An Emotional Reaction to the Boston Marathon Bombing


via Overpass Light Brigade

If you follow my Facebook page, Right Off A Cliff, this is a bit of an extension of a post we had on there just after the 2 explosions that occurred at the Boston Marathon.

When you first hear news like this, there really aren’t words to describe the rush of emotions.  It’s a mesh of sadness, anger, hopelessness, frustration and an overwhelming sense of just how quickly everything in life can change in an instant.

But then I got online.  Then I watched the news.  Then I really got pissed off.

I saw Fox News try and do their best to push the notion that this had to be an attack from some Muslim terrorist group.  They claimed suspects were possibly in custody, and yup you guessed it—they were all rumored to be Muslim.

Then I read comments from people who oppose gun regulations saying that if they were there with a gun, they could have prevented this.

Listen and listen real good…

This has nothing to do with race, religion, sex, gender, eye color, hair color and it damn sure has nothing to do with the gun debate.

More guns wouldn’t have done anything to prevent this, nor did guns have anything to do with this.  What happened today doesn’t suddenly become different if the perpetrator turns out to be Muslim anymore than it would if it turns out to be a Christian.

Anyone who’s trying to alter what happened today to push their own personal agenda is pathetic—period.  You should be ashamed of yourself.  This isn’t about Republican or Democrat.  This isn’t about Muslim or Christian.  This is about sick individuals who had an intent to murder innocent people.

This act was planned by monsters—pure and simple.  Disgusting, pathetic, horrific beings that I don’t even consider human.

People died today.  An 8 year old died today.  You know what 8 year old children should worry about?  Getting in trouble at school.  When can they watch cartoons.  How much they get to play with their friends.  If their parents will find out what they just did that they shouldn’t have been doing.  An 8 year old should not have to worry about being murdered by an explosion while they were watching a marathon with their parents.

And the part that horrifies me the most was that so far it’s only 3 people who’ve died.  What happened today certainly could have killed more people than it has thus far.

And yes, I understand there are tragedies that happen all over the world.  You only show your pathetic pettiness when you try and minimize one tragedy by pointing out there are others.  We’re humans and a lot of the time the world is a damn ugly place.  We can’t encompass ourselves with every tragic thing that occurs throughout the world because we would never want to get out of bed—yes, the world can be just that damn depressing.

So if you want to make this a witch hunt against Muslims, I’ll remind you that Ted Kaczynski (the unabomber), Timothy McVeigh (OKC bomber), the Columbine shooters, the Colorado shooter and Newtown shooter—none of them were Muslim.   Horrific acts by sick people don’t define a religion anymore than these men define white males, some of which were raised Christian.

If you want to make this about the gun debate—you’re hopeless and sad.  This has nothing to do with guns.  If you think more guns would have prevented this from happening, you’re too damn stupid to own guns—hell you’re just stupid, period.

When something like this happens it should be a time where we’re just Americans.  We’re not Democrats or Republicans.  We’re not Christians or Muslims.  We’re not black or white.  We’re Americans.

And it shouldn’t take horrific tragedies such as these for us to act that way.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


Facebook comments

  • Annie

    Mr. Clifton, You saw FOX news, ” try and do their best to rpush the notion that this had to be an attack from some Muslim terrorist group. They claimed suspects were possibly in custody, and yup you guessed it—they were all rumored to be Muslim.”

    But, in the same token, did you see Chris Matthews say that domestic terrorists, “tend to be on the right?”

    Our country was attacked today, foreign, domestic, but with 2 bombs and lives taken. This is not the time to politicize the event; rather it is a time for Americans to come together and do what they do best.

    • That’s what he just said.

    • But, in the same token, did you see Chris Matthews say that domestic terrorists, “tend to be on the right?”

      That’s because they are. Scott Roeder, for instance, who murdered Dr. George Tiller, followed some extreme right groups. Timothy McVeigh was a fan of William Pierce’s violent, racist book “The Turner Diaries.”

      Still, saying that is a far cry from branding an entire ethnic/religious group “terrorists.”

  • Bravo!! Well said, thoughtful, and encouraging to those of us who sometimes feel like we are “odd” for not jumping on the “patriot” bandwagon and raising pitchforks against all of those dangerous ‘others’ out to do us in….thank you!

