On What Matters
Today marks another sad day in American history. Hours ago, there was an act of terrorism, yes; I’ll call it that, at the Boston Marathon. What I won’t do is assign blame because we don’t yet know who did this. No matter what anyone says, we don’t yet know who did this. That sure hasn’t stopped a lot of people from pointing fingers or assigning blame to entire ethnic groups.
Like many incidents where there is loss of life, supposed credible news sources get a lot wrong in the rush to be first. First seems to be at a premium as opposed to right. Few journalists seem interested in getting it right. I mean, if we’re going to incite Americans to rush out as a mob to attack a group of people for an act of terrorism, I think we have an obligation to get it right. News outlets have been quick to state that a man with a student visa was seen running from the scene and is being questioned by police. I watched the video. I saw a whole bunch of white Americans running from the scene and no one is talking about them being questioned. I don’t think that makes them suspicious. I think that makes them sane. When a bomb goes off or two bombs go off, take my advice and student visa or no student visa, damn it people, run.
I have no interest in linking to the conspiracy theory sites that will only get them more traffic. Alex Jones, the guy who swears the Sandy Hook massacre was a hoax perpetrated on the American public so the Secret Kenyan Moose-limb in the White House can make a gun grab, is today screaming this was a “false flag” attack. He says this is to divert the American public’s attention from the “fact” that this was clearly the work of the FBI so the gun-humping Tea Bigots will get the blame. My old pal (said dripping with sarcasm) Pamela Gellar, who loves to blame Muslims for everything from her scorching case of genital herpes to the kidnapping of the Lindberg baby, has made public statements claiming she “knows” this was the handy work of Muslim extremists. If either of those individuals have material facts of this case they’re not reporting to law enforcement, they’re not just informing the American public, they’re co-conspirators in an act of terrorism. It’s pretty much that simple. If they’re not co-conspirators, they’re serial liars. I’m opting for the prize behind Door Number Two, Wink. To those who believe them, yes, stupid should hurt.
Even people I know are calling for closing
the borders to “them” and to stop being P.C. for P.C.’s sake and just start killing anyone who looks like they’re of Arab descent. I’m thinking the aboriginal Americans would like to turn back the clock on that policy too. One individual commented that their ancestors didn’t “have it so easy” getting into this country. Given that the United States government sanctioned the mass genocide of the American Indians in order to steal their land, they had it pretty damned easy by my count. Our ancestors didn’t have visas and they didn’t have a twenty-year wait to gain citizenship. They pretty much stepped off the boat and claimed this country for their own. They then proceeded to rape, pillage and plunder their way to “freedom”.
I well remember the days immediately following 9/11. I was in Manhattan. I watched the towers fall and was pretty sure I was going to die that day and still, the traumatized feelings after all these years persist. Sadly, the memories of how every person of Middle Eastern decent were targeted as a terrorist in the months and years to come. That was pretty tough on my many Muslim friends. It was tough on me too every time I stood between them and a ‘Murican determined to gain glory for the revenge of 9/11. That sort of ugly racism is rearing its vile head once again as they pine for the good old days of George W. Bush while they look for the wrong country to invade. My equally snarky friend Dick said,
“With the U.S. hegemonistic Military World Domination attitude and arrogant occupational policies and murderous CIA covert ops that have “secretly” overthrown foreign leaders for decades who did not play well with us, terrorists could be from any country on the globe looking to issue blow back to the evil empire that is the United States. The U.S. is the largest most powerful oppressive military empire the world has ever seen. Payback is a bitch!”
He’s not wrong. What if it wasn’t the result of a man with a student visa, suspiciously running from a bomb (again, with the sarcasm), but a homegrown terrorist? It’s not out of the question and it’s not even crazy to consider that as a possibility. Bottom line: we have no idea at this hour who is responsible. Anyone who says otherwise is a liar and if they wish to persist with the Islamic extremist talk, I have two words for them: Oklahoma City. If they need two more words: Timothy McVeigh.
You know what no one really talked about on the news today? There was little talk of the people who ran into the blast. As the second bomb detonated, those who ran into the fire scarcely missed a step as they ran toward the sight of the dead and the injured. They ran into the fire. There were medical personnel on hand for the race, first responders (also referred to as tax-sucking union thugs) and common, ordinary people who ran into the fire, not knowing if they would die. Local hospitals saw lines of people at the ready to donate blood. These were common ordinary people and even athletes who competed in the race lining up to donate blood. Except they weren’t ordinary at all. Despite my cynical nature, I saw ordinary people do extraordinary things today and they did it selflessly and without any thought of their own safety. At a time and place in our history when we laud sports figures as somehow heroic, they pale in comparison to the brave men and women who ran into the fire to assist the wounded and dying and they restored my faith in humanity in a moment of horror. Those will be my lasting images of today – how I saw real heroes performing heroic acts and how those were Americans helping other human beings without thought of their race or their sex or their religion or their politics or their nationality. Those are the rare moments I’m proud to be an American.
Next time you hear someone whine about how good immigrants have it, talk of closing borders and boast of who we can bomb to get revenge, remind them of the human moments of this day when people without an agenda, without politics and without a moment of hesitation ran into the fire. You can then tell them to shut their pie holes because what they’re saying is wrong and doesn’t matter one damned bit anyway. When they protest, offer them a second steaming hot cup of Shut The Fuck Up.
The next time someone talks about superheroes… remind them they don’t always come with tights and a cape.
Carol Baker is a freelance political writer and a frequent contributor to Here Women Talk.
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So sick and tired of the knee-jerk responses, I turned off literally everything the other day. That wasn’t news… it was conspiracy theorists who see a Muslim behind every person with dark hair and dark eyes and a media that prostituted itself to corporate America a long time ago, both in a headlong rush to get words out there… any words, didn’t matter if there was any fact or truth to them… just to hear the sound of their own, hate-filled, ignorant, narrow-minded and greedy voices!
I love what you say Carol and agree completely. Not watching the news, I did miss the acts of heroism by all those people, who without regard for their own safety, rushed to the aid of others. Just ordinary people… committing extraordinary acts of selflessness. As you said… not all heroes wear tights and a cape.
The images have been too horrific for me to view. Thankfully, I’ve also found stories of and images showing immense kindness from strangers – people offering food, drink, showers and even accommodations to others. And yes, stories of ordinary people do extraordinary things, running into the fire. Speechless still.