Do We Need to Relive 9/11 Every Year to Remember?

Lucas Jackson/AFP/Getty Images
Lucas Jackson/AFP/Getty Images

(The Root)— On the 11th anniversary of Sept. 11, I find myself saying one thing and one thing only: Please stop telling me about Sept. 11.


From mainstream news to social media, I'm being bashed with discussions of one of the nation's greatest tragedies. Never forget, I'm told with incredible fervor. And while I understand how some may find it cathartic to discuss this particular event, I personally do not.

I would much prefer not to think of that day again. It's not as if that's even a real possibility. Every time I'm treated like a terror suspect when I fly on a plane because I forgot that there was a piece of tissue in my back pocket, I'm very much aware of the day that changed everything. As I take a stroll through New York City and I'm greeted by AK-47s and military-garbed men and women, I remember 9/11 just fine.

So do I need MSNBC to rebroadcast the news from Sept. 11, 2001?

Do I need to read a brand-new set of articles and posts all rehashing a day that many of my New York friends and family prefer not to really talk about? Never forget! Forget what? The horror in my mother's voice when she finally got in touch with me and told me what happened? The burnt metallic stench that we all knew was a mixture of ash and human remains that floated over downtown Manhattan and downtown Brooklyn for days after? The image of the towers collapsing that I swore I'd never watch again on Sept. 12, 2001?  Don't worry. I won't.

I also understand that not everyone was here in New York City. Not everyone has the same connection to the day. However, I'd still argue that the current method of marketing mainstream media's "We care and remember it too" isn't helpful for anyone. When it's not being shoved down our throats, it's being used to deflect and cloud discussions. Joe Scarborough of MSNBC's Morning Joe tried to dodge an argument on how Republicans obstructed the president by invoking "9/11" and "not wanting to fight today."


There are many ways to mourn the dead and praise the heroes of that tragic day. Forcing tragedy porn on many of us who'd prefer not to wallow in it doesn't seem like the best method.


Elon James White is a writer and satirist and host of the award-winning video and radio series This Week in Blackness. Listen Monday to Thursday at TWIB.FM and subscribe on iTunes. Follow him on TwitterFacebookGoogle+ and Tumblr.

Elon James White is a writer and satirist and host of the award-winning video and radio series This Week in Blackness. Listen Monday to Thursday at 1:30 p.m. EST at TWIB.FM and watch at TV.TWIB.ME/LIVE. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Tumblr.