The Day of Silence

In case you had not heard, there was a call for a day of silence in the blogosphere out of respect for the folks who lost their lives in the Virginia Tech massacre. Personally, I posed the question to readers over at Outside the Beltway last week and received some very interesting opinions. I was undecided about whether to participate and inadvertently, I nearly did. It had nothing to do with VT and more to do with the fact that we have a new hire today.

The tragedy in Blacksburg was unlike any this country has ever experienced except, maybe, the Oklahoma City bombing. Some folks would argue that Katrina or 9/11 were worse and I’d agree. There were thousands of casualties in each case though the causes were vastly different. Katrina was a natural disaster. September 11 was the result of terrorism. Even Oklahoma City was the result of homegrown terrorism. Columbine comes closest to the type of tragedy happened in Virginia Tech. And it’s a damn shame.

There can be lots of finger pointing. There always is. The irony is that we rarely look at ourselves. We rarely think about the environments we raise our kids in. We rarely think about the effect of our actions on other people. What really caused Cho to become a monster? Was it really overnight? Could parents and friends have honestly not had the chance to look into the evil soul of this kid and ask what their role was?

It pains me when I see tragedy. It pains me nearly as much to see society’s reaction to tragedy? When expat Americans living abroad point their fingers at America and cry about “rich, white Americans” when they see the tragedy that affects so many more than just the rich or white America. It pains me when I see the manipulative man convince people of the validity of their blind ways. That manipulative man takes different forms. Maybe it’s the media. Maybe it’s government. Maybe, like in World War II, it was a literal manipulative man convincing German society of the divine purpose found in the extermination of 11M humans?

I decided I wouldn’t participate in the Day of Silence, not because the idea isn’t well meaning. I’m sure it is. However, no one changed the world by being quiet. Why start now? Maybe we need to talk more about our own faults and figuring out what to do with them instead of blaming someone or something else for the tragedies of life.

Just a thought.

Aaron Brazell

Aaron Brazell is a Baltimore, MD-based WordPress developer, a co-founder at WP Engine, WordPress core contributor and author. He wrote the book WordPress Bible and has been publishing on the web since 2000. You can follow him on Twitter, on his personal blog and view his photography at The Aperture Filter.

3 thoughts on “The Day of Silence

  1. I couldn’t agree more. Not to mention that thousands of people die every single day all over the world. Where are the ‘moments of silence’ for them? Yes, this was a tragedy — but tragedy is a part of being human.

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