At least ten years ago, my brother and his kids were visiting when we were living in Our Nation’s Capital. There was a heightened security threat that weekend and many people were staying close to home.
We went to The National Spy Museum. We even took the Metro.
We are not foolish people (most of the time) and we are not particularly daring or brave. But we decided that day to live our lives. We had the museum to ourselves and a good time was had by all. Were we lucky? Careless?
The Brits have been especially good at keeping calm and carrying on since 1939. It says so on countless coffee mugs and posters. Through World War II, through the 2005 Underground bombings, and now in Manchester, stoic Brits have refused to let violence or the threat of violence keep them from living their lives. It’s not that they will be careless in these days; it’s just that they will not let terrorists win.
Zeynep Tufekci writes about social media and – lately – about social media and terrorism. She suggests that if we give terrorists the infamy they crave, others will repeat it. Instead, she says we should focus on the victims of particular crimes and on the victims around the world. (i.e. DAESH has killed many more Muslims than non-Muslims.)
In February 2017, she tweeted: “Most acts of terrorism receive wall-to-wall coverage. We face many risks in world, terrorism is one of them—but one that feeds on attention.” What if the media reported the crime without running endless loops of gory film footage? What if we called the terrorists “losers” instead of “extremists” or even “terrorists”? (On this matter and maybe only this one, I have to agree with President Trump.)
We carry on. We try to make safe and smart choices. But we continue to go to concerts and outdoor cafes and ball games and parades. We hug our children and tell them we love them every day. We dare to pray for peace in the world. We ask God to confound evil plans. And we live as if love will ultimately win because that’s what we believe.
It’s still Eastertide, my friends.