurely and that we should wait for justice to run its course. After all, perhaps Mr Kamara was unwell and suffered from complications that led to his untimely demise. However they themselves are guilty of not allowing justice to run its course! They themselves have already pronounced Mark Dimech and his colleagues to be innocent, and incredibly they do not even realise the irony of the situation.
I will quote a Kate Walker, who has been very vociferous in her protestations of the soldiers' innocence:
"No matter who any of these soldiers are and what they do, the fact still remains that they have come from a family and group of friends that love them dearly, and know (not believe, KNOW) that individuals like Sergeant Mark Dimech are not capable of murder, let alone a racially motivated murder. The fact remains that Mark used to go to work every day with a smile on his face...."
So there you have it. Kate Walker has known Mark Dimech for six years and shared many a pleasant evening with him and therefore she KNOWS that he would never have been a party to a brutal beating that led to a man's death.
Well Kate, you are wrong. There is no way you can know what happened that night - because you were not there. If it is true that all you want is that "these three men receive a fair trial" then you should shut up, because quite frankly, you are doing them more harm than good. Here I am, in fact, writing about the case simply because your ridiculous comments got my attention.
The fact is that at the end of the day nobody can ever be sure about what someone else would do in a particular situation. I would dare say that it is in fact almost impossible to be sure of what you yourself would do in extreme circumstances - I would like to think that whatever the situation I would always behave honourably, but put me on an overloaded, sinking boat with three other survivors and only god knows how I would react.
There have been countless situations where those nearest and dearest to even the most deranged of serial killers did not realise that they were dealing with a psychopath, so much as Ms Walker would not like to admit it, she really does not KNOW what Mark Dimech is capable of.
The wife of John Wayne Gacy (a serial killer who killed more than 33 young men and buried them in his basement) believed for years that they had a problem with their drains, resulting in foul smells wafting up from under the house.
Judith Mawson, who was married to Gary Ridgway, never suspected that he was responsible for the deaths of at least 48 women. "He made me feel like a newlywed every day," she told ABC News in April 2007. "He'd come home from work with a big smile." Pennie Morehead was the author of a book about Gary Ridgway and she also spoke to ABC News - "our nation's most prolific serial killer was also a terrific husband and friend and lover to his wife".
And then there was Colonel Russell Williams - a base commander and a devoted husband - who was found guilty of a string of sexual assaults and murders. His wife loved him, his neighbours liked him....
So Kate, honey, it is possible that your cat might have worked it out, but you clearly have not.