I live in Watertown Massachusetts.
I live less than a mile from where, after a day that felt like it had more than a few extra hours in it, law enforcement officials finally apprehended 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
My house was awoken the night before by the sound of explosives being thrown from that Mercedes we’ve heard so much about, and I had the strange experience of watching police helicopters on the news while listening to those same helicopters as they hovered directly above my house for the entire day.
I say all of this to illustrate the point that I was close to this, and to qualify myself to protest against something I’ve seen pop up in lots of writing about yesterday.
This morning, like everyone else, I started reading to see what more solid information we might have available to us about the awful attack on our city on Marathon Monday, and about the mess of events that led to a whole metropolitan area essentially being in lockdown for an entire day.
Over and over again I’ve seen reporters, no doubt trying to spin the best narrative, characterize the experience of all of us who were stuck in our houses as being terrorized. To quote Michael Daly at the Daily Beast we, “spent an eternal day in fear behind locked doors, feeling the terror that terrorists want you to feel.”
And of course there was the lovely little interlude yesterday when our collective tension could be briefly aimed at State Representative for Arkansas Nate Bell when he had the balls to send this little doozy of a tweet,
@NateBell4AR:I wonder how many Boston liberals spent the night cowering in their homes wishing they had an AR-15 with a hi-capacity magazine?
I won’t even go into dissecting the many reasons that that tweet and the ideas and attitudes that it represents are absolutely abhorrent (especially coming from a State Representative) as I’m sure the rest of the internet is already taking care of that. I bring it up merely to quote someone else who responded to him and who’s words I’ve borrowed as the title of this post.
@ginalou: We don’t cower, asshole. MT
@NateBell4AR: I wonder how many Boston liberals spent night cowering in their homes wishing they had an AR-15
That’s the sentiment I want to drive home. We were not cowering yesterday. We, meaning millions of people who call the Greater Boston area our home, were not terrorized yesterday. We were coming together as a community and cooperating to aid law enforcement officials in getting the people responsible for this attack on our home. By staying off the streets we could ensure that Police could conduct their business without any interference.
It has been a very strange week; for the victims who are just beginning to heal, for the friends and families of those who were lost, and to an entire community who’s had to come together in a very real shared experience and consider the things that we normally take for granted.
Boston is our home. It is a beautiful diverse city. It belongs to us, and if you threaten our rights to safety and freedom of movement through this gorgeous place, we will collectively come to a halt in order to better stop you.
We don’t cower.