Keith Ellison: Don't celebrate Qaddafi's death
Keith Ellison: Relieved, but not "happy" about Qaddafi's death.
Muammar Qaddafi is finally, mercifully, dead. After a 40-year reign of terror inflicted upon his own people, other Africans, Europeans, and Americans, the Libyan dictator has been killed by his own people. According to graphic images posted by Al-Jazeera, Qaddafi's body is now being dragged through the street.
But not everyone is ready to jump in the conga line and dance on Muammar's grave.
Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison had an early message for his Twitter followers, which expressed relief for Libyans, and hope for the future of people there and in other Arab countries.
But, Ellison cautioned, no one should celebrate the end of a human life.
Ellison's thought, which was immediately retweeted by dozens of followers, went like this:
One follower tweeted back at Ellison, agreeing with the congressman but pointing out that "vanquishing an evil is cause for relief." Ellison responded, "yes. Relief, not celebration."
Ellison's quick, nuanced reaction is a departure from his public statements after the killing of Osama bin Laden. As highlighted by Smart Politics researcher Eric Ostermeier, Ellison was the last of Minnesota's congressional delegation to react to bin Laden's death.
And on Twitter, Ellison allowed about 18 hours -- or, in the ward-speed world of social media, a lifetime -- to pass by before tweeting about bin Laden's death. In that case, as in Qaddafi's, Ellison was not ready to shout "Woohoo!" while running through the halls of the U.S. Capitol.
To paraphrase Clarence Darrow, it seems that Keith Ellison has never called for another man's death -- but he's read a couple of obituaries with relief.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss City Pages' biggest stories.