The hype over Boston

On Monday at 1:00 pm –  a week after the bombings took place in Boston – a large group of people gathered on Parliament Hill in Ottawa to pay respect to those who were affected by the act of terrorism.

At 1:30 a tribute march took place from Parliament Hill to the American Embassy. As I was walking amongst the crowd, I couldn’t help but feel a little bit angry. A lot of people I was walking around were wearing Boston 2013 blue and gold jackets – their badge of honour, sporting it proudly. That means they were there – they had trained and made the trek from Ottawa and they ran the race. A race I’d love to be able to participate in someday. I think other people in the crowd felt similarly as they placed their running shoes on the fence behind the embassy.

Social media has been telling me that I don’t have perspective; that getting angry about the bombings in Boston is to overlook the fact that there are way worse situations around the world. Within 24 hours of the Bombings in Boston, people on social media were using it as a platform for “Pfft. Americans. They blow everything out of proportion. Stuff like this happens in Syria everyday.”

I don’t mean to sound angry or… hyped up… but isn’t it a bit too soon to be all up in arms and telling people to get perspective?

Just to be clear, I couldn’t have more of a bleeding heart for situations in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan. I think what happens there every day is an atrocity. I think that any government that persecutes it’s citizens should be brought to justice. I think that any group of citizens that terrorize other subsets of populations are hypocrites. And just to be clear, I think from our position of privilege, we should be doing what we can to neutralize hostile and volatile parts of the world.

But in my opinion, that argument- the argument where you say, “Americans hype up events and acts of terrorism in their own country” doesn’t have space in the discussion of what’s happened in Boston.

What happened in Boston was awful. And people who are outraged at what happened, are more then entitled to blow it out of proportion… because, proportionally, when was the last time a bomb exploded, maiming dozens of people, injuring countless others and killing three on Boylston street in Boston? Paul Revere was probably alive if and when the last time anything like this happened.

We should be mad that international political systems don’t stand up for the persecuted when they should – and we should be disgusted by powerful governments in the world who both instigate and refuse to take a stand after they’ve stirred up trouble.

But in the meantime… I’m thankful for my position of privilege -The one that I will never take for granted. And that’s why I’m all hyped up about it.

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