I didn't watch the latest video
A month, a year, a decade -- it doesn't matter when you read this, because it'll still be applicable.
I didn't watch the latest video of shocking death and horror that has everyone writing think pieces and spurring riots.
I didn't watch the black kids beat up on the white mentally disabled boy a few years ago. I didn't watch the various police videos from the past half-decade. I didn't watch the nursing home worker beat up the elderly veteran. I didn't watch the jogger get shot by the dad and son. I didn't watch the debacle with the foolish white woman and the black man who was birdwatching in Central Park. I didn't watch ANY of the latest videos, nor any in the recent past years.
Because I was foolish enough to watch the Daniel Pearl video.
Eighteen years later and I still remember it, seeing them cut his head off.
There's always another video coming down the pipe, just like we'll always have to send more thoughts and prayers because we don't know how else to respond from a safe distance with all our outrage and also guilt at our comfort from behind our computer screens. We have to weigh in, so we watch to be informed and help spread justice and awareness, and pass judgment.
Spikes of outrage. Looting. Rioting. Hashtags. Ambulance chasing celebrities. People trying to draw deep nuance out of it all, to the loves, likes, and "thank you for your voice" response of readers, inserting our own personal experience into a story that really doesn't have anything to do with us at all and somehow make every tragedy a teachable moment or relevant to our lives. Sometimes later, we realize the video didn't clearly show something, or that it did, indeed, tell the story. Then it happens all over again.
They cut his head off.
I saw when the life left him, how his face muscles sagged and his eyes kind of rolled back a bit as they sawed away.
I don't need to keep seeing people die on camera, some kind of snuff porn, to be reminded that God is good, his grace sufficient, and evil is beyond comprehension.
I know this world has a horrible sin problem.
I can't get Daniel Pearl's lifeless face out of my mind.
You don't have to watch the video. You're not a bad person if you don't.