The NAACP has been accused of downplaying the gravity of the 9/11 attacks, with critics up in arms after the organization deemed them a “horrific incident” with no mention of terrorism in a tweet to mark their 19th anniversary.
“Today we remember all the lives lost and families affected during the horrific incident that occurred in 2001. #NeverForget,” the organization wrote in a tweet on Friday, captioning an image of the New York skyline featuring the words “Always remember.”
The post did not go over well, soon swarmed by a barrage of commenters who rushed to slam the organization’s use of the term “incident,” arguing it downplayed the severity of the attacks, which left more than 3,000 people dead in New York, Pennsylvania and Washington DC after hijackers commandeered four commercial airliners and deliberately crashed them into buildings.
You could possibly be more tone deaf, I suppose. But I really doubt it. Very on-brand, as usual.
— Adam Clanton (@adamclanton) September 11, 2020
My thesaurus doesn’t agree that this act of war /terrorist attack could be called an incident. Makes it sound like an accident or coffee spill or getting a latté when you ordered cappucino.
— Molly Reilly (@MollyRe89656631) September 11, 2020
Though one of the standard dictionary definitions for ‘incident’ includes “a violent event, such as a fracas or assault,” netizens were up in arms over the NAACP’s failure to employ harsher words to describe the attacks, many insisting the description should have referred to “terrorism.”
Is it really that hard to say terrorist attack?
— AnonAmish (@MrAmishMan) September 11, 2020
Say it with us. It was a ᴛᴇʀʀᴏʀɪꜱᴛ ᴀᴛᴛᴀᴄᴋ.
— America First (@AmericaFirstPAC) September 11, 2020
An incident is what happens when two cars back into each other at a parking lot—-9/11- an incidentThe Holocaust- unfortunate eventSlavery- bad behavior Let’s not be afraid to actually what each of these things are!
— Jake 🌊🇮🇱🇺🇸🙊 (@jakeyshap) September 11, 2020
Some critics drew comparisons to a statement from Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota) last year, who dismissively described the attacks as “some people did something,” prompting similarly harsh criticism.
Actually worse than some people did something
— 👑Sia Ayrom👑🔆🦁 (@siaayrom) September 11, 2020
While Omar’s own tweet to mark the 9/11 anniversary did describe the event as “the deadliest terror attack in our history,” it failed to appease her detractors, who made sure to call attention to the lawmaker’s previous comments.
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