  • If more people had been carrying guns…..who would they have shot? No target.

  • Duffy

    I think it is easy to label individuals who would do such a things as “sick”. Yes, some may be. Many are not. Which makes it even worse.

  • The CNN anchor was feeding suggestions to her reporter – and would you say that the next 24 hours will be critical? And then he rambled on and on about how the medical staff would be checking in on the victims frequently – kind of implying that we would be losing some all night.

  • dude

    You have no idea who did this or why. So where do you get off saying that it has nothing to do race or religion or politics. How often do you see terrorist attacks that aren’t motivated by those things? To say that this is an act of monsters sounds real poetic and everything but the reality is it was done by a human being. A human being who probably had a motive. That motive would be a vital piece of information. besides being an important piece of information to put that person in prison and besides being an important piece of information for the dialogue that will come out of this and besides being an important view for history to frame the event its also an important piece of information to help the families of the victims to heal. If I or somebody I knew was in a terrorist attack I would sure like to know who did it and why. The motive and the terrorist behind this is just as important as our response to it.

    • I know I’m not the first to think this, but I’ll say it– shut up. His point is not about religion. It’s about how we have people in this country who forget humanity, decency, and common effing courtesy to simply say nothing if they can’t say something nice. You’re about as effective as the Atheists (whom I adore most days) taking this opportunity to say that offering prayers isn’t helpful. Just shut up. You did EXACTLY what the author was describing– the professionals are doing the investigating. Our only job is to stay out of the way and not make things worse for anyone. Do you think you can possibly play along? Do you have children? Shut up. Consider for one nanosecond that when we pull away from these lighted screens, somewhere there is a parent who lost an 8 year old child. Offer sympathy. Offer encouragement. No– don’t offer to find the people responsible. Right now that parent is hurting a pain deeper than any I can fathom. Momma always said it– just don’t speak if you can’t be helpful. I’m actually sorry that you’re the target of this, but I’m at my limit. If you want to know what I’ve had to say about today’s events (until your brilliant comment), go to my FB page. Support. Positive. Give it a freaking chance. Please. Take the freaking time to slow down & read the content before blowing up. Yes– motive is important. But partisanship and policy pushing at a time like this is unforgivable.

      • jabberwocky

        The problem in the US is simple. We are polarized more than anytime in history (with the possible exception of the Civil War). We can thank Bush and Obama for the polarization.
        We need Hillary.

    • Tracy Gibson

      Actually, the only “dialogue” should be between the authorities and the victims or their families. There is no global consensus on the definition of terrorism, there is a definition for every group, authority or nation that has need to define it (I believe the unofficial count puts it at about 110 to 115 different definitions) but one can safely say that ONE of the more widely accepted definitions say that a terrorist is seeking to use violence or the threat of violence to ensure political and/or social change. Guess what, we don’t negotiate with terrorists. We also should NOT legitamize terrorism and terrorist entities by having a “dialogue” with them.

      No one should give a “$h^t about the motive. Giving a $h^t about the motive gives whoever did this importance. It makes them relevant. We shouldn’t even talk about it. There should be absolutely NO publicity. Without it then whatever bull$h^t motive they had doesn’t matter. They get no column space, they get no airtime, their name does not show up in the history books for the rest of time. WHO they are is important insofar as they need to be punished with the full force of the United States Judicial system. One even hopes that the governments of any foreigner who was affected by this pathetic and despicable act will seek to prosecute the perpetrator in THEIR country, under THEIR laws as soon as we have finished with them. But WHY they did it doesn’t mean a damn thing. In fact, whatever their political or social agenda was, whatever it is that they wanted should be ignored, any initiatives stopped. Bullies don’t get a free pass. The kid on the corner beating the crap out of the other kids to get their lunch money is not in a position to demand anything from anyone. Terrorist’s ARE the bully on the corner.

  • Right on the mark. You spoke my thoughts with your passion. Thank you.

  • We shouldn’t be just Americans. We should be people. Human beings. What the fuck does nationality or living on a continent have to do with any tragedy?

    • Precisely. While most of this post hits me right where I live, the call to be “Americans” and labeling the pointing out of other tragedies as “pathetic pettiness” undermines it significantly. At least 20 civilians were killed yesterday by bombs in Mogadishu. The current evidence there is pointing toward foreign, al Qaeda-linked terrorists. This is not an attempt to minimize what happened in Boston. This is a wake up call to all of the self-centered Americans who minimize these other occurrences because they didn’t happen in Boston. We are all human beings. It is high time we start acting like it.

