Attacks not on “freedom”

· Sep 14, 2001 Tweet

I take intense offense at your incendiary use of the phrase ‘Attack On Freedom’ to describe Tuesday’s events. Let me state explicitly that I am horribly upset by the violence we have witnessed. However, my disdain for what has occurred stems from my overall intolerance toward violence.

As reasonable people, particularly people who have access to knowledge about how the world works, we should feel committed to suppressing violent reactions even to something so emotionally challenging. In particular, it’s necessary for us to pay attention to the rhetoric we use, the conclusions we jump to, and our own ignorance of the very real role the United States plays in the rest of the world.

The media is uniquely in the position of being able to sway public opinion considerably and thus must be held accountable for biased reporting. The idea that Tuesday’s catastrophe was an ‘Attack On Freedom’ is a dangerous, intentionally inflammatory one. Assuming that mainstream media is correct in its guess about whom the perpetrators may be, the roots of the conflict in which we are enmeshed run far deeper than the vague ideas about ‘democracy’ held by the American public.

The United States is very involved with the rest of the world’s countries. Our dealings with them and the very intentional conflation of the capitalist with the democratic ideals have inarguably caused strife in other nations. The strikes at the Pentagon (our center of war) and the World Trade Center (a monetary focal point) are telling. We had neither our democracy nor our freedom challenged, but rather our interventional and often coercive use of military and economic capital. Actions of violence are inexcusable, both on the part of ‘them’ and us. Racism is inexcusable. Hatred is inexcusable. We have the choice to accept or reject these ideas as truths, because we are free people. Now is probably a good time to make these decisions.

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This article was published Sep 14, 2001 at 12:00 am and last updated Sep 14, 2001 at 12:00 am

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