Let’s not get crazy over the fried chicken terrorist guy #chelsea

I posted most of this on Facebook Saturday night after feeling dismayed at Twitter (think we’d all know better by now) compared to what I saw in New York City being out and about shortly after the explosion. I wasn’t that far away in the 30s and saw emergency vehicles heading to the scene.

I don’t mean to downplay the people who were injured by the blast or the threat of international terrorism, but it makes sense to proportionalize reactions to proper context and not overblown fear. A lot more people die in the United States to different kinds of violence and other causes that are preventable, which I personally think we should be a lot more worried about, other than terrorism by what appears to be a disaffected amateur who reportedly had disputes in his neighborhood over his family’s fried chicken shop.

I resent the politics of fear. Let’s not let terrorism work and give into the psychology of fear.

To: The Internet
If you’re sending good thoughts, thank you.
If you’re spreading stupid rumors STFU.
— (((evan shapiro))) (@eshap) September 18, 2016
Breaking: Hundreds injured from knee jerk reactions and from jumping to conclusions about the #Chelsea explosion.
— Juan (@jrivera64) September 18, 2016
New Yorkers are just going about outside business at usual. Actually weird seeing the freakout on Twitter and national news. #chelsea
— Bessie Chu (@bessiec) September 18, 2016

To which this dude was like:

Guess y’all are just used to it, keep voting blue https://t.co/F7xl12msq5
— David McDonald (@davidamc50) September 18, 2016

To which I am like:

.@davidamc50 Hey David, by giving into fear you’re giving into what terrorists and Putin wants for that matter. New Yorkers aren’t cowards.
— Bessie Chu (@bessiec) September 18, 2016
.@davidamc50 We’re happy to live our values and stand by our neighbors even in threats and fear. These colors don’t run right? #Chelsea
— Bessie Chu (@bessiec) September 18, 2016

People are going about business as usual, out drinking, shopping, and enjoying the fall weather evening. There are lots of extra security precautions this weekend in general because of the UN General Assembly, but everyone is just going about their lives.

Basically NYC in a nutshell here. I’ve never met a people who were more “Meh, whatever. Get on with it.” about just about anything. And it’s delightful.

“And another neighbor nearby, Graham Mills, 52, seemed almost relieved that the wait for this was over. “It was only a matter of time,” he said. “There’s kind of this New York spirit that’s like, whatever. Let’s get on with life.”

I would hardly call it indifference, but I think everyone here is kind of glib about the inevitability about this sort of thing.

No, seriously, it’s actually weird to open Twitter, Facebook, and the national news and see people freaking out juxtaposed with people literally outside eating pizza drunk and milling about.

I hope everyone injured will recover soon and that proper investigations and actions will be taken. I use to literally work a block from the explosion and hang out there all the time still, so I am personally sad and angry someone who lives, works, or was just nearby got hurt.

There are sirens going outside my window right now, and they have been for hours. One of those terrifying amber-alert sounds about a suspicious package on 27th street just shook my phone, and I probably won’t be able to fall asleep for awhile now. I think anyone here would be lying if they didn’t feel a sort of malaise, but after meeting so many old-timers who remember New York from the Bronx-is-burning bad old days and those who lived through 9/11, you get taught can’t let this sort of thing subvert your values or terrify you from living your life.

“There is no absolute solace in this anxious era. There is no honesty in promises to crack down and blow up other things and people and have our revenge, and to make everybody safe again. There is only the hard work of investigating, deterring and punishing attackers, and meeting the dangers with proportionate measures, courage and calm resolve.”

First posted on my blog MiddleManMinority.