By Matthew Pryce, PoliticKING
It’s becoming a troubling motif of late. A terrorist attack hits in some notable location around the globe, and the world reacts in ritual sadness.
In 2016, a lot of this mourning occurs on social media.
After a terrorist incident a few short months ago, your Facebook feed was likely littered with countless incarnations of the Tricolore. Instead of stripes of blue, white, and red – today, you’re undoubtedly saturated with different colors: the black, yellow, and red that make of the national flag of Belgium
One particular image combining the two recent attacks has been retweeted over 27,000 times.
With at least 30 confirmed deaths, the feelings of international mourning are palpable.
Additionally, ISIS claiming responsibility for the heinous suicide bombings has only inflamed the political discourse. Already at a fever pitch, GOP hopefuls intensified the rhetoric, and doubled-down on some previous statements.
Summarily, an already ugly situation has only been made exponentially worse.
As the world mourns, and cooler heads honestly bemoan a lack of easy answers, the impact is felt twofold.
There is a natural solidarity that occurs across populations when tragedy strikes. We’ve seen it domestically in the wake of 9/11, with France this past November, and again this week. World leaders took to the stage to express their grief, and notable structures the world over were lit up in fraternity.
Despite the immediate outpouring of social media lamentations, one wonders about the effect of mourning in this manner. Is it activism of slacktivism?
Will the world simply move on, change their flag-overlaid profile pictures, and ultimately forget about yesterday’s tragedy? And, is acknowledging and moving on the proper avenue?
Obama was castigated for keeping up with his schedule on a trip to Cuba yesterday. As planned, he attended a baseball game, and predictable as the sun rise, he caught flak for it.
Some would argue, however, that terrorist acts are specifically aiming to disrupt your daily life. Terrorists are trying to alter your plans, imbue you with fear, and change your routine. So, does going about one’s business function more effectively in the wake of such a sad event?
That doesn’t make dealing with the terrible news any simpler, and it bears repeating that easy answers are hard to come by.
Thumbnail Credit: "Angel & National Flag of Belgium, Martyrs' Square - Place des Martyrs Martelaarsplaats, Brussels, Belgium" by Dr Les (Leszek - Leslie) Sachs licensed under CC BY 2.0.
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