I’m still hoping that I have to take this story down. I’m still hoping that the people who are currently trapped in a submersible around the Titanic shipwreck are alive and no mourning will be necessary.
Right now, however, the news is grim. The Titan submersible has officially run out of air and the “search and rescue” mission has become a “search and recover” mission.
More bizarre, it appears that none of us are allowed to mourn the five lives on the submersible. The conversation on social media seems to be mostly “billionaires who risk their lives deserve everything they get! Stupid spending all that money on a risky tourist expedition to gawk at the Titanic when people are starving.”
To that, I say “Shut up.” No seriously, shut up.
People are being applauded for a lack of empathy these days. I am sick and tired of seeing tweets by supposed “progressives” about how we are not allowed to mourn the death of billionaires or how we are bad people for feeling horrified by what the five people on the Titan submersible but ignoring a boat full of refugees which overturned, drowning many people. Mohamad Safa on Twitter said The irony — what humanity looks like 2023! Rescue teams of a tourist submersible carrying 4 millionaire and 1 billionaire went missing during a dive to the wreck of the Titanic, and a rescue teams of a refugee boat carrying 800 poor people looking for a better life for their children. The tweet then shows the Coast Guard searching for the submersible and compares it to what appears to be less well-equipped rescue teams gathering refugees out of the ocean.
To that I say: shut up. I have been mourning the death of refugees in the ocean for over a decade now. It’s horrifying. And I am mourning the last fear-filled moments of the five passengers on the Titan submersible right now.
The problem is that I heard nothing about the refugee boat capsizing on social media until the Titan submersible story suddenly grabbed headlines a few days ago. That was when a whole bunch of supposedly “good” “progressive” people suddenly virtue-signaled on Twitter about how they were better people than the rest of us lumpish mainstream folk because they were mourning refugees dying in the ocean instead of five wealthy tourists in a submersible.
But they weren’t mourning those refugees in the ocean. No one was talking about those refugees drowning in the ocean until people wanted an excuse to mock those of us horrified by the submersible accident.
There is a theme in this culture of grief-shaming. People are getting canceled for showing empathy because we are not showing empathy to the *right* people. We’re not allowed to show empathy towards Ukraine because where was our empathy for the people in Yemen? We’re not allowed to show empathy towards the people in the Titan submersible because what about the refugees drowning in the ocean?
And of course if we DO show empathy for the refugees drowning in the ocean, we are still bad people because what about the homeless vets who fought for our country who are dying on the streets every day? Why are we mourning “cowards” who “refuse to fix their own country and just want to go on welfare in our country” when we abandon our own soldiers on the streets?
No matter who you mourn, you’re a bad person. Better to just not mourn anyone.
And that’s a dangerous path.
When we suppress empathy because we are scared of being empathetic towards the wrong people, we risk becoming a cruel society.
Empathy needs to be cultivated. Yes, we can shake our heads at the vanity of the wealthy who pay 250K for a ticket to see the Titanic wreckage but for the love of God don’t you think that’s beside the point now? For anyone who remembers the awful last days of the crew of the Russian submarine Kursk it can only be imagined what the people aboard the Titan were experiencing during its last hours.
I hope the people in the Titan submersible are still alive. I hope that the hundreds of refugees who were on that boat that sunk in the ocean are still alive and can be rescued.
And I need everyone else grief-shaming on social media to please shut up. Empathy is a good thing and there is damn little left of it in society today.
You are allowed to mourn those who are suffering and dying.