I haven't really wanted to blog about the bombing in Boston, because I don't think I have anything worthwhile to add to the conversation. But today in my Sociology class, the teacher asked a question that really pissed me off: Do we feel less safe now than we did before the bombing? No. No, I don't. And no, neither should most people.
If you live or work in or around Boston right now, that's one thing. Or if you're about to go to a major cultural event. And if you're Muslim or Chechen, being around strangers in America might be a bit less safe now than it was last Friday.
But living within a half hour's drive of a place where a bomb went off almost a week ago isn't notably dangerous.
If I felt like everyone else was being reasonable, I would say that the only reason you might feel less safe now than you did last week is if, prior to now, you were totally unaware of the reality that some people suck, and sometimes people blow things up or shoot people. There are loads of reasons people do these things, but the reasons don't matter all that much on a personal safety level.
What matters is that people living in middle- to working-class neighborhoods and attending community colleges that have no large geo-cultural or political significance are just as much not targets as they were before something other than them was targeted.
This isn't about not giving in to terror. This isn't about putting up a brave face. This is me, pissed off that my peer group can't handle the idea that bombs in one place do not automatically, systematically increase the likelihood of bombs everywhere. I, like most of the people I know, am actually not less safe because of the bombing on Monday.
It's fine and normal to be sad, freaked out, or confused right now. But if you actually feel like your safety has declined since Monday, and I didn't mention you in paragraph three, I think you probably haven't been paying attention.