It’s been a week since President Obama interrupted our Sunday evening television to let us know about a successful military action. We’ve been at war with Al Qaeda for 10 years. Our Navy Seals executed a secret mission that ultimately led to the death of its leader, Osama Bin Laden.
Like many, I had mixed emotions.
As the daughter of a career military war hero, I understood the magnitude of the announcement. However, like many, based on the Twitter and Facebook accounts we all heard about, I was uncomfortable to rejoice the death of a human.
One of my cousins forwarded the now infamous ‘fake Martin Luther King Jr. quote:’ “I will mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy.” That sentiment summed up my emotional conundrum. Little did I know it had more. The original Facebook status included the real MLK quote: “Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.” MLK Jr.
Remember the “telephone game” we played as children? One person whispers a phrase and we each repeat it to one another until the last person says it aloud. Every time, the original phrase gets mangled. In this case, the original Facebook quote was shortened. Quotation marks dropped. Soon, that first sentence was attributed to Martin Luther King. Next, the Twitter sphere was ablaze with notions of the “fake MLK quote.”
Thanks to The Atlantic’s business and economics editor, Megan McArdle, we now know the original Facebook status came from Jessica Dovey, a young woman who teaches English to middle school students in Kobe, Japan.
Thank you Jessica for sharing your own unique point of view and helping millions of us navigate some complex emotions! Author David Meerman Scott (@dmscott) should award you a “World Wide Rave.”