Boston Marathon tragedy creates lynch mob mentality

The Boston Marathon explosions created a lynch mob mentality, even in the media. Photo: AP Photo

CHICAGO, April 16, 2013— Minutes after reports of the explosions at the Boston Marathon, the tin foil hats came out of the woodwork like cockroaches, especially on social media. Blame was being tossed around like confetti.

Some of this blame was cast by the media. CNN immediately issued ridiculous claims that right wing extremists- whatever they are- may be responsible. Other media speculation turned to Tax Day and Patriot’s Day.

These people went to college right? They call themselves journalists, yet they flap their soup coolers when there was no evidence or facts to back up their claims.

Other media sources claimed the same thing along with the “usual suspects,” Muslims. Journalism and media are devolving into the realm of reality shows. The Kardasians are more credible than our so-called media.

This demonstrates that political and ethnic hatred is at an all-time high in America. It also proves that Americans are losing their ability to think. How soon people forget what happened in Atlanta several years ago when a young man’s life was ruined because he was falsely accused of causing explosions. Americans should be ashamed of these people and of themselves.

We are a nation of laws. People, even groups, are innocent until proven guilty. We are also a nation of rights, one of which is to express displeasure with the government without fear of reprisal. Anti-government sentimentality from the right or left is not a crime or indication of criminal intent. It is a right guaranteed by the Constitution, that funny little document that many, including elected officials who swore to defend and protect it, would like to shred.

All anyone knows about the explosions at the Boston Marathon is they occurred. That is it. Until some concrete evidence comes out everything is speculation. Crime and terrorism happen. They are unfortunate. They are tragic. But they are no excuse for the lynch mob mentality fueled by people with too much time on their hands and an internet connection, or worse make-up artists, blow driers, and a television studio.

One of the funniest reports in the media is that the current person of interest was tackled just because he was running away from one of the explosions. Does anyone possessing reasonable intelligence know people who run towards explosions except emergency first responders or military personnel?

It is surprising no one is blaming inanimate objects like they do when shootings are involved. Backpacks are not being blamed for the explosions even though there are credible reports that they were used. No one is calling for bomb control, explosives control, or passing new laws against explosives because there is no time to enforce the current laws on the books. There are no people crying out for backpack control or demanding background checks to purchase a backpack. Yet. Don’t worry, the crazies will emerge soon.

Tragedies happen. People are seriously injured and killed. That does not give us permission to act like morons and idiots. That does not give us the right to accuse people just because they are convenient targets. Lynch mobs, real, electronic, or journalistic are just as evil as those who perpetrate crime and terrorism.

It is hoped that the perpetrators will be caught. If they are not, so what? It will not be the first or last time something horrible has happened and arrests were not made. We are a nation of laws and we do not arrest people over general principles. There has to be some probable cause other than political beliefs. The day we start accusing people of crimes over their political beliefs is the day we should rename America North Korea.

American history is rife with examples of individuals being punished for horrible crimes they did not commit. We supposedly learned from these errors and became a better people. It appears we are going backwards instead of forward.

Our own government even issues reports claiming certain groups are dangerous, including religious and political groups with no credible proof other than their expressing certain beliefs. Anything offensive is considered dangerous. Freedom of expression and the right to bring grievances against the government are being severely threatened by people to promote or protect their own political agendas. Some of them even work within our own government and that is extremely dangerous.

Bad things happen to good innocent people. That has been the way of the human race since man first walked the earth. A reasonably intelligent people would not make vile, scurrilous, and spurious accusations without credible evidence. They would sit back and let things play out as best they can. Make no mistake, no one can prevent human tragedy. No amount of laws can stop it. No politicians blathering can prevent it. Celebrity victim tours, like the Newtown parents, will not bar the next tragedy from occurring.

The real tragedy will be when innocent people or groups are detained or arrested, just because, with no evidence, proof, or probable cause. When that happens we will cease to be America.

We are Americans. We are not lynch mobs and that includes journalists and celebrity news readers. Intelligent people learn from their mistakes so history does not repeat itself. It appears intelligent people are a dying breed in this nation.


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Peter Bella

Peter Bella is a retired Chicago Police Officer, freelance photographer, freelance writer, budding videographer, and passionate cook.  He aims to be the sharp stick that pokes and annoys.  The Middle Class Guy is a political column written from a center-right point of view.  While concentrating mainly on politics he will stray into culture, entertainment, sports, cooking, and humor from time to time, along with Memories of things Pabst.  All from a middle class perspective.

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