Monday, April 19, 2010

Clinton on OKC

There aren’t many air traffic controllers in the United States that didn’t go through Oklahoma City to start their careers. On April 19th, in 1995, an angry American blew up the Federal building in Oklahoma City. I remember that day. I’m sure many of my younger readers don’t. Virtually every person in America thought “Arab terrorist”. We were wrong. It was an American. A white American. A veteran.

President Bill Clinton has an editorial in The New York Times today. It is worth your time.

If you’re a video type, President Clinton had an interview on CNN which covered much of the same territory.

”Criticism is part of the lifeblood of democracy. No one is right all the time. But we should remember that there is a big difference between criticizing a policy or a politician and demonizing the government that guarantees our freedoms and the public servants who enforce our laws. “

Controllers like to think of themselves as a breed apart. They like to think of themselves as exceptions to the rule when it comes to government employees. I understand because I was once a controller. But on April 19, 1995 we didn’t feel so apart. Timothy McVeigh wasn’t killing them, he was killing us. He was killing people because they were Federal employees.

You should read President Clinton’s words and really think about them. Think hard. It is all too easy to lump people into a category for criticism. I know. I do it too often. Words matter. They have consequences. Choose yours wisely.

Don Brown
April 19, 2010

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