Sunday, April 21, 2013

Leonard Pitts Jr. Utters The Best Response to Boston Massacre II: OMG!

Pitts has done it again. Last Tuesday, this blog reposted Leonard Pitts Jr.'s response to 9/11 as an appropriate response to Boston Massacre II (April 15, 2013). Today's Op-Ed column in the Miami Fishwrap uses Internet slang to convey the horror of Boston Massacre II: OMG! The Dumbos are already mounting a Benghazi II campaign to indict the federal government for dereliction in its handling of the citizenship of both of the brainless brothers with ties to Chechnya. There is enough horror to go around without Dumbo stupidity. Let The Geezer (R-AZ) and his foxhole buddy from SC go on a camping trip with the former Governor of South Carolina on the Appalachian Trail. Romance galore: Sanford and his Argentine firecracker in one tent and The Geezer and Lindsey baby in the adjoining tent. A pox on the Dumbos and the horses they rode on. If this is (fair & balanced) contempt for Dumbos/Teabaggers everywhere, so be it.

[x Miami Fishwrap]
Staggered By Loss, Standing Together
By Leonard Pitts Jr.

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Soon after the explosions, there appeared on the website of the Boston Globe a video of the moment. Runners in the city’s iconic marathon are jogging across the finish line and everyone is cheering, when there is a clap of thunder and an orange bloom of fire from within a ring of flags honoring the nations represented in the race. It is followed, seconds later, by another blast from just down the street. The cheers become shrieks, falsetto shrills of panic and fear and the videographer carries you forward, to where the smoke is drifting and police, runners and bystanders rip barricades apart trying to reach the epicenter of chaos.

“We need help!” someone cries.

And the videographer whispers three words to himself. “Oh, my God,” he says.

He says it again. “Oh, my God.”

He keeps saying it, probably doesn’t even hear himself, probably doesn’t even realize. “Oh, my God.”

Amid expert analysis and speculation, no one will say any words more fitting, more viscerally descriptive than those. They are an entreaty of the Almighty, yes. They are also a susurration of helplessness in the face of stark and awesome evil.

Oh, my God, because blood sits on the sidewalk in pools.

Oh, my God, because pieces of people litter the streets.

Oh, my God, because our nightmares now walk in sunshine.

“We can’t do this anymore,” a man named Allan Kaufman tells a reporter. “We can’t have open events anymore. You can’t control it.” It is a measure of the day’s horror that for an instant, his words seem to make sense. But they don’t, of course. Not really.

Even if what Kaufman suggests were possible — and it isn’t — it is not something we could choose. The need to gather is fundamental to the human condition. So there will always be marathons. There will always be baseball games and Super Bowls. There will always be shopping malls at Christmas. There will always be concerts and movies. There will always be places where people gather to compete, fellowship, laugh, shop, enjoy. So there will always be opportunities to do to us what somebody did in Boston.

“No man is an island,” wrote John Donne, “entire of itself. Each is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.”

Even in grief, this truth proves itself. On street corners, people with glittering eyes and fallen hearts embrace people they do not know. In hospital waiting rooms, strangers lend one another strength. And in churches, synagogues and mosques people gather to seek release from lacerating pain or simply to whisper again and again.

Oh, my God, because nearly 180 people were wounded and maimed.

Oh, my God, because three people were killed.

Oh, my God, because an 8-year-old boy will never get to finish the chalk drawing of butterflies and flowers he left in the driveway of his home.

Oh, my God, because sometimes, you just run out of words.

But the 8-year-old Martin Richard knew what to say. There is a picture of him circulating online. Taken at school a year ago, it shows the boy holding up a sign. “No more hurting people,” it says. “Peace.”

His death is a bitter irony and visceral reminder that we live fragile lives on a fragile planet. And when you come right down to it, all we really have is each other. That’s our vulnerability — and greatest strength. We stand defiant. And we stand with Boston. Ω

[Miami Herald columnist Leonard Pitts, Jr. won the Pulitzer Prize for distinguished commentary in 2004. A former writer for Casey Kasem's radio program "American Top 40," Leonard Pitts Jr. was hired by the Herald as a pop music critic in 1991. By 1994 he was writing about race and current affairs in his own column. His column was syndicated nationally, and his 1999 book Becoming Dad: Black Men and the Journey to Fatherhood was a bestseller. After the attacks on New York and Washington, DC on 11 September 2001, Pitts wrote an impassioned column headlined "We'll Go Forward From This Moment" that was widely circulated on the Internet and frequently quoted in the press. In the column, Pitt bluntly expressed his anger, defiance and resolve to an unnamed evil terrorist: "You monster. You beast. You unspeakable bastard." Pitts attended the University of Southern California and earned a BA in English.]

Copyright © 2013 Miami Herald Media Company

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