Bradley Manning vs. Malala Yousafzai – And the System Wins
So there has been raging a little war on Twitter in the recent hours over Bradley Manning having won The Guardian’s ‘Person of the Year 2012’ poll. On the one hand, a Guardian contributor launched blame tirades against Julian Assange, while on the other hand Wikileaks responded by making these tweets public so the contributor received waves of abuse in return.
The sides to this little war can be, roughly, divided into three groups: pro-Manning, pro-Yousafzai (though this is questionable), and The Guardian. The sad thing about this is that the aforementioned contributor, who was probably acting out of pro-Yousafzai sentiments, was far more into attacking Julian Assange than she was into defending her favourite. She seemed to forget that when votes and polls are concerned people tend to advocate and advertise their side, and launched into a tirade. Wikileaks, on the other hand, responded rather inappropriately too by retweeting this contributor’s comments which sparked all sorts of abuse towards her. One matter I do agree with Wikileaks and the pro-Manning group; The Guardian did seem to favour Yousafzai to win. But that is just how things work out; social organisations have their own favourites. It isn’t utterly questionable to hold The Guardian into account with this, because they could have chosen far worse favourites. That said, The Guardian could be more forthcoming about their winner and give Bradley Manning a fairer biography. He deserves more than just “Bradley Manning, the US whistleblower on trial for leaking state secrets” and the claim to “fishy voting patterns”.
So, here is my verdict: both Bradley Manning and Malala Yousafzai are heroes and deserve to be the person of the year. The world does not function in simple black and white categories; they both fight/fought a different form of evil in the society. I voted for Bradley Manning, as I have repeatedly said that he is one of the greatest heroes in the world today, but to assume or insinuate that I did it out of some malicious intent towards Yousafzai is as wrong as it is insulting.
Because people are bickering about who-got-to-first-place we are now sure that the system has won. People are still playing by the rules of the hierarchy that demands one victor to stand over the ashes of the losers.
Lord forbid if there was more than one on the top pedestal!