The bombing that took place at the Boston Marathon is a tragedy. Lives were lost including the life of an 8-year-old boy. Several people were injured, and limbs were lost. In the wake of this event, people across the country and world were brought together in mourning over another act of terrorism. Prayer chains were sent out via social media sites including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. As we continue to learn more about what occurred that day, it reassured us that anything can happen anywhere at any time. It’s a scary thought, but we cannot and should not allow it to dictate our lives.
During times like this, we often experience a series of emotions and thoughts. We grieve for the families that were affected, and we feel a sense of patriotism because the attack took place on American soil. But what about the thoughts we have about who is to blame for causing such destruction? In reading tweets and Facebook posts during the early stages of the Boston Marathon Bombing, people already began to speculate as to who it could be. Well, rather the nationality of the offenders.
It saddens me that in this day of age, people still discriminate against whole groups of people because of what certain people do. A lot of people assumed that the men who committed the horrendous acts at the Boston Marathon were of Middle Eastern decent. Needless to say, a lot of people were surprised to find out that the suspects were Russian, and both of them were granted American citizenship. When people commit these types of acts or any criminal act, it shouldn’t matter what their decent is because not every one of that particular background is like that.
I can honestly say that I had no thoughts of who might have committed the crimes, but I was definitely eager to find out. Not so that I can see which nationality they belonged to, but so they could be brought to justice. People have to do a better job; not only for themselves, but for future generations. Discriminatory, racist, and bias thinking is learned. At times, people subconsciously make assumptions. The best way to handle that is to realize that you’ve made an assumption, and work to remove it from your perception so that you can view things without bias. Viewing the world with blinders on is a completely dated mentality. Not everything is in black and white; there is a massive amount of gray area. The sense of patriotism and togetherness that Americans feel at times like this shouldn’t only occur when bad things happen. Nor should it be used to feel resentment toward groups of people. That feeling of strength and togetherness and hope that Americans feel should be felt ALWAYS.
I currently reside in the state of Florida, and today is the last day to register to vote before the upcoming election in November. I’ve been a registered voter since 8/24/2004, and have always exercised my right to vote.
I recently had a brief conversation with a co-worker who said she probably won’t vote because she’s confused about who to vote for. I told her that she should do research on each candidate, and vote for the person she thinks will best represent her lifestyle and values.
It is extremely difficult to do research on a particular candidate without coming across information that is misleading or bias. The media and researchers have developed skills to mask their bias, and have put the inquirers in an unfortunate situation. Politics is and has always been a very heavy topic. It’s easier to make a stand in support of or against something that you’re informed about, but when information is misrepresented, it can be very hard for people to formulate a well-informed opinion. So, I encourage people to not only research their candidates, but also commit to doing research about where and how that research was compiled. We all know that FOX News and MSNBC are two of the most bias media outlets out there. I would not rely on either of these stations to become a well-informed voter. You have to dig deeper than the surface to find out which candidate you should vote for.
Now, I know there are a ton of people who truly believe that their vote means nothing. I know there is no way to persuade you to think differently in that regard, but if you are anything other than a white male, at some point in history your race or gender was not entitled to vote. If those who governed America outlawed women, African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians, etc. from voting, then that form of expression must mean something. Yes, voting and who we elect has changed over the years. However, the essence of why we do it has not changed. Not to mention, people have fought, died and put their lives on the line to ensure that all those who come after them would have the right to vote. So, whether or not you think your vote matters, you should still exercise your right because for many of us, it hasn’t always been an option.
If you’re not registered to vote, be sure to find out when your state’s voter registration deadline is. While registering to vote is the first step, make sure you send in your absentee ballot, vote by mail, or show up at the polls. See the process all the way through!