Today, I want to cry. I’m not alone in how I’m feeling after the mass murder in Orlando. Whether you call it a terrorist attack or a hate crime or something else, what happened was just senseless and heartbreaking. But I don’t want to cry solely on the basis of what happened.
I’m upset because WE, created that attack. WE, yes you reading this included, have created this environment. How? Well, we have allowed ourselves to hate. We have used this thing called social media to say things to purposely get reactions out of people. We like when we get under each others skin. We hide behind our screen names and say things that are considered racist, homophobic, and sexist (among other things). And then when these senseless things happen, we look and wonder why. We ask over and over, how could this happen, and never look at ourselves. Never look at how we speak to strangers online when it comes to things like politics, or something as trivial as sporting events. Never think about how the threats of violence we dish out, or the many violent things we post actually create a violent society. We can’t continue to do these things and then continue to deny responsibility. And I speak about online behavior because our hate is more free-flowing that way, but certainly it’s evident in-person as well.
The truth is, you can’t compartmentalize hate. You can’t spew, or even hint at hate, and act surprised when it ends up at your front door. There’s no logic in hate. It’s not like you can hate someone and have universal acceptance of that hate, which ultimately makes hate…. a subjective thing. So if you can hate for the reasons that make sense to you, someone else can hate for the reasons that make sense to them. Which means you can hate someone for their race, sexual preference, or religion…just as long as you’re willing to accept someone can hate you for what country you’re in, the color of your hair, or what job you have. And sure, maybe the hate you have would never drive you to actually go out and hurt someone, but fanning that fire and encouraging someone else to do it is just as bad. You’re just as accountable.
Just think…you can’t be at a football game, where a rival fan is cheering for his/her team, and threaten to kick their ass because of their enthusiasm, and then when another fan kicks their ass, pretend that you didn’t have a part in it. Or worse, get mad when your friend/relative gets beat up for cheering for their team.
Maybe this only makes sense to me. And I know people think the idea of loving one another is soft. Truth is, it’s much easier to hate. Loving people is hard. It takes way more depth to love, but it just sounds too fluffy. I don’t know when loving people became such a weak thing to do….maybe it’s always been that way, but that just sucks. But I digress.
What’s even worse is that a tragedy like this, drives people further a part. How in the world is that possible? How can we all see an event so greatly tragic and horrible, and still look at our fellow man and make derogatory comments about how others feel, or how they want to prevent it in the future. That’s why I want to cry. We are not on a path to where things get better. We are on a destructive path where a difference of opinion will lead to a fierce battle of will. Digging in of heels, and refusal of compromise for fear of looking weak
I want to cry because I don’t know what to do. I want to unite people. Talk to you to help you see how you are a driver in this vehicle, but I fear I am too late. I like to think that what I see on TV and online are the extremes, but I’m not seeing evidence of that. I hope I’m wrong. I love my fellow man. I want to see no harm done to any of you, and I pray that those of similar views can come together and take control of this. out of control vehicle before it’s too late.