Staff Ed: Country encourages unity amid tragedy

Rashad Muhammad, Opinion Editor

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It seems as though we just can’t get a break. Catastrophe after catastrophe streams through the headlines as America witnesses mayhem.


On Monday, April 15, the annual Boston Marathon was struck with terror as two explosives went off during the traditional competition. The world’s oldest annual marathon is held every Patriot’s day, which is the third Monday of April.


We were just getting over the Sandy Hook Elementary shootings that happened just months ago only to have our hearts ripped out again. With not even a week to mourn the marathon bombing, we were hammered with the news that a fertilizer plant in West, Texas exploded virtually destroying an entire town. The deadly blast is accredited with the injuries of a hundred and the death toll is said to be steadily increasing. Witnesses and survivors of the explosion equate the aftermath to that of a nuclear bomb.


News like this only increase the amount of terror and sorrow felt around the world. It doesn’t help matters any that people like North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, repeatedly threatens America with nuclear warfare. As empty as his threats are, they still represent an aspect of fear throughout America.


The president, state officials, and news outlets all over are preaching the need for fellowship. They state that in times of tragedy we must come together, and while this is true, it doesn’t represent the only need for companionship.


It has become the ultimate trend of our country: stand together in the face of terror. But the question remains, “Should we only stand united against terror?” Do we only come together when tragedy occurs?


Tragedy and terror shouldn’t be the only reminder that we should be united as a country. As sons and daughters of this planet, we all share a common bond.


We come together when tragedy strikes to support one another and to portray solidarity in the face of our enemies, but maybe we should be united because it’s simply the right thing to do. As individuals, we come in different shapes and have different beliefs, so it’s safe to say we are a diverse group of people. Respect seems to be an esoteric theme that only becomes commonplace subsequent to catastrophe.


Disaster is not the sole thread that holds the fabric of society together. In many cases evil only produces more evil.


In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, fear and anger were the convention of America. Innocent people were victims of assault just because they were Muslim or supported Islam. Wars were started with entire countries in response to the actions of terrorist minorities.


Compassion is one of the main characteristics that separate us from animals but that motif becomes irrelevant when certain events happen.


As a country and as a people it is irresponsible to allow unity to be exclusive with adversity. There’s too much potential in each of us to let this occur. We are more than our fears. The convention of anger is not what defines us as people.


Like Cardinal Sean Patrick O’Malley stated at the Boston memorial, “We must overcome the culture of death by promoting a culture of life.”

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Staff Ed: Country encourages unity amid tragedy