“We rise by lifting others.” – Robert Ingersoll

(This is a horrible jumbled mess as I can’t seem to really pull my thoughts together).

I am absolutely heartbroken over the terrorist attacks in Paris. I was just there, and I met some wonderful people who are no-doubt living in fear after what happened as they try to go about their daily lives.

give-me-your-tired-your-poor-your-huddled-masses-yearning-to-breathe-freeBut I’m also so very heartbroken on the response I have seen. The bitterness of people who feel certain attacks haven’t received enough attention (they haven’t, but it doesn’t mean that Paris deserves less). Heartbroken over the knee-jerk reaction that Muslims = Terrorists. And I’m heartbroken that some people seem to think that we should close our borders and not let anyone in, despite what this country is supposed to represent.

 

Paris. And those other places.

It’s all over the media that Beirut feels forgotten, but they aren’t the only one. How about the bombing targeting Shiites in Baghdad (ISIS claims that one too)? Or the 14 year old GIRL suicide bomber in Cameroon? Suicide bombers in Chad a few days before that? There were TWENTY (20) events considered terrorist attacks between the 1st and the 13th of November. I’ve seen so many posts blaming the media, but really… based on the comments I’ve seen on various news articles, even if the news did report the other attacks, would you really care?

When did we stop caring? And why? These are real people dying all over the world. Moms and babies. Teens and grandpas. I recently shared an article about Washington State receiving refugees from Syria and as I scrolled down the comments, almost every. single. one was cruel and hateful and basically stuff I refuse to copy to my blog. I get that so many people are keyboard warriors and likely wouldn’t really voice these horrible opinions in real life, but until I find a way to revoke internet/facebook licenses, I will weep internally at the truly disgusting comments I have seen.

I spent much of the day wondering why it bothered me so much, but other people seem to want to fence them out. Then I got to thinking. I lived with these people during my stay at Kalø. Iraqi, Kurdish, Afghani. Sudanese. They are my friends, people I have shared meals with. I’ve seen the physical scars, I’ve heard the mental ones. They aren’t scary. Or mean. They didn’t try to convert me or push their beliefs or traditions on me. With all this horrible backlash, I think of my friends and the good times we had together. They aren’t any different than my friends from Roskilde or from Juanita.

Are there bad people in Syria? Yes. Are there bad people who are muslim? Absolutely. But we have bad people here too. How many people have been shot on our streets? How many are locked up for life for horrible crimes? Keeping the refugees out won’t make you any more safe. It won’t secure your warm bubble. The only reason that I can find for this horrible backlash is fear. And that is what the terrorists are after. Fear.

Let’s just try to remember that hate only spreads hate.

 

3 thoughts on ““We rise by lifting others.” – Robert Ingersoll

  1. My friend’s roommate is Turkish, and Muslim, and she’s terrified to go back to Turkey during holiday/summer breaks because she’s afraid of the treatment she’ll get when she travels, and whether or not she’ll be allowed back into the USA when she returns for school. So terrifying.

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