by: Patrick Wilson
I’ll always remember the warm sunshine that morning 14 years ago. The world was far from perfect, but life was ok. I’d moved to Boston from New Hampshire in the weeks prior, was in a new relationship and thought the future looked pretty bright. We’d all seemed to have made it through Y2k without a glitch, yet at the end of this day the world was changed forever.
Between the 60 degree cuts in the massive steel columns, building 7 being “pulled”, ruins smoldering for weeks, a non-transparent investigation etc., I will never believe the official story. 2,753 people lost their lives that day in New York from 115 countries, leaving 3,051 children without parents. Several wars have been fought as a result with untold numbers of casualties.
The atrocious statistics of 9/11 are not the focus of this piece; racism, bigotry, and discrimination is. In the days following, the Unites States and arguably much of the world went through a series of emotional changes. The immediate reaction was a surge in empathetic humanity with people from many countries claiming we are all american in solidarity with the people of our grieving nation. Next was a surge in nationalistic behavior that sent most people of muslim faith and people of middle eastern decent into hiding.
There is a very long history of ignorance and racism in the United States, and 9/11 gave public acceptance of this behavior in the name of patriotism. We have long been taught to hate people from countries that have dispute with the government of our nation, and to what end? Does the indemnification and murder of an innocent human being actually solve any problems of the people of the United States. Hatred is a motivation, but not a just one.
The idea of diversity makes anything stronger, whether it be a portfolio, or in management/leadership. The United States has unfortunately exploited any diversity as slave labor. We have fought wars using immigrants, built railroads, and with slaves from Africa the very foundation of land expansion taken from indigenous people.
Today, with the murder of so many people of color at the hands of over entitled police officers and the direct refusal of this country as a whole to state that #blacklivesmatter, I don’t personally see much hope anymore. The United States does not seem the country I was raised to believe it was. It also doesn’t realize the ideal that so many have gone to war to fight for.
Can this change? Yes, but it’s not the government, or someone else that’s going to do this. It hasn’t happened yet, and it won’t. It takes, you, and I, and every other person that has any inkling of morality in them to actually do something about it to make the change that would benefit us all.
As we think back on the horrors of that day 14 years ago, and consider the compounded carnage that it has wrought, perhaps we can look at the entire picture and make a change in our individual lives that can collectively make a difference.
photo credit: slagheap