Rashard Mendenhall’s Twitter posts is exactly why The Critical Thinker was birthed. To provide a brief overview, Mr. Mendenhall posted on Twitter his thoughts on the reactions of many people on the death of Osama Bin Laden. One of his posts read as follows: “What kind of person celebrates death? It’s amazing how people can HATE a man they have never even heard speak. We’ve only heard one side….” Well Mr. Mendenhall was lambasted and harshly criticized for his views. He has even lost endorsements over it.
I totally understand the sensitivity surrounding Osama Bin Laden and September 11, 2001 (I get that), but as The Critical Thinker, I have to agree with Mr. Mendenhall. I too questioned the need for “celebration” and “cheering” at the death of anyone. Conversely, I understand the emotions involved as to why someone could cheer or be happy, but the long and short of it is, the death of Osama Bin Laden will not bring back those we lost in the attack of 9/11.
We tend to love buzz words like “closure,” but can the loss of a loved one in such a horrific manner really be closed or brought to closure at the death of another individual? Is there really such a thing as justice because the perpetrator or mastermind is killed? Mr. Mendenhall states in his blog, “This controversial statement was something I said in response to the amount of joy I saw in the event of a murder. I don’t believe that this is an issue of politics or American pride; but one of religion, morality, and human ethics.” This critical thinker agrees. It is for the same reason that I am not a fan of the death penalty. Now don’t get me wrong , I am totally for guilty killers/murderers being dropped off on a deserted island without any provisions and no chance of ever reaching a mainland again and for them dying naturally when God gets ready, but not for another human killing another human and then calling it justice. What makes the lethal injector or the sharp shooter any different than the perpetrator? They have both committed the same act just under a different justification. This critical thinker just does not understand how the killing or the dying of anyone brings closure to someone who has lost someone through death. It would seem to me a slow suffering would bring more of a feeling of revenge than a quick death. (I know, I know, just the fact that they are gone from the earth) but what really does that do?
Mr. Mendenhall states, “I wasn’t questioning Bin Laden’s evil acts. I believe that he will have to face God for what he has done. I was reflecting on our own hypocrisy. During 9/11 we watched in horror as parts of the world celebrated death on our soil. Earlier this week, parts of the world watched us in horror celebrating a man’s death.” In other words, aren’t we a pot calling a pot a pot? When does someone stand up and say enough of this madness? Do we really think about what we do and say or are we just happy with sound bites and buzz words? We seem to always be so thrilled with words that sound good during an interview. That’s why the tag line for this blog is “For those who choose to move beyond the sound bite.” When are we going to move beyond the sound bite? Closure…………..
This critical thinker is an extremely proud American and my views like Mr. Mendenhall’s does not change our pride in America or our thankfulness that we are Americans; however, because we are Americans we have just as much right to express our views as those who felt so comfortable with cheering and celebrating the death of another human being. For the record I felt the same way when Saddam Hussein was executed. Killing is killing no matter how you slice it (I will talk about the issue of water boarding torture tactics in another post)
Lastly, Mr. Mendenhall ended his blog post with the line that inspired me to write this post when he said, “It [his statement] was only meant to encourage anyone reading it to think.” As the Critical Thinker I could not agree with him more. As always, I welcome your thoughts and comments in the comment section of the blog.
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