**So with it being a new month and since I launched this site on May 1st, I’m gonna get myself in writing trim by doing 30 posts in 30 days. At this point, I’m not setting a specific time of when I’ll post. Not gonna give myself rules (yet). The post will go up when it goes up sorta like my…yeah. Some days I may put up 2 posts and others I may put up one. We’ll see how it goes.**
If you can’t fall asleep before midnight like me, you saw the news that Osama got his mind pushed right
by Jack Bauer. Everybody was goin’ bonkers online (rightfully so to a degree) and it seemed as if any blogger in a flexible niche was scrambling to put a post together to ride the wave of traffic and climb up in the SEO rankings. I could’ve done the same, but I was fatigued and my brain was picketing. I also wanted to have some time to digest the significance of what happened and talk to a few co-workers since I work for an international nonprofit that has an office in Pakistan. So yeah, I slept on it. Pause.
I woke up this morning at 630 feeling a little uneasy. Given the magnitude of bin Laden’s death and the fact that he still has strong supporters in the United States as well as hot beds of terrorist activity around the world, it isn’t out of the realm of possibility that his death would expedite the execution of something deadly. It wasn’t too long ago that God or the Ghost of Final Destination was on our side in Times Square when that van was full of explosives. It wasn’t too long ago that a young (black) man boarded a trans-Atlantic flight to Detroit with explosives in his pants. It also wasn’t too long ago that UK officials thwarted an attempt by terrorists to “disrupt” the transportation system. So in my mind, it wouldn’t be too far-fetched for terrorists to systematically make trains in NYC the last ones that people would ride ever. Yeah, it’s scary. That’s why they call it terrorism.
Turning on the news before I walked out of my apartment probably wasn’t the best idea. Every station was replaying the president’s words. People were jubilant in the streets of DC. Americans were rejoicing and already falling forward into a false sense of security. It was and continues to be really strange. This is the 2nd time that I’ve seen us enthusiastically celebrating someone’s death — the last time being when pictures of Saddam’s body laying in a slightly bloodied sheet hit the news waves. And even when he was hanged, I don’t think people showed such a “happy” reaction. It’s understandable. Saddam was a dictator that was responsible for the deaths of many…outside of the United States. Osama’s impact is permanently markered into our history and we’re all still feeling the effects today in the form of either lost loved ones, airport requirements, or police officers present where nearly 10 years ago they were non-existent.
I made it to work safely. As much as we in the office all wanted it to feel like a regular or triumphant Monday morning, I think we were all lost in reflection and harboring a certain level of discomfort that we hadn’t. experienced in years. It was great to see justice served in Pakistan, but there’s something about Americans cheering in the streets that is very familiar. There’s something about waving our flag, high-fiving, and indulging in all sorts of celebration that seems eerily similar given the circumstances.
Think about when the Twin Towers fell. Think about when American or allied lives were loss in great numbers over the last few decades. Do you remember what the news showed us from the countries in which these plots originated and were supported? They showed us pictures and videos of locals waving their flags, burning the American flag, and/or celebrating the fact that they were — if even just for the moment — victorious. Now what did we do today in celebration of the death of someone held in high regard elsewhere? I see a resemblance that makes me really f*cking uncomfortable.
I’ve asked myself a few questions over the course of today. Does this monumental death make us any better off? Did we really get redemption or are we setting ourselves up for it? Would we have been this collectively jubilant about bin Laden’s death had those planes not hit the Towers and the Pentagon? And even more specifically to Black people, are we excited because this happened during Obama’s presidency? Realistically, the cost of bin Laden’s life was enough to buy Barack four more years in office. Is that what we’re celebrating in our communities or is it that we’re just down with the common patriotic American still feeling the sting of 9/11? Did the media really steal Obama’s thunder by breaking the news, or did it allow those most heavily impacted by the terrorist attack to feel a modicum of retribution in the lingering wake of lost family and friends?
From the outside, we look like a united state, but I just can’t help but to wonder how much more divided we’ve become as a result of what’s happened. I hate to be cliché, but only time will tell. I think we all still have a lot of thinking to do. In the mean time, I’ll be racially profiling like the rest of us in major metropolitan areas wondering if that one could be that one. C’mon now. I’m not saying it’s right, but it’s very real.
I still don’t think we’re #winning,