All day long posts about France have come across my Facebook feed. Comments on France, then Lebanon, and people arguing over what flag they are going to put over their picture to show they stand with one area or both, and I feel like I’m totally missing something.
Please know, this is not me lumping all my friends into this category. In fact, it is less than ten percent of the 2k-ish friends on my feed.
I’m all for people showing their support for what they believe. Whether standing for gay marriage, supporting Planned Parenthood, or showing support for Paris or Lebanon or both, but what I don’t get is the arguing about it all. People attacking one another showing one flag and not the other. Yet the reality is this… It’s the media that is at fault here. The media that makes France out a bigger deal than Lebanon. They are the culprit. The media should be the ones we are angry with. Not each other.
Then I see all the anti-Muslim propaganda, and the anti-government propaganda, and I see memes that claim the government is fooling us and these things didn’t happen. The claims coming with images of the same woman at several different terrorist attack sites. And I see, they do look similar, but they are likely complete and utter bullshit. Things that any asshole could whip up on Photoshop to distract us from the real issue.
And there’s the claim that while France is a gun free zone, they still have gun violence. People using this to promote their gun agendas. By taking guns from the home, France’s policy has likely kept thousands of narcissistic assholes from getting pissed off and open firing at schools, places of employment, or malls… So this claim is more complete and utter bullshit.
What I see is more fighting. It’s arguing over who is right and who is wrong. And it makes me wonder, what is wrong with us? All these people are using these recent tragedies to promote their agendas, no matter what they are.
I thought by looking at the word terrorism, I’d understand this fundamental thing I was missing. But what I found, only shocked me more.
This is the definition of terrorism.
1. the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes.
2. the state of fear and submission produced by terrorism or terrorization.
3. a terroristic method of governing or of resisting a government.
It seems as though several of my childhood pastors and church attendees were terrorists. Oh, and did I forget to mention, they were Southern Baptists? Not Muslim? They raped, threatened, tortured, trafficked, used fear to shame and control a large group. Yes, certainly terrorists.
Some family members as well. They used the same tactics, but adding in that all girls deserve to be raped because woman created original sin. So I had to be Christian, and give my heart to their God, and be republican, because in their words, “The only true Christians are republican,” or I’d go to hell. A place of eternal damnation. These people also used loaded pistols to bully and threaten me. Used physical and sexual violence as well. All in the name of their God, because I was female and deserved it. More terrorists.
My school teacher that belittled and made fun of my autistic friend in fourth grade. Who encouraged us to do the same. And my Sunday school teacher who encouraged us to terrorize the kids whose parents were leaving the church. More terrorists.
Despite my terror coming from church and family, this is not saying all Southern Baptists are terrorists. Just as all Muslims aren’t. People are individuals, and vary in what they are capable of, no matter what their affiliation.
The problem here is that violence only breeds more violence. Intolerance and mind fuckery as well. When we keep blaming and not looking at the real issue, we keep the terrorism going. If not careful, then we can become terrorists all too easily. Which is why I will not comment on who is responsible for these attacks.
I know from my degree in media, and experience, that what we see in the first 48 hours is mostly guesswork. The news stations need to bring the most accurate information they can in the fastest time possible. But fast means lots of misinformation. It’s why facts jump. Then there’s all the behind the scenes stuff too. And that gets in the way of the truth.
The important thing right now isn’t to point fingers at one another. It’s to be supportive of those who lost the most this last week. It’s not to continue this stupid war on terror. There is no such war to be won as long as we see things in this manner. True terrorism is all around us, and continues as we focus on silly things to argue over.
I ask this of everyone reading this, and I ask as a victim of massive violence, and as someone knowing others first hand of great violence…
Let’s not fight over who did what until we have all the facts. Let’s not show attention to people that murder. Let’s deal with them when they’ve been found guilty, and do it in a manner that doesn’t glorify them by constant airtime.
Instead, let’s show our love for one another. Our support for those who have lost loved ones this last week.
We are what we choose to be. And I choose to be compassionate and respectful to even those I don’t share beliefs with. I choose to wait before condemning people or making assumptions and accusations. I choose to focus on love, not hatred or fear.
I have an agenda too. It’s this thing called compassion. Given this wonderful gift, we can do great things.