relieved? yes…jubilant?…not quite

This may be a unpopular post. But since this blog is about the the conversations in my brain, here’s this morning’s conflict.

Last night the three of us were watching Amazing Race (right when Kent and Vyxsin decided not to read the clue instructing them to travel on foot to the pit stop, but took a taxi instead, which we imagined would incur a 30 minute penalty, giving Zev and Justin a chance to catch up) when the news broke. We were excited. Relieved. Proud of the President and of our country. Alex said, “Wow, my International Relations class is going to kick ass tomorrow.”  I thought the President’s speech was just right. Of course, I was still busy fawning over my boyfriend for his brilliant (and I mean brilliant) speech at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner the night before. It’s here, in case you missed it. I was pleased he called Bush and Clinton. That was the right thing to do.

But then we saw the cheering in the streets. The jubilation. The “we’re number one” chants. The crowds that looked pretty similar to the ones in other countries, the ones we call mobs (except better dressed). Sometimes it’s a thin line between a cheer and a jeer. And that felt not right.

I understand how horrible Osama Bin Laden was. I don’t doubt that killing him was necessary. I can feel relieved and proud. Even pleased.

But I can’t celebrate the killing of another. Not even him. Not with jubilation.

I remember those who were killed on September 11, and those who have been killed in the name of justice, since.

This morning, my friend Ilyse posted this on Facebook:

“And so, to the end of history, murder shall breed murder, always in the name of right and honor and peace, until the gods are tired of blood and create a race that can understand.” -George Bernard Shaw

Oh, we do live in confusing, conflicted times. Being an American is tricky business. Who do we feed, who do we protect, who do we kill, who do we honor?  Sometimes I just don’t understand.

P.S. If you know me, you have heard this before. 19,000 children die every day of malnutrition. I’m just saying.

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3 Responses to relieved? yes…jubilant?…not quite

  1. Kim says:

    Oops! Left my comment under the wrong post. Talking about Bin Laden in the wrong place! Sorry!

  2. Oh, we are having a similar conversation in our house this morning! I have a hard time “celebrating” anyone’s death. I’m embarrassed by the large crowds in DC ad NY chanting “America!”. Isn’t this the kind of nationalism that engendered such contempt for our country and it’s people worldwide? Isn’t this the kind of display we’ve seen by extreme groups, fanaticals, and detested? Why can we not humbly and quietly express our relief that a bad man is gone?

  3. Nicolle says:

    I echo your sentiment! I have had this on my mind most of the night and all morning. I am glad he is gone, although it doesn’t solve all the issues, and I feel weird “celebrating” his death.

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