I’m disgusted by those who politicize tragedy

Published 7:22 pm Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Like so many of you, I was shocked and saddened by Monday’s news of an explosion at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. I will continue to pray for those many families who lost loved ones, or whose loved ones were injured, and also for the countless others whose lives will never be the same after living through this event.

It is disgusting enough to think that there are people in this world who are so cold and callous that they would think nothing of killing innocent people on such a day of celebration. However, I have been almost as disgusted by people who have sought to politicize the event — both on the left and on the right.

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof tweeted, at 4:10 p.m., that “explosion is a reminder that ATF needs a director. Shame on Senate Republicans for blocking apptment.” While Kristof has since “apologized” and deleted the offensive tweet, it is disappointing to me that this was one of the first thoughts to enter his mind so soon after such a tragedy. Other pundits have been quick to judge that the explosion was likely the work of a “right-wing domestic terrorist,” like Timothy McVeigh or Eric Robert Rudolph. As far as I can tell, their judgment is based on nothing more than throwing a dart at a dartboard — please stop and show some civility. Not everything needs to be a political football; there are families hurting.

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Of course, you can find just as many disgusting comments and tweets on the right side of the political spectrum. I have seen people who are already blaming President Obama, for “weakening” America’s military force. Others have used the tragedy to advance their arguments against gun control, with smarmy comments like, “See, this is why we need to ban explosions.” Even more have almost instantly deduced that it had to be fundamentalist Muslims behind the attack, once more with little evidence to suggest that. Yes, there are reports that a Saudi national has been interviewed in connection with the case, but again it seems far too early to jump to such a quick conclusion.

In a time of tragedy like this, I really wish that my fellow Americans could put down their red or blue-colored glasses for just a moment. Let’s come together and unite, rather than instantly look for someone to blame, whether it’s Muslims, or Obama, or right-wing nuts, or whoever.