Friday, July 08, 2005

We Are Not Afraid

You may recall that following the U.S. Presidential election last year a website went up to offer the world an apology for what we had done in electing George Bush for a second term. That site was called simply “sorry everybody,” and people from all over the United States sent images to be posted to the site offering their personal apologies and promises to do better the next time. You can see some of the images that were contributed to that global (and later controversial) apology by clicking here.

It is in response to the terror inflicted yesterday in London that another site is growing today: “WE ARE NOT AFRAID”. Like the "sorry everybody" site, this blog invites people from all over the world to send a message to those who want to make us afraid. The message is: "It's not going to work - We are not afraid." Visit the site to view images that have already been contributed, and while you’re there, make a plan to add one of your own.

The resistance to the forces of fear and violence building at the “wearenotafraid” website brings me to think again of Tamar’s writing today at In and Out of Confidence. “It takes courage and compassion to take responsibility for righting wrongs,” she writes in speaking of her friend Chaim, himself working for peace against frightful odds in his own corner of the world. It’s a good read and an encouragement to us all to withstand.

We are with you still today, London, and to the terrorists of the world we say, “We are not afraid.”

Update of interest: The "We Are Not Afraid" website has caught the attention of NYT editorialist Sarah Boxer who comments on the developing tone of the site. In a piece entitled "Fearlessness Meets Frivolousness" she states:

"A few days ago, We're Not Afraid might have been a comfort. Today, there's a hint of "What, me worry?" from Mad magazine days, but without the humor or the sarcasm. We're Not Afraid, set up to show solidarity with London, seems to be turning into a place where the haves of the world can show that they're not afraid of the have-nots."

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narrator said...

It would be nice if this expression included thousands of Iraqis and Palestinians and Congolese and all the people of places who are indeed afraid every single day, in ways even New Yorkers and Londoners cannot comprehend.

When I saw Blair and Bush and Condi Rice speaking after the attack I thought back to an old West Wing episode in which "CJ" speaks after Bartlett has been shot. She doesn't speak of it as a unique tragedy, but talks about gun violence all across America and points out that no "traditional defense" is enough, after all, the most heavily protected man on the planet was just shot, but that we must go after the root causes.

Blair, Bush, Rice, Jack Straw - none of them could manage that leap that might have spoken eloquently to the world. This is a critical failure of leadership.

Mary Godwin said...

I can so appreciate your comments here, Narrator. I write on another blog ((Pro)Claiming Age) about my own daughter's deployment to Iraq ... she's there right now, 10 miles northwest of Baghdad. The fear from the terror wanting to overwhelm the world is all too real, all too evident. Yet, the day goes on, and each of us finds a way to push back against the threat of hopelessness. We must. I can look for the day when it is not so hard to do, and I'm confident there will be an other president in the White House then. Let's hope we (making the assumption here that you are a U.S. voter) do better next time.

Tamar said...

Mary, Thank you for the link.