Scoot Blog: Boston explosions - who?s to blame?
What was your first reaction to the breaking news of the explosions at the finish line at the Boston Marathon today?
Two explosions killed two people and the injury count continues to rise. Today is an annual holiday in Boston and this would have been a prime spot to use terror to make a political statement. That was my first reaction, but we still don’t know who is responsible for the explosions.
As I watched video of the first explosion just behind the spectators at the finish line of the Boston Marathon I noticed that the concussion of the explosion shook a row of flags representing nations around the world. This visual was a stark reminder that there is ‘hate’ in the world.
Regardless of who is behind today’s explosions, this was an act of terror on the part of someone. It has yet to be determined if this was the work of a terrorist group, or an individual. Surveillance cameras will provide video of the movement of individuals prior to the explosions and that could lead to identifying those responsible.
But until we know who is responsible our instincts will lead us to initial conclusions. After the explosion at the federal building in Oklahoma City, there was early speculation that Muslim terrorist were behind it. But it was an American, Timothy McVeigh, who with the help of a few others bombed a building out of hate for America.
In America, we are quick to define ‘hate’ as something that comes from those who are different from us, but there are too many examples of ‘hate’ coming from American citizens to dismiss homegrown hate leading to terrorism.
As a society, we want instant answers because we want to know who to blame. At this point, we don’t know who - or why. Regardless of who is responsible for this attack on a day known as “Patriot’s Day” in the great American city of Boston, we should be reminded that whether it’s from the outside or inside America, the hateful tone of political discourse everywhere should make anyone a suspect.
As I thought about the vulnerability of the crowd gathered at the finish line of the Boston Marathon today, I instantly thought about the large crowds we were in over the weekend during the French Quarter Fest. I also thought about all the times we are in massive crowds in New Orleans and throughout the South with our festivals and celebrations.
Perhaps we could all do a better job of being vigilant when we are in crowds. What happened in Boston today could have been an individual dropping a backpack on the ground. If someone did that during the French Quarter Fest would you defined that as something to report?
As Jim Morrison and The Doors sang years ago, “People are strange!” Without encouraging over-reaction to people in crowds, let’s try to learn from yet another tragedy. Even if it doesn’t look that suspicious, if you see anything that might seem strange to you – report it.