Tuesday, April 16, 2013


Well, the Boston Marathon was bombed yesterday. There were two small explosive devices that went off within a minute of each other. Three killed, lots hurt. People losing limbs. You can see a time lapse video of it here. And here is one in real time. I really like the second one.  It doesn't show any gory stuff. Well, I don't like it, like it, and I am appalled at the atrocity that's been caught on film by a person who got up that morning with the only intention of filming the Boston Marathon on a bright and clear day.

I don't think I'll link any other other pictures I saw.  Too sensational.

What I'd like to concentrate on instead is something I saw in the second video.  As soon as those bombs detonated, police just sort of swung into action.  There isn't time for fear in a situation like this; I doubt they even had time to pause for such a thing as personal feelings.  At the 1:46 mark, you'll see a military service person who has taken it upon himself to go help too.  And civilians. And just people. Going to help others. 

Within hours, there were places for people to go to check in with their loved ones. The Red Cross was on hand. Support poured in from all parts of the U.S. and the world, and nurses, medical personnel and doctors rushed to the Boston hospitals to help.

It also didn't take long for the crazy to start. Conspiracy theories abound, the Westboro Baptist Church is going to picket the funerals of those killed, citing this as an example of God's distaste for tolerance of homosexuality in the U.S.  I'm not linking that site. Too hateful.

It also didn't take much time for the warmongers to start beating the drums.  I have an acquaintance who is in the reserves.  He put this up on his status message:

Hope my fellow brothers in arms are ready to go back war because its about to go down. And I for one am all for it. Don't bring that crap to my country.

I asked what he would think if it was domestic terrorism. I mean, this did happen on tax day and the bombs were small and probably improvised. And it's not such a far-fetched idea. After all, right in Oklahoma was the manifestation of hatred by Timothy McVeigh- a former Army serviceman. The attacks on September 11, 2001 were well orchestrated and on a large scale. That's what terrorism looks like so far in the U.S.  It's fear and racism that wants to separate "us" from "them".  To whom would go to war with, anyway? Nobody has claimed responsibility (furthering my hypothesis). An organized group would use the opportunity to promote their cause. Right? So before we go rain down oppression justice on the heads of civilians "the enemy and their people", perhaps we can take a moment and consider the nature of violence.

That's it. There's too much hate in the world. There is too much suffering and reactionary lashing out. When I was a kid, my sister Yvette and I would fight.  She'll tell you that I pack a mean punch.  She does too.  It took us until adulthood and beyond to learn to hash out our problems with words rather than violence. 

Yes, the world is violent.

Yes, we probably have the largest capacity for violence in the world.

Big fucking whoop.

I'm sick of it.  Even if this turns out to be a foreign threat- some radicals from another land- that does not give us the right or responsibility to go drop bombs on another populace.

Most people are moderate. Most people in the world want peace. Most people are not radical.  Most people do not support violence as a way of life.

Now let's all grow up, put down our weapons, and listen to our elders:

An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. ~Mahatma Gandhi
Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that ~Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Maybe the world is crazy, but that doesn't mean I'm going to join them.

I suggest then, that we wait and let justice work itself out, that we give peace a chance and that we dial back on the testosterone a bit. The authorities will find the perpetrator.  It wasn't your neighbor who doesn't look, walk or talk like you. So if you just can't sit still, then go into action. Do something nice for someone. Help a friend in need. Help a stranger in need. Hug your kid. Plant flowers. Plant a garden.

Be kind. Hopefully, that's what we'll learn from Boston.

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