Alex Constantine - October 5, 2008
Lumberjack Editorial Board
Issue date: 9/10/08 Section: Opinion
Over the last seven years, we have seen the events of September 11 progress from being a shocking tragedy in our nation's history to becoming an issue of policy and political agenda.
On Thursday, Sept. 4, prior to Republican presidential candidate John McCain's acceptance speech, the Republican National Convention aired a video entitled, "9/11: The Day The World Stood Still." Airing at 9:11 p.m. CST and lasting almost three minutes long, the video falsely linked the 9/11 attacks to Iran amid an ominous voice-over. Graphic footage from the day of the attack was played, including the initial impact and subsequent collapse of of the twin towers, individuals jumping from the buildings and blood-splattered displays of missing persons. A smattering of networks aired the tribute, including C-SPAN and MSNBC.
The creation and airing of this 'tribute video' was grossly inappropriate, a fear tactic and an obvious political statement. The video aired was propaganda.
Regardless of the video's political affiliation, this was a thoughtless act. Some of us lost friends, and others lost family members. Every American was touched by the tragedy. The images shown on television that day have been forever burned into our memories. After seven years, the pain is still raw - and for some, it will never go away.
Even though it was labeled as a 'tribute video,' it was not created as a tribute to the American and foreign men and women who were killed in the attacks and recovery efforts. The misrepresentation of Muslims in this piece of propaganda was racist.
The exploitation of 9/11 has been a political tool for the past seven years. It is unjust for any political party or candidate to continue to evoke the memory of 9/11 and use the fear associated with it to sway a political vote.
Before we are Republican or Democrat, Green or Independent, we are American and Americans stand up for what is "right." As Americans, we believe that this video, used in this manner, was not right.
It's time to practice the justice that we preach. Political parties and their members need to stop desecrating the memory of 9/11 and let the memory of those lost rest in peace.
America and the world needs to know that the values that unite us as a nation have not been lost. As a nation we see things differently, but share a commitment to freedom and democracy. Above everything else, we are Americans. Let's not let racism and fear keep us from realizing what 9/11 truly was and continues to be.
The video below is the official video released by the RNC. Please be advised that the footage aired could be considered graphic by some.
Viewer discretion is advised.