Since the attacks on Paris, there have been a multitude of articles, blog posts, social media statuses and memes created conveying our feelings on what occurred. Some call for us as humans to band together to create and practice peace, while others continue to spread hatred.
Social media is a dangerous place during these times.
On a good day, most people are offended by something and take to shouting from the proverbial rooftops to make sure their opinion is heard. That’s what we do, right? Rock on, free speech, we have the power to state our cases and make them heard. First amendment, baby!
We live in the land of self-expression, yet there’s a difference between being free and being mindful.
Over the past few days I’ve seen posts on my timeline that make my heart hurt. Words that make me wonder if there is any hope left for humanity or if we are all choosing ignorance and hatred because it’s the only option we can see. Is this truly how we feel?
Earlier today, I stumbled across this meme and it stopped me mid-scroll:
While all of the listed events may be true, the meme only serves to fuel the rampant malevolence that has and continues to seed itself in our society.
How can we punish a group of people for the actions of extremists? What if we and the rest of world were judged on the barbaric acts that have been committed in the name of the “common good?”
Let’s step outside of our predisposed ideas for a moment and have a look:
Active 1989 until present. 826 attacks, 405 lives lost. Mission? To convert Hindus to Christianity. Utilizes rape tactics and also makes/sells porn to finance the organization.
Active since 1968. Responsible for 15 terrorist attacks in the US by Jews.
Centennial Olympic Park Bombing (1996).
American, Eric Robert Rudolph.
Oklahoma City Bombing (1995).
American, Timothy McVeigh. 168 casualties.
399 people were left untreated for syphilis to study progression of the disease. 28 died from syphilis, 100 died from complications, 40 women were infected and 19 children were born with the disease.
Central African Republic Genocide (2012-Present).
Christian militia groups destroying mosques, killing Muslims in the name of “ethnic cleansing.”
Project 4.1/Bikini Atoll (1946).
Twenty-three nuclear devices were detonated. Residents initially accepted relocation, assured they would be able to return home after some time. Some returned in 1970 to high levels of radiation. The progression of radiation damage was then studied for medical and research purposes. In 2013, survivors were given medical treatment and a payout of roughly $100 per person.
Aversion Project (1970s/80s).
Over 900 victims were either forced to be castrated chemically or undergo electric shock therapy with the hopes of curing them from homosexuality. If that was ineffective, they were then subjected to a sex change operation. Dr. Aubrey Levin led this program and then went on to teach clinical psychiatry at the University of Calgary until 2010.
Unit 731 (1935-1945).
Imperial Japanese Army under the direction of Shiro Ishii. Look this one up if you aren’t familiar. Biological and chemical warfare. Human experimentation. Ishii was granted immunity and never served any prison time.
Bosnian Genocide (1992-1995).
Another ethnic cleansing campaign carried out by the Serbs (mostly Orthodox) against the Bosniaks (mostly Muslim) and the Croats (mostly Catholic). Mass executions, roughly 3,500 of the victims were children. Serbs attacked safe havens and took UN peacekeepers as hostages. Estimated 200,000 dead.
Need I say anything else here?
If this information isn’t enough, consider this:
Ninety-nine percent of sex offenders are white males. Most were not sexually or physically abused.
How many of our social media friends would fall into this category? What if they were sentenced without any questions being asked?
96.5 percent male. Not diagnosed clinically psychotic. Lack compassion. Low self-esteem. Virginia Tech, Aurora, Sandy Hook and Washington Navy Yard were motivated by revenge, envy and/or ineffective parenting. How many acquaintances could fit into this category?
If we were judged based upon the actions of members of our society, we’re not looking too hot right now, either.
Are the tragedies occurring around the world devastating?
Should those responsible be held responsible?
Should we judge an entire group based on association?
Despite our differences in beliefs, our skin color and where we live, we all have one thing in common. We are human.
The same blood flows in our veins. Our time on this Earth is for a purpose that is above violence. A purpose that is greater than anything that can divide us, and we can find it, but we need to stop focusing on the negativity that surrounds us.
Hate feeds upon itself.
One more person, one more life lost.
Another attack. More hate. More judging. Sadness.
What are we going to do to alter the path of our world? The answer begins with each of us.
Can we have our own beliefs and disagree with those that differ? Sure. Do we need to commit hostile acts? No.
Be the change now. Today.
Author: Tara Deatrick
Editor: Toby