The steps to the moral and intellectual high ground aren’t the dead


Or they might just be. In writing this, I’m adding up to the number of posts musing on the Davao explosion in the Philippines on the Internet. It’s the morning after the explosion at Roxas Avenue left 70 wounded and 14 dead. Fingers are being pointed, from the government to even a TV show, and there are those who used the incident as a means to justify their political stance. Both are already expected to beget ridicule, so here we are, in an exasperating state of affairs in the face of tragedy: provoked, we retaliate, engaging in heated debates; all solidarity forgotten; playing tug-of-war with the bodies.

“A lot of this has to do with the demands of the format itself: you’re endlessly encouraged to Have Your Say and Join The Conversation, to constantly be filling white boxes with words, because what you think about any given topic is now incredibly important, and before you know it, in the stampede to have your say and join the conversation you’re trampling over the dead. We scrawl our thoughts in blood,” Sam Kriss wrote in How to politicise a tragedy, after the Paris bombing in 2015. Here lies the necessity to ignore the nudge of that issue you’ve always wanted to share your thoughts on; of whatever frustration in politics you want to let out. Do not make it about you so you can stand with an all-knowing smile. Do not be provoked, do not retaliate – defuse the spark of an argument over political stances that concerns this tragedy before it can turn into a full-out bonfire of the victims.

The Filipino government has already expressed renewed effort in the military and police cooperation. I hope that all of us will make efforts to stand not in difference but in unity, in solidarity, and in support.

Kapit lang, Pilipinas.


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