To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Observercast

Common Decency, RIP?

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BY KAREN WEBB

A lot of people have died while the world was going after Osama. I have to wonder why this didn’t happen sooner, but I don’t have to wonder for long. I don’t know about over there, but over here a lot of people have been making a lot of money sending other people’s children off to look for Osama and his gang, after we got the real target Sadam.

A lot of people have been making political hay as long as they could still get messages, real or fake, from him before every election.

The Rev. Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, wrote that bin Laden’s death was justified as an act of war, but not as an act of justice. He said death should never be celebrated. “Such celebration points to the danger of revenge as a powerful human emotion,” he wrote on his website.

I was raised Southern Baptist and I can recall going to funerals where everyone was sad they were gone, but were really joyful that they were with Jesus, so celebrating the deaths of people, particularly those who have been suffering, is a regular practice.

This brings to mind Friday, April 5, 1968 and what happened in the office where I worked at Southwestern Bell in Houston. Just months earlier they had just started allowing African Americans to do something other than clean toilets or offices. They could have had a college degree, but that was the only option. We worked in a new unit and there were about as many African American girls as Caucasian in our unit. I won’t name her, but our supervisor was a really pretty blond about my age. I had disagreements with her before she became a supervisor and had requested not to be put in her unit, but there I was.

Our supervisor at nearly every unit meeting would express something about how disgusting it was that Ma Bell was using African Americans [that isn’t what she called them] in their commercials. She discussed how disgusting it looked because of their physical features. I would usually get up and tell her what I thought of her because we all had Ma Bell phones. She didn’t mind us taking their money, just using their faces. She eventually denied me at least three raises which I got anyway because of the union.

That Friday morning it was difficult for a lot of us to work and especially the African American girls. Our supervisor was doing everything except throwing confetti. She was truly lucky that day that I had a friend to talk me out of killing her. I told her that regardless of how she felt about him, those girls thought he was their George Washington and she should have more respect.

She ignored me, as usual.

I feel exactly the same way about the celebrating of Osama’s death as I did about the torturing of prisoners in my name. Celebrating over someone’s death or torture is something you only do if you don’t care if it were to happen to your captured relative or friend. You don’t ever say, “I am celebrating because they did on 9/11″ because that just perpetuates the cycle.

Doesn’t anyone ever use the Golden Rule any more? You give up the high ground when you do what you would never want anyone to do to a sibling, parent, cousin, aunt, uncle, grandparent or friend. It is called common decency.

It would be alright to celebrate if this meant the war is over, but it isn’t.

Karen Webb lives in Moore, OK and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer

 

Arnold Hamilton
Arnold Hamilton
Arnold Hamilton became editor of The Observer in September 2006. Previously, he served nearly two decades as the Dallas Morning News’ Oklahoma Bureau chief. He also covered government and politics for the San Jose Mercury News, the Dallas Times Herald, the Tulsa Tribune and the Oklahoma Journal.