Something About the Death of Osama

3 May

I was going to write something about how some of the reactions I’ve seen to the death of Osama Bin Laden made me feel uneasy.

About how using it as an example of our vigilant country – never resting against those who never rest in their quest against us – is a prescription for a never-ending and fundamentally inhumane war.   About how such a prospect, precisely the one that Obama, Hillary Clinton, and other current leaders are proposing, makes me feel a little ill.

But then I read my friend feed on facebook. Nearly half of you have posted the magnificent quote from Martin Luther King Jr. who said it all far better than I would have:

“I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

Others of you pointed to this ““USA! USA!” is the wrong response” article.

Others of you pointed to NPR’s “is it wrong to celebrate Bin Laden’s death?

Fellow contra dancer Andrew posits “What makes Bin Laden and other extremists so terrible? I would argue its their ability to dehumanize and celebrate the death of those they view as evil.”

In short, I have chosen my friends well.

Let’s all remember that we are human beings.  Humanity is our birthright, our intended habitat, and our future.  This is a fundamental truth which I hold to be self-evident.   Let’s be humane.

If dehumanization is the true power of extremists, and the opposite of terror is joy, it is our ability to be humane to each other and to experience the joy of our co-existence that is our true strength, and the source of the greatest power humanity can express.

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2 Responses to “Something About the Death of Osama”

  1. J May 3, 2011 at 4:41 am #

    Well said. That quote of MLK is only partially a quote of his, however. The first sentence, “I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy.” was not said by Dr. King. See here: http://www.freep.com/article/20110502/NEWS09/110502087/On-Facebook-viral-MLK-quote-isn-t-his

    • Junorhane May 3, 2011 at 10:42 am #

      I did know this, but I figured in the context of my article, where I’m also quoting my friend feed, that I would leave it. I don’t know who said “I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy.” but I know that I really wish it had been President Obama.

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