Day of blog silence

I want to express my heartfelt disgust and disappointment with today’s “One Day Blog Silence in honor of the victims at Virginia Tech.”

Before I say why, let me first admit I hold no ill will toward those participating.  I believe they’ve done so out of an abundance of heartfelt compassion and respect.

However…

Unless I missed it, we didn’t do any such thing for the victims of Hurricane Katrina or Rita, for the hundreds of thousands of victims of the Indonesian tsunami, for the thousands who’ve already died and the great many who die each and every day fighting overseas in the name of protecting America (even if they’ve been sent to die in one illegal war and another that’s been wrongfully ignored in favor of politics), for the victims of genocide in Darfur, for the victims of the Amish school massacre, or for any number of mass deaths which have taken place recently—or continue to take place around the globe.

Yet somehow fewer than three dozen college kids in a repressive and intolerant state deserve what none of these other people deserve?

Give me a break.  That’s so offensive as to make me puke.

But again let me say I do not doubt the intentions of those participating in today’s hushed blogosphere activity.  They do so with the best intentions conceivable.  Likewise, they’ve been misled into thinking it appropriate to mark this day while ignoring so many others.

To those who organized this event: You have shown tremendous selfishness by goading others into demonstrating a tactless disrespect for the nearly quarter of a million people just from the examples I cited above… and all for thirty-something lives cut short in an abhorrent act of violence.  You should be ashamed of yourselves.

To those who participated in this event: I’m sorry you were tricked or dragged into this vile episode.  Many like me appreciate the sentiment you silently voiced today.  Nevertheless, it seems insulting at best to many others who apparently didn’t deserve any sign of respect or camaraderie.  Perhaps next time you can look deeper and touch more.

4 thoughts on “Day of blog silence”

  1. hey there, found you while surfing.

    Just wanted to comment as one of those folks who participated in the one day blog of silence. I was in no way “misguided” or “tricked” into participating.

    I think it was debated and agreed that those choosing to go silent were free to honor whomever they wished, not just the VTech victims.

    I used it as an opportunity to pay homage to all the victims of violence, especially to those millions who were raped, maimed and murdered in my own native Sierra Leone, West Africa. Children die everyday in my country.

    I suppose I’m lost on the thesis of your point that an orchestrated memorial for one group somehow equates to ignoring others. Last time I checked, there had been sevearal memorials, scholarships, services, and other gestures used to honor victims of other tragedies in history.

    How does paying hommage to one set of victims automatically mean I was insulting or somehow disrespecting other victims?

    Why should hosting a blog post of silence make me ashamed ??

  2. I think it was debated and agreed that those choosing to go silent were free to honor whomever they wished, not just the VTech victims.

    That must be why the only graphic available specifically said it was for the VTech shooting. That also must be why participants were encouraged to show that graphic—which specifically named the VTech shooting.

    How does paying hommage to one set of victims automatically mean I was insulting or somehow disrespecting other victims?

    As I mentioned, no such endeavor was undertaken for the Amish school shooting or for the troops dying overseas each and every day, and I certainly don’t remember seeing one for Darfur or or Georgians killed for independence or any number of other tragedies. And I consider this along the lines of America ordering its flags lowered to half-staff after the VTech shooting: We can’t do that for our troops or for the hundreds of thousands killed in other events, but we’ll do it for barely more than thirty killed at a college?

    And it insults many others when they realize a major undertaking is in place to honor a few dead at an American university while Iraqis are dying every day in vast numbers, while children are raped and killed in Africa in the name of religion, and while all around the globe people suffer unimaginable deaths that go unremembered, unnoticed, unmemorialized, and unmarked. Yet we want to stop the blogosphere for thirty-something college kids in yet another school shooting?

    Why should hosting a blog post of silence make me ashamed ??

    Please show me where I said that. You won’t find it. You’ll note that I said “I hold no ill will toward those participating. I believe they’ve done so out of an abundance of heartfelt compassion and respect.” I went on to say that “[m]any like me appreciate the sentiment you silently voiced today.”

    What I did make clear is that perhaps a little more thought and a little less America-centric thinking should go into such endeavors. I inferred with clarity that I felt those participating might want to evaluate precisely what they endorse via their blogs when it comes across as cold and heartless, as in when marking in such a way the death of 33 people while hundreds of thousands appear to be ignored.

    But remember that’s just my take on it. Other people feel differently, I’m sure. Call me too big-hearted if you will . . . I just think the world is much larger and needs a lot more compassion than what this demonstrated.

  3. okay. point taken. i understand and have witnessed numerous instances of self-centered, America-centric response and pity to the loss of American lives over others. i am African and from a continent that has had mass death and casualties ignored by the international community simply because those lives loss were (are) less valued in this world.

    you say:
    “I inferred with clarity that I felt those participating might want to evaluate precisely what they endorse via their blogs when it comes across as cold and heartless, as in when marking in such a way the death of 33 people while hundreds of thousands appear to be ignored.”

    notwithstanding, the fact remains that there is (was) no-one or nothing stopping you or others from hosting the same or some similar in the past, yesterday, today or tomorrow. and it is a bit high and mighty to now call it “cold and heartless” to support a gesture that honors death. How is it “cold and heartless” to honor the loss of a singular life, let alone 33.

    That is a very powerful statement “cold and heartless”, really?

    Again, by the mere fact others have and continue to suffer and die, but were not honored in this same way does not in any way mean that I and others do not acknowledge those losses and have not chosen to honor those memories in other ways.

    Why don’t you and others who choose to get high and mighty an judge others start an initiative to honor those who you say have been ignored rather than “tsk tsking” others?

  4. notwithstanding, the fact remains that there is (was) no-one or nothing stopping you or others from hosting the same or some similar in the past, yesterday, today or tomorrow. and it is a bit high and mighty to now call it “cold and heartless” to support a gesture that honors death.

    Are you saying I haven’t done such a thing? I hope not. I honor in my own way each and every tragedy of which I’m aware and for which I believe such an action is appropriate. I’ve surely missed some and will surely miss others simply because I don’t hear about them or don’t have an opportunity to take action.

    How is it “cold and heartless” to honor the loss of a singular life, let alone 33.

    I don’t believe any reading of my words can find that sentiment. It was, rather, directed at the premise of taking such public and widespread action for a few when orders of magnitude more have gone unnoticed and unmarked. When did the blogosphere as a whole memorialize the Amish school children? And the tsunami victims? And Hurricane Katrina and Rita victims? And on and on and on?

    That’s my point. What made the VTech victims so much more special than, say, thousands of American military personnel killed in the last several years? That’s my point of contention with this day of silence business.

    Why don’t you and others who choose to get high and mighty an judge others start an initiative to honor those who you say have been ignored rather than “tsk tsking” others?

    Read my blog before making accusations and assumptions. There are thousands of entries here dating back more than four years. You’ll find a litany of remembrances and honors bestowed on a great many victims of crimes, natural disasters, terrorist acts, and many other kinds of unfortunate incidents and circumstances. Don’t stand in judgment of me until you have a full accounting of the facts.

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