I write this in the early morning hours of May 2nd, a few hours after President Obama announced that a covert military operation in Pakistan resulted in the death of Osama Bin Laden, the mastermind behind the attacks on the World Trade Center and The Pentagon here in the States and several other attacks across the globe.
In one sense, I feel some closure. Closure for the nearly 3,000 families that lost someone on that awful September morning in 2001. But I cannot get caught up in the flag waving and the singing of patriotic songs. Frankly, I don’t think it’s time for that.
It’s been a rough 10 years. We lost our sense of security, our sense of self, and perhaps even our common sense. We’ve gone from surplus to debt, the rights of the individual are getting crushing by corporate greed, and the disparity between rich and poor is wider than ever. We’re fighting two wars. And while we may have elected the country’s first Black President, make no mistake about it: Racism, classism, sexism, ageism or all of the other ism-schisms are alive and well in the 21st Century.
So as people gather at The White House or at Ground Zero to blow off a decade of steam, let’s not celebrate the death of a man who has brought death, misery and sorrow to people here in New York City, Washington D.C., Pennsylvania and around the globe. Let’s celebrate life. Let’s celebrate the liberties that allow us to be different and to have differences. Let us with due dilligence, make our voices heard against anyone – who for power or for profit – deny us the basic human right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Let us stand up against policies that, directly or indirectly, produces the likes of a Manuel Noriega, Saddam Hussein, or a Osama Bin Laden.
Most importantly, let’s have a real dialogue. Through smartphones and social media outlets, we have the capabilities to connect to anyone around the world in a matter of seconds. But are we really talking to one another? Are we really communicating?
It is my sincest hope that we can have honest, open conversations about where we are as a nation and how we can move forward.
We don’t have to agree, but we can at least understand.
And let’s bring our troops home. Please.