The Scarlet & Black

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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Feven Getachew
Feven Getachew
May 6, 2024
Michael Lozada
Michael Lozada
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Nathan Hoffman
Nathan Hoffman
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Harvey Wilhelm `24.
Harvey Wilhelm
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One man’s death, decade-worth reflection

In my last article for the Scarlet and Black I decided to take the column back to its roots and to try and really hone in on the essence that is, “Are you F’ing Serious.”

After reading over the four articles that make-up my vast repertoire of newspaper writing experience, I tried to reflect on the greater message these columns conveyed.

If you recall, my loyal fans, my first article was a recap of my incredibly lazy winter break in which I passed judgment on the YouTube generation and its greater media counterpart that ignored the warning signs in Golden Voice Ted.

I took a slightly more athletic approach in my next article when I bashed fair-weather fans when Clippers fanatics began popping up like daisies, undermining the sacred oath taken by true fans everywhere.

My last two articles involved a nameless media blunder, *cough* Charlie Sheen *cough*, and a follow-up piece apologizing for my lack of writing skills, touching on the many ideas that lost the spot to shine in the opinions section for lack of a better term, ridiculous sh*t.

And so, in an effort to go out with a bang, and perhaps regain some of my former dignity in the process, I would like to introduce the final topic that caught me so off guard that it prevented me from, dare I say it, going to class: the ten year culmination of the United State’s effort to track down and kill Osama Bin Laden.

Now, I approach this topic much like the way some of you may have tip-toed in on a passed out friend, preparing to defile their skin with anatomically correct drawings; with caution and the fear that comes with doing something that can either end in success or utter failure.

To do that I am going to be super honest, right off the bat and jump in with saying, I kind of forgot about the fanatic.
I know that it is so unGrinnellian of me to not be keeping up with every political issue that affects the United States as well as foreign countries, but if it’s not in my face I really just have a hard time remembering.

This isn’t to say that the effects of 9/11 aren’t present and something that I remember on the daily.

Every time I go to an airport the increased security reminds me that the once impervious country my elementary school teachers taught me about was brought to its knees and made vulnerable by the machinations of terrorists. At that moment, my country not only showed its vulnerability, but led to a nationwide moment of fear and sorrow.

This memory always triggers residual memories as well; sitting in my 6th grade class, watching the towers fall live on TV, going home and remembering that earlier in that month my very own Dad had been right there on a business trip.

The ramifications of that day are a part of my life and will be forever, but when thinking about the people responsible for those acts of hate, I really have to think to myself, “oh yea, who did that again? That’s right, religious extremists.”

One Sunday a couple weeks ago a friend turned around and mentioned to me, “Hey Osama is dead,” I almost asked, “Who is that?”

In the following days of revealed secret White House dealings, internet related spam and a divide between celebrating death and giving relief to those with a cloud of grief still over their heads, I got to thinking about history and the fact that I had really almost forgotten about the whole debacle that ten years ago made a country, my country, stand together and say, “Oh hell the f#*k no,” in so many words, of course.

This is America, and after years of tracking down one man, America has finally succeeded, but instead all I have heard, and let’s just use Grinnell as an example, is condemnation for the “lack of justice” given to a man who showed no mercy to this country?

Whether is it right or wrong in how his demise came about, and whether it is right or wrong to rejoice in this fact should be a non-issue. When you give power to someone that wielded so much hate in their lifetime to their death as well you have aligned yourself with a way of thinking that yields nothing beneficial.

It’s that “eye for an eye” mentality that ends up leaving both parties blind, bereft of what matters most, and that is what I would rather remember over what one evil and hateful little man was able to accomplish.

This is America to me. Taking the good and the bad, and choosing to give power and recollection to only those memories that makes us as a stronger and better country.

9/11 was tragic, and I will remember it every day. And with that every day I will remember that America stood together and did its very best, while at times maybe politically at odds, to come together and stand tall. That’s what I will remember. Some guy dying ten years later, pfft, I ain’t got time.

While this way of thinking doesn’t excuse a general issue of how to deal with this type of situation, nor does it excuse atrocities that our country has created to itself that must be remembered, I do think it bears enough to sit back and wonder where our priorities are when it comes to our initial reactions to news. Let’s face it, America isn’t perfect, and I will be the first to tell you, but should the majority of a country’s collective thoughts be centered in what I propose to remember or in the latter who didn’t give a second glance at what this whole nation is all about? If you have to think about it my only response to you is, “ Are you F’ing serious.”

-Ariel Vinson ’12

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