[No transcript of the segment is available, so I've quoted liberally from the audio.]
NPR acknowledges that thousands of students congregated at the Boston Common, then interviews Boston University students who are “celebrating the news even as they try to sort out what it means.” It’s a fine segment, which I commend to you.
Tovia Smith, the NPR reporter, acknowledged that the students were “trash talking bin Laden like they might a rival football team,” then talks about why some of the students had such a “visceral reaction.”
I am pleased to hear that some of the students were “troubled by the flash mob victory jig.” They asked for a meeting with the BU administration.
BU’s Dean of Students, Kenn Elmore, met with about 200 students on Monday in a “post mortem … at the request of students who were confused or disturbed by the celebration.”
One student said: “I was so ashamed of our generation yesterday. Oh my God, it made me sick.” He said young people should understand better than any “the power of an image Tweeted instantly around the world.” He said: “How ‘bout you put it this way? I’m a 9 year old kid now in the Middle East. ‘Mom, Dad, what’s going on?’ ‘Oh, Americans are cheering because someone died.’ Congratulations. There’s probably going to be a new generation of Islamic jihadists who hate Americans because of our celebration of this.”
Another student said: “We’ve had nine years of war … lot of violence on both sides, lot of hate that seems to be perpetuating it. I still don’t understand what that means.”
NPR reports: The students ended their meeting with heads bowed and a somber moment of silence.
I am grateful for this NPR report and grateful for the thoughtful students of Boston University.