Denis Hamill of the New York Daily News has a weird way of looking at things, particularly the ongoing crisis at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya.
In a column published Monday, Hamill pontificates as to whether such a thing as the Kenya Mall attack could perhaps happen in New York. Could it perhaps happen in the Queens Center Mall? Could terrorist gunmen seize the place, slaughter dozens, and hole up inside?
Heck, New Yorkers are afraid of that happening all the time, Hamill suggests. But they’re New Yorkers. They don’t back down.
“The best weapon against terrorism is refusing to be terrorized,” he writes. “12 Septembers after 9/11, New Yorkers refuse to let fear dictate their behavior.”
I’m not wasting any more print space Mr. Hamill’s op-ed (you can read it here), but I have to say, it would be pretty odd to see someone make another’s crisis all about oneself at the expense of good taste if it were only the first time I had seen this happen so far this week.
Still, I’m definitely not alone in thinking that Mr. Hamill probably should have not written this strange, insensitive ode to New Yorkers, which only succeeds in making us feel invincible at the expense of people actually suffering in Kenya right now.
But sadly, most observers seem to have taken Hamill’s column hook, line and sinker, and are actually debating the possibility of such an attack happening in America which both totally misses the big point of Hamill’s article (that New York is No. 1 and takes no guff from terrorists) and actually buys into Hamill’s fear-mongering.
“I’m sure that there being close to 30,000 armed police officers isn’t a deterrence at all, right? And that many of those 30,000 are roaming about the city just like you and me in regular clothes… that’s not a deterrence either, huh? And that’s not even counting the number of retired cops roaming about,” one reader justifies.
“Queens residents are watch out for each other, the cops would be there in less then 2 mins, plus nypd are the best in the nation,” wrote another.
But the most salient comments are closer to the top.
“I love how the media tries to stir up fear for a story. Great job Daily News.”
“What’s with the fear mongering here? Seriously, find another job.”
[Image: Wikimedia Commons]