My Twitter feed became littered with confirmations from news outlets that an explosion had hit the Chelsea area of Manhattan.
This was Saturday night. And in between the chatter of Fashion Week and users giving personal and professional updates — I was immersed in the tragic story of the moment.
The delivery of facts was blatantly cautious to the point of annoyance. Is there no middle ground when it comes to covering breaking news with precision and honesty.
The initial goal was to take every precaution to minimize the acute seriousness and obvious cause of the explosion.
It was mandated that media make it clear that “the cause of the explosion has not been determined.”
Fair enough. No need to incite widespread panic or give citizens any reason to imagine the worst. It was just a bomb that was clearly timed to wreck havoc.
No big deal.
Then comes the Mayor of one of the most targeted cities in the world. Bill de Blasio — who arrives to do what he’s supposed to do. Which based on his pathetic press conference was absolutely nothing.
His main message was direly indicative of why Americans continue to remain sheepishly in the dark when it comes to world affairs.
And how The United States is categorized by the actions taken to presumably protect our interest in resources that count way more than the lives that are extinguished to garner them.
That’s an in depth analysis that I will save for later.
For now — the deal is that Bill de Blasio did a disservice to his city dwellers when he attempted to assuage any concerns that this major event was anything but major.
“We believe this was an act of intentional intent there is no credible threat against NYC at this moment”.
In what universe is that sentence remotely adaptable? Are we really that piously ignorant or just supremely assured that living in America despite just recognizing the 15th anniversary of the day of infamy — automatically protects us from acts of violence currently scathing the globe.
Some hours later — it was announced that a second device had been located. Residents in that area were advised to stay far away from their windows as a precautionary measure.
Finally, Andrew Cuomo — New York’s truth talking Governor allowed the obvious to escape his lips.
This “ was a obviously an act of terrorism.” He then went on to say what needs to be said as tradition. Of course, New Yorkers are resilient and capable of not allowing purposely placed bomb devices to sour their mood.
Cowards can try to “instill fear” but they won’t succeed. They can’t “disrupt our life in New York.”
That all sounds quite patriotic and captivatingly noble. It also carries a level of blinded privilege and dangerously misleading rhetoric.
Afterwards some of the tweets seemed to hone in on the fact that New Yorkers were in fact carrying on as if nothing had happened.
One user commented on how he was heading for the deli amidst the confusion and the evidential aftermath layering his path.
The worst defense against unspeakable tragedy is to pretend that the cause and effect aren’t worthy of respect.
I refuse to believe that New Yorkers are living in a bubble that prevents them from peeking out into the light of their reality.
When I was a New Yorker — living in post 9/11 — there wasn’t a day that went by when I didn’t anticipate the worst.
It wasn’t a crippling fear that held me hostage and interfered with my willingness to enjoy the most fascinating city in the world.
It was just basically accommodating the fact that riding the subway could potentially be a death trap. It was understanding that I was living in a place that will never be considered off limits to groups that are dedicated to its demise.
Pretending that this isn’t something to worry about or even consider as a possibility — when the initial diagnosis is damningly familiar and hard to refute is insanity in its purest form.
As Americans — it is safe to assume that we’ve past the point of sugar coating the awareness that hovers — whenever the news bulletin uses key references that are always associated with acts of terrorism.
It is irresponsible and quite frankly repulsive of our leaders to perpetuate the notion that we don’t have any reason to fathom our vulnerability — despite our country’s heightened exposure and involvement in seedy global affairs.
It has nothing to do with minimizing our fears and everything to do with mocking our expectations and instinctual pull towards unfiltered knowledge.
It’s time to know better and relinquish the veil over our eyes.