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Generation WTF?: Thousands of Teenagers Ask, "Who Is Osama?" Generation WTF?: Thousands of Teenagers Ask, "Who Is Osama?"

Generation WTF?: Thousands of Teenagers Ask, "Who Is Osama?"

by Cord Jefferson
May 5, 2011

The photo above is of President Bush's face the moment he received word of the 9/11 attacks. Bush was in Florida reading The Pet Goat to a group of second-grade children when the planes hit the towers, meaning a classroom of seven and eight year-old kids was witness to one of the most important moments in American political history. Those kids might want to shake some sense into the rest of their generation, which yesterday turned en masse to the internet and asked, "Who is Osama bin Laden?"

According to new data from Yahoo's search blog, searches related to Osama bin Laden have jumped nearly 10,000 percent since Sunday's killing of the terrorist leader. And while most of the queries are from people somewhat in the know—"How did Osama bin Laden die?"—the fifth most popular Osama search is "Who is Osama bin Laden?"

Though he was one of the most important criminals in the world for the last decade, a significant number of people searching Yahoo have no idea who Osama bin Laden was. Thankfully, most of these people are children—two-thirds are aged 13 to 17—but, considering how the entire nation mourns every September 11, it seems a bit outrageous that even young kids don't know Osama.

This raises the question: Is it possible that children are learning about 9/11 but not about the people and organizations behind 9/11? And if so, is it any wonder that many Americans now make blanket condemnations of Islam instead of placing the blame for terrorism where it lies—with fringe rogues like bin Laden?

photo via Tumblr user tanya77

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