It happens every year: Blue Angels perform at Seafair, and a handful of progressives get upset, spouting off the same, tired talking points of glorifying war and violence, something about the military industrial complex and blah, blah, blah.
Social media amplifies this lunacy, of course, making a handful of lunatics seem like they hold a view reflective of the city. But something positive comes out of all of this: People of all political backgrounds find a common ground in laughing at — and calling out — these fringe voices.
This year’s display came courtesy of an innocuous tweet by Naveed Jamali, a former intelligence analyst who is (kind of) running for Seattle Council in District 7. He posted a video of the test flight to his Twitter feed saying, “Happy @BlueAngels day #Seattle. #gonavy #flynavy.”
This was controversial for some reason.
Dae Shik Kim Hawkins Jr., a local activist, immediately pounced. He called the Blue Angels “a detriment to society and needs to be canceled forever” because, in part, they trigger PTSD, “while celebrating the warfare and destruction we’ve caused in the Middle East.”
Jamali, to his credit, fought back, humorously telling Hawkins to “Seriously, stop. Go cut some artisanal cheese or play a board game at a Starbucks. And yes I have PTSD and nothing makes me happier then [sic] seeing and hearing jets.”
Crosscut got in on the action with an op-ed written by columnist Glenn Nelson. Not only does he call out the carbon emissions of the jets, but he posits an offensive notion of fragility on South Seattle refugees. He writes:
Nelson does not provide a single quote from a refugee claiming to be triggered.
This hot take, of course, inspired some Twitter craziness because, well, it’s Twitter. One user said: “Dump the wasteful and sometimes deadly Blue Angels nonsense. Anyone who’s excited about celebrating raw militarism by watching outdated equipment can just stream Top Gun at home.”
But Seattleites of all backgrounds pushed back.
Thank you Blue Angels, and Seafair, for bringing together Seattleites. It’s one day a year where we can set aside our political differences and bond over a shared goal: mocking the ridiculous voices we sometimes give too much power to.