The sirens have stopped. The chaos dissipated. The dead have been removed from the scene and the injured have been hospitalized. The gutters along the Westminster bridge that ran red with blood have been washed clean. And “Big Ben,” the world’s most famous and beloved clock tower, is still looking down from the north end of Westminster Palace onto the Westminster Bridge like it has for more than 150 years.
1.Details of the Attack
According to the Telegraph, on the afternoon of Wednesday, March 22, a little after 9, a British citizen drove his rented Hyundai SUV the full length of the Westminster Bridge — mowing down people on the sidewalks and in the street, before finally crashing into the gate at the Palace of Westminster, where he got out of his vehicle. Then, brandishing two large knives, the madman headed for the British Parliament offices, fatally stabbing an unarmed private citizen along the way. Then, he was shot dead on the spot by a close protection officer attached to Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon.
2.The World Has Become Desensitized
The rest of the world looks at these events in Britain with a myriad of thoughts and emotions. That’s something we’ve gained in this day and age, with “instant emotions” transmitted on Facebook, Twitter, etc., it really is possible to get a sense of how people feel about things in real time. Many sent “thoughts and prayers” while others started pointing fingers, and some just shrugged it off as just another day at the office.
3.If It Demonstrates All the Signs of a Terrorist, It’s Probably a Terrorist
After the terror attacks in London last week, there seemed to be a lot of “not again” sentiments. And frankly, the average American must be a lot more adept at identifying these events as acts of “radical Islamic terrorists” than is the media. It took some of the world’s major news organizations a day or more to finally admit this was an ISIS-inspired, radical Islamic terrorist who did all this damage. Of course, by then, it wasn’t news to most of the rest of us.
4.Helicopter Journalists Make Terrorists Famous
Then there were the media outlets who took this opportunity to study their navels a little bit — to assess their approach to coverage on this event, and begin demonstrating some self-awareness that the coverage has gotten way too close, too intimate with the subjects. It seems like they’re trying to be storytellers for ISIS. Of course, journalists are discussing this while they’re in the helicopter, zooming over someone that the paramedics are working on in the street, and they’re close enough to see the brand of syringe they’re using. Some of them do have a valid point, though. Simon Jenkins, a former editor of the Times of London said he felt like the British coverage of this event was so over-the-top that it was a little like the 9/11 coverage in America.
Covering the crime “as if 9/11 has come to London is ridiculous,” Jenkins said, adding that the media had essentially become “an accomplice” of terrorists by giving them the publicity.”We’re essentially giving inspiration for other people to do exactly the same,” he added. The French seem to have gotten this point already, probably due in part to the fact that they’ve had to deal with more of these situations than the rest of the Western world. They have stopped publishing the names and pictures of individuals who have been involved in terrorist attacks.
5.Publicly Psychoanalyzing Terrorists Isn’t Helpful
Right now in London, they seem to be conducting a full-blown psychiatric evaluation on the dead terrorist. Authorities have obtained photos of this 52-year-old man, who was a husband and father, when he was a teenager in a small school in Britain. They’ve talked to his best friends and discovered he was a “hard-drinking, drug-taking village thug who sought help over his urges to kill.” That’s not to say that kind of forensic information isn’t valuable. It is. Very much so. It just doesn’t need to be turned into bathroom-length People Magazine articles.
6.The Numbers Matter
In the end, five people lost their lives on the Westminster Bridge under the Big Ben clock tower last week. Then there were 4 people with critical injuries and 2 with life-threatening injuries. Finally, there were the 50 or so pedestrians with non-fatal injuries. Then, there was the terrorist. He’s dead. No need to mention his name here. He had so many aliases and such a long rap sheet, it’s hard to be sure what was his real name anyway. But it doesn’t matter. He doesn’t matter. And that’s the important part. We need to stop making terrorists matter. The people who died or were injured in any way are the ones who matter.
7.Londoners Are Taking Back Big Ben
Some folks in London seem to be taking the right approach. They are gathering together in “defiance” of the terrorists. We need to be strong for ourselves, our families, and our communities. The worst thing that could happen to these radical Islamic terrorists is for us to — not — be — terrorized. We’ll just stand right there under Big Ben and give them a big ol’ raspberry.