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MUHAMMAD: Our Curious National 'Celebrations'

Askia Muhammad | 4/24/2013, 9 p.m.
There is no more joy for me perceiving the murderer on the scaffold, than there is imagining a victim’s dying ...
Askia Muhammad

Tragically, three people were killed in the mayhem of the Boston Marathon bombing. Every life is precious. But that same day 30 people were killed by a suicide bomber in Iraq. The following day, our hearts were torn again in this country by the death of a dozen or more at a Texas fertilizer plant. Just days before that dozens had been killed in Iran and Pakistan by a severe earthquake. Later that week more than 150 were killed by an earthquake in China.

We celebrate deliriously when professional sports teams win national championships. But those celebrations are confined only to those in the winning city. There was no joy in San Francisco in February when the brother of their football team’s coach managed to lead his team from Baltimore to victory at the Superbowl. There was a ticker-tape parade in Baltimore, however.

No, our national celebrations seem to be all about these macabre dances at, then retreats from death’s door. Death’s door.

There is no more joy for me perceiving the murderer on the scaffold, than there is imagining a victim’s dying words, pleas or breaths.

There is no joy for me in having stalked and captured the stalker. I wish we had no need for such celebrations.