So, after Osama Bin Laden was killed, there was a lot of rejoicing. This quote was sent around, supposedly from Martin Luther King, Jr.
“I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy.” – Martin Luther King, Jr
Apparently, it’s not from MLK. It’s made up. It’s not real.
You know what, though? I feel pretty good about the quote anyway. There’s something uncomfortable to me in the celebration of the death of a human being. Capture, I might get behind. He probably deserved to face justice for his work to date.
But death? It just feels strange to celebrate a death.
I won’t go as far as Chris Douglas-Roberts, who tweeted the following.
Is this a celebration?? … Always read the fine print. … It took 919,967 deaths to kill that one guy. It took 10 years & 2 Wars to kill that…guy. It cost us (USA) roughly $1,188,263,000,000 to kill that………..guy. But we #winning though. Haaaa. (Sarcasm) … People are telling me to get out of America now b/c I’m against MORE INNOCENT people dying everyday? B/c I’m against a 10 year WAR? … What I’m sayin has nothing to do with 9/11 or that guy. I still feel bad for the 9/11 families but I feel EQUALLY bad for the war families. … What I’ve learned tonight, athletes shouldn’t have perspectives. But I don’t care. We feel certain ways about things TOO.
I share the sentiment to some extent, but with respect to the numbers he’s quoted I don’t think many in the administration would argue that all that money was dedicated to tracking down Bin Laden. Kudos to Douglas-Roberts for taking a difficult stance, and I’m with him in being anti-war in general.
My stance on Bin Laden’s death is mostly about anhedonia – lack of feeling. I don’t feel much here – a figurehead of an abstract group of terrorists is dead.
[the atlantic and Yahoo’s Ball Don’t Lie blog]