Where Were You? Students' Stories of the Boston Marathon Bombing • An ICMPA Media Literacy Project
As I woke up on that Monday morning on the week of April 15, 2013, I prayed to God and asked Him to lift the burdens off my shoulders that I was already and desperately struggling to lift. I knew that the upcoming week would be filled with chaos: I had assignment after assignment due, quizzes to cram for, and papers that I didn’t even begin brainstorming, let alone write. I didn’t even have the time to breathe, as I knew that I was going to experience work, work, work nonstop. I was desperately looking forward to the end of Monday, because I just wanted to get the week over with as soon as possible. I had hoped that the end of Monday was the day where I could finally breathe a sigh of relief. However, for 3 others it was the end and possibly could have been for 160+ more.
I realized I made a mistake that Monday morning: I should have prayed for the well-being of everybody.
It is unfortunate that my best friend had to inform me of the news that there had been a “bombing in Boston.” I shrugged it off with a “oh no! That sucks…” because I thought that it did not cause any harm or damage, as absurd as it may sound. I forgot about the news that she broke to me later that Monday afternoon, until I logged onto Twitter, where everyone (and practically everyone!) was Tweeting about their thoughts on Boston. I definitely felt a shift in change as the news unfolded, finally knowing that a tragedy had just taken place which affected the lives of numerous innocent victims. I went from slightly indifferent, to extremely sympathetic towards the victims. I wish I had prayed for a smooth week to occur for everybody and not just for my own sake.
It furthermore absolutely devastated me that people still resort to violence, affecting the lives of numerous innocent victims. But what absolutely tore my heart was the media’s ignorance of labeling the perpetrator as a “Muslim” and hoping that the suspect “wasn’t Muslim.” For the media to have such harsh prejudices, that dawned on me because it shows that America is still Islamophobic, despite Muslims constantly emphasizing the beauty and peacefulness of their religion. It also hurts to know that when the suspects’ identities are released, that the media sees them as “suspects,” but when they release their religious backgrounds, that this was a purposeful act of terror motivated by religion. I will never understand the media’s need to equate one person’s actions to his/her religion.