by Brendon Berger
You could most definitely be forgiven if you have never heard of the position of Assistant Director of Student Life at The Ohio State University. This would be even moreso because whoever occupies this post just smacks of bureaucratic uselessness. Unfortunately, the present occupant has managed to raise the profile of the office in the worst possible way. Recently, Stephanie Clemons Thompson, decided to post the following on Facebook:
DO NOT SHARE THIS POST
Abdul Razak Ali Artan was a BUCKEYE, a member of our family. If you think it is okay to celebrate his death and/or share a photo of his dead body and I see it in my timeline I will unfriend you. I pray you find compassion for his life, as troubled as it clearly was. Think of the pain he must have been in to feel that his actions were the only solution. We must come together in this time of tragedy. #BuckeyeStrong #BlackLivesMatter #SayHisName
This apparently came in response to someone or multiple someones “celebrating” the death of the above-named attacker. For those who may have forgotten, on November 28, that individual injured eleven people on the Ohio State campus first with a car then a knife. Thankfully, he was put down within a minute by campus police.
There is obviously a great deal wrong with the Asst. Director’s post. Someone more graphically inclined should work out a flow chart for her cockamamie “reasoning.” Really it’s like being confronted with a castle and no tools and then being told “take this down please.” It’s hard to know where to begin. Let’s start with the argument she seems to be trying to make.
Seemingly our erring university employee believes that the celebrating of the attacker’s death or even congratulating campus police for their swift action is wrong because:
- He was a student at Ohio State
- He was in some sort of psychic pain
- He was black
As to point #1, stipulated, I willingly concede he was in fact a student at the university. This however is where the thinking man or woman stands up from their table in court of good sense and shouts “OBJECTION! Relevance?” It seems odd that it would be necessary but in case our Asst. Director (AD from now on) forgot the salient facts in the case: Attempted Murder/Terrorism…11 people injured. That kind of outweighs a shared love of Brutus or hope that Illibuck stays in Columbus, don’t you think?
Onto #2 (snort). Again, I actually don’t have any objection to this statement either; things were probably not peachy between the attacker’s ears. And under ordinary circumstances, I have nothing but sympathy for people who are forced to run on the steeply uphill and ultra-fast treadmill that are mental health issues. But I keep circling back to…you know…the attempted murder/terrorism and 11 injured. To quote two of my favorite fictional characters of all time:
“Do you know the difference between an error and a mistake? …Anyone can make an error…but that error doesn’t become a mistake until you refuse to correct it”
– Grand Admiral Mitt’raw’nuruodo
“Mistakes are as serious as the results they cause!”
– Dr. Gregory House
Believing you have to suffer in silence and solitude is an error; a tragic error. That error transcends simple mistake and becomes someone else’s tragedy when you attack a university. The so very grave results of that mistake obviate any sympathy you might otherwise be entitled to. I may, with time, come to an understanding of why someone would chose to do something like this. But I will never sympathize with the human garbage that did it.
Actually, this dovetails quite nicely into the AD’s third point. Yet another literal truth by the way; she’s on quite the roll. The attacker was in fact black. And again this is as relevant to you and me as the extended forecast in Tashkent. Are the wounded victims somehow less wounded as a result? Was it even LESS traumatizing to the people who witnessed it? Does the relative level of melanin in his skin somehow change what happened?
It seems in our dear AD’s haste to appear as a more enlightened order of human than the rest of us she has, inadvertently I’m sure, has forgotten her humanity. By assuming a false air of ethereal tolerance, she has revealed herself as a fraud. But how can I say her call for tolerance is false? I can’t know her mind right? It is true, I cannot know her innermost thoughts. I can only observe and react to her actions. She chose first to urge people not to share her post and second to threaten to drop anyone who might not conform to her will. Odd choices in a fervent ideologue. Shouldn’t she be comfortable standing on her beliefs for the world to see? And how fragile must a belief system be that it’s threatened by the slightest challenge?
The ultimate problem with this kind of nonsensical bleating is two-fold. First, it creates a false sense of equivalency between two very different things: as though she believes victim and aggressor are somehow simply different choices of equal merit when it comes to sympathy. And it creates a terrible precedent. The attacker was black and possibly mentally ill, therefore he MUST be worthy of just as much consideration as the people he attacked. Tell me Madame AD, what atrocity would not be covered by this line of reasoning? Could he have killed 11 people? 20? Blown up a crowded building? The basic facts about him would not have changed. What else must you have before you can condemn and evil act?
So yes, personally I hope the bullet that ended the attacker’s life parked itself in some dense muscle and hurt like hell until the moment he left this mortal coil. If this makes me a vindictive person, so be it. I will also, somehow, learn to cope with losing the respect of the AD and people of her ilk. I decline to be impartial between the disease and the cure.
I’ll add one final quote from a fictional character since it summarizes nicely for me:
In the end, it actually matters very little what demographic boxes you check off on the great form of life, despite what the identity politics-mad progressive movement will tell you. Your ACTIONS will always define you. And in the case of the Ohio State attacker, he not only defined himself in the end as scum but also as someone who would jeopardize other people’s precious gift of life. And in the case of our AD, as someone for whom the illusion of tolerant wisdom is more important than basic judgement.