Pardon me if I step on some toes.
Yesterday, some members of the sports blogosphere decided to change the blog highlights to the colors of Virginia Tech. They did this, so they said, to honor the dead and to show support for the living. They did this to proclaim, as one blog said, that while they may have gone to different colleges, for yesterday, they were Hokies.
Now, I'm not feeling all that fond of the sports blogosphere lately anyway. There's only so much overt homophobia, implicit misogyny, and implied racism one intelligent adult can take. But this particular gesture struck me as even more, well, crass than the sports blogosphere usually is. And believe me, that's awfully crass.
Don't get me wrong - I have nothing but sympathy for those who were directly or indirectly affected by Monday's events. But the 32 people murdered on Monday weren't the only people murdered last week. They weren't the only people who died last week. They weren't the only victims of a horrendous act last week. Further, the others who died last week were no less worthy of being honored, their families no less in need of support, then those at Virginia Tech. So where's the show of solidarity for those folks? Where's the proud proclamations on their behalf?
That's why I find the gesture so crass. When your only connection is tangential at best - "Hey! I'm in college too!" or "Hey! I'm a human being too!" - it's not about supporting or honoring. It's about co-opting the grief of others to show how wonderful you yourself are. It's about proclaiming to the world that "I am a good, kind, caring person." It's self-serving, not supportive, and it's offensive.