      • al Qaeda was created by George Bush and HIS CIA and he still controlles them!!!!

      • phukk rightwing trash

        I am very opposed to rightwing trash,,,,yet this IDIOT glenn clayton is worse as he must have a small weenie and smaller brain,,,,, I do hope that he lives a long and very sad sorrow-filled life

      • jabberwocky


    • Tracy Gibson

      nothing, absolutely nothing, Of course in this country the news and media outfits, in an effort to scoop the other guy and fill 24 hours of airtime with vilify anyone who is even spoken to by the authorities. Some poor person may soon find themselves on the front page and top of every hour of news. There will be unending, irresponsible, network share grabbing speculation about the “who” and the “why”. Discussions on how they should be punished by a “round table” panel will occur – all before they even know who actually did it. Someone will learn first hand what Richard Jewell went through after the Atlanta Bombings. It will be a pathetic effort by these TV personalities to make themselves relevant. I can see it now. It will be a Muslim, it will be a “minority”, it’ll be a “homo”, a “tree hugger”. Anyone with a grudge against any race, religion, gender, orientation, nationality, political affiliation…I wouldn’t be surprised if someone on Team Anniston found a way to blame Team Jolie. It is all so pathetic and ridiculous.

      • jabberwocky

        The US is sliding into the toilet.

  • thank u!!!! Fox is always saying stupid shit like that….I wouldn’t be surprised if it was one of their viewers with extreme thoughts about guns that tried to take attention from the debate in the first place…ugh so sad

  • Alex08

    I spent the afternoon staying glued to Fox News as more information was coming out. I NEVER heard them say at any point that this was “some muslim group.” They called them terrorists. Anyone who sets off bombs just to cause deaths and chaos is by definition a terrorist. The fact that you assumed Fox News calling the perpetrators “terrorists” meant “muslim” is not only inaccurate, but ridiculous. For you to write that is naive, childish, and not to mention typical. I’m going to give you an A for effort on trying to distort what Fox News was reporting, but unfortunately you can’t just lie.

  • Boycott Fox news all they do is LIE and LIE and then tell more Lies!!!

    • jabberwocky

      Boycott NBC and Huff Post too.

  • William

    Perfectly said Mr. Clifton, I was thinking these exact words but could have never described it so superbly as you did. Recently we have not really had a common enemy to focus our attention on so unfortunately we have turned our attention on each other and it seems like it’s more abrasive than ever. You have made such an important point that we all need to focus on our most important commonality, we are AMERICANS beyond all else. OK big deal we are Conservatives and Liberals and have a difference of opinion of how we should do this and that but minus a few subjects we all want the same things; prosperity, peace, safety, healthcare, retirement, savings, jobs, education, clean and safe environment, etc….More important than any political affiliation we are AMERICANS, we are the most compassionate, empathetic, charitable, brotherly men and women in the world and I hope we can start acting like this more often, I know that I am going to start doing this from now on because I have been one of the worse when it comes to politics and that stops now…

  • Veronica Kenny

    “And it shouldn’t take horrific tragedies such as these for us to act that way.”

  • jabberwocky

    Obama is said to be very depressed guns were not involved.

    • With all due respect (or actually not) that comment is inflammatory and stupid. Now is not the time for such garbage.

  • great article…but how about NOT that “we are AMERICANS”, but, WE ARE HUMAN! what does being an American have to do with feeling emotional about a tragedy? nothing!

  • Jeff Hepler

    A shot towards Fox News but CNN gets pass for their blame on right wing extremists. Nice….

  • I agree with most of what you have to say, but I must point out that tragedies like these are not the works of monsters. They are the works of men. And so there is, at some level, some virtue of trying to contextualize the horrific events in terms of larger, public conversations because this is something our kind has done to itself.

  • interesting there is not mention of how msnbc and other mainstream media outlets immediately linked this to right-wing extremists based on the fact it happened on/around patriot day. you people need to look outside of facebook memes and hack bloggers for your perspective

  • jabberwocky

    Two ahabs is what I just heard.