If you blinked, you probably missed it. Every year on September 11, Google musters just enough courage to slap a small black ribbon on the bottom of its homepage, just below the search bar, to commemorate the brutal attack on the United States. And that’s it.
But just look what Google did for activist Yuri Kochiyama’s 95th birthday last year. She got her very own Google Doodle:
Google linked to Kochiyama’s “human rights activism,” but conveniently left out that the woman is a Marxist, Maoist, and once said this about the brains behind 9/11:
“I consider Osama bin Laden as one of the people that I admire. To me, he is in the category of Malcolm X, Che Guevara, Patrice Lumumba, Fidel Castro, all leaders that I admire.”
She gets a colorful doodle; the nearly 3,000 lives lost on September 11 are reduced to an unclickable, virtual ribbon.
Google is notorious for doing this. You can look through the archive of doodles and find something for just about everything and everyone, just not much about America. The web giant has honored environmentalists responsible for millions of deaths because their anti-pesticide campaigns caused an outbreak of malaria. They’ve posted a Black Lives Matter doodle to promote an “Afrocentric lifestyle.” They've even honored Muslim philosophers. But when it comes to patriotism, they can only post a tiny ribbon, like they did this past Memorial Day:
Here’s a bit of the history of Google’s homepage as it relates to 9/11 after searching the web archives. The first mention of the terrorist attack occurs on September 17, 2001. Under the search bar, there are two clickable links. One in which “Google offers condolences to Tuesday’s attack victims.” The link reads:
The staff of Google joins the nation and concerned citizens around the world in offering condolences to those directly touched by Tuesday's tragic events. We all share in the pain of those cast in harm's way and the grief of those who mourn the loss of loved ones.
Our thoughts and our wishes are with you.
The Google Team
You would never know that Islamic terrorists had anything to do with said “tragic events,” but at least Google acknowledged something bad happened.
The second link contains news and information regarding the attacks.
Then Google goes silent for the next nine years. In 2010, Google added its first ribbon, originally red, white, and blue:
In 2011, on the tenth anniversary of the attack, Google began using the black ribbon and offered a statement, "Ten Years Later:"
And once again, the statement makes no mention of Islam, just praise for “virtual spaces” to help us “remember the victims and honor the courage of those who risked their lives to save others.”
The black ribbon has been used each year since, but without any more statements.
Apparently, the “tragic event” of 9/11 was bad, just not Google Doodle-bad. This fits, though, with Google's new censorship policy, which seems to heavily target those sites and channels which put America first. Google prefers a "global community," obviously.