Boston Bombing and American Rights

Recently I’ve been expanding my views beyond feminism. For all the academic talk about intersecting identities, I know that I am both a feminist and an American citizen who cares about my rights in both categories. I cannot ignore areas where either piece of my life is ignored. I cannot ignore the bombings at the Boston Marathon.

While it is frightening enough that this happened earlier this week, I am more concerned about the government’s reaction. According to truthdig.com–an independent news site–Obama has ordered heightened security across the nation. It is not clear what measures will be taken to ensure our safety, but I do not believe our safety is the government’s top concern. No matter the cause of the attack, the mainstream media is using the bombing as propaganda to divide America.

While Obama has not directly called the attack “an act of terror” mainstream news has latched onto the word “terrorism.” Terrorism is technically¬†a word designated to refer to violence done for political purposes, the word has been hijacked. It is now synonymous with foreign threats and 9/11. And because this attack is considered a threat to national security (until it is known whether it is foreign or domestic) the US government wants to err on the side of safety and place catching the perpetrators as their top priority. Except, I have a hard time believing this.

The day after the attack was supposed to be a National Call Day to get the American public’s opinion on gun control. Because of the bombing, that has been put on hold. Why is a talk meant to deal with violence suspended due to violence? Just because an act of terror was committed does not mean the previous acts of violence are suddenly ancient history.

While I would want to believe our government is trying to protect us by placing our security first, security encompasses more than these bombings. If the highest concern of the US government was to keep us safe, the talks on gun control would be expanded to include all violence and terror, not postponed.

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