Students Defend Right to Celebrate

To the Editors:

We were dismayed at the reactions on campus to the news that Osama bin Laden had been killed. Many Americans rejoiced Sunday night, and many Oberlin students dismissed their celebrations as “immoral” and “disgusting.” While raucous celebration complete with alcohol and dancing is certainly crass, looking with disdain on Americans’ joy at this moment is narrow-minded. The death of Osama bin Laden does not represent the death of a man, but instead the end of a person who brought grief and fear to millions of Americans and people around the world. We cannot pretend to know the circumstances of the revelers — who may have had a loved one killed or injured on 9/11 or in the days following, or whose siblings, parents or friends are in the military, threatened by al Qaeda every day. We don’t know who cheered because this moment represents hope for a safer future. We ask our peers to remain mindful of Americans’ differing circumstances and backgrounds — to respect both those who take this moment to celebrate and those who use this time to reflect.

–Sarah Cole

–Caroline Hui

–Arielle Swernoff