20 April 2013

Lessons From Boston

I've been listening to the obsessive coverage of Boston on NPR this morning. And beyond the simultaneously necessary and platitudinous reminders that we should not react against any groups ("muslims") I wonder what lessons we might learn. None are on offer on Morning Edition.

There is no question, the marathon bombing was despicable. It is easy and proper to call it an act of terror.  A few of things, though.

First, those gun fundamentalists who think they are going to fight off the government when, as they fantasize, it decides to clamp down, are truly hallucinatory. Look at the mobilization of force against the Tsarnaev brothers. All those suburban patriots do not stand a chance. What other ways are there to defend democracy?

Second, Americans are so insulated that they fail to see that such terrorist acts are commonplace. (Susan grew up in Manchester, UK and her family still lives there. Think IRA.) That does not in any way excuse the Boston bombing. But just maybe, this episode should prompt us to see our commonalities with the rest of the world?

Third, mourning for those killed in the bombings and aiding those injured are appropriate responses. Dancing in the streets is not. The behavior of Bostonians last night was revolting.

Finally, the younger Tsarnaev is a US citizen and has not forfeited that status or the rights that come with it. Recognizing that is a first step toward defending democracy.

A couple of insightful reflections on similar themes: Rafia Zakaria "The Tragedies of Other Places," Guernica and Glenn Greenwald "What rights should Dzhokhar Tsarnaev get and why does it matter?" The Guardian.

Here and here and here are offerings from The New Yorker that bear reading as well.

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Blogger Stan B. said...

And let's not forget that the same policing forces who often harass, prohibit and arrest photographers were this time begging for their work...

This hypocritical "arrangement" ends now!

20 April, 2013 13:32  

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