My initial reaction to hearing that Osama bin Laden had been killed by US military was one of fear–I immediately thought of September 11th and prayed for my family’s safety in case of retaliatory attacks. After about five minutes of digesting the information, I wondered about the impact on President Obama’s approval rating.
Despite the death of the boogeyman of Western culture, in a lot of ways the world seems less safe than before I clicked on that BBC link. The system that backed the hatred of this individual is not gone. His funding, his support network, his terror organization–it’s all still there and it’s angrier than ever. Though one can say that the opposing side did the same thing when we were attacked, I’m sure the dancing in the streets of Washington is not helping our case at all.
I had never experienced being hated for being an American first hand until I came to Korea. Sometimes I’ll be pushed out of the way or treated poorly by Koreans but I was surprised when the person that made me feel the worst was a fellow teacher who daily barraged me with anti-American statements. A lot of them were ill-informed or childish and don’t bear repeating but it was very upsetting. It was a dark cloud hanging over each day and I was happy when the person in question terminated their contract early and went home. You don’t get to choose where you’re born.
This entry is somewhat haphazardly thrown together as I’m still processing and learning about the death of Osama bin Laden and its impact on American citizens, but the main point I’m getting at is that this is not something to be celebrating. Hatred never is, no matter how great vindication feels. So for the sake of your countrymen living outside of the safety of their nation and for the safety of those living within its borders, try to control yourself, please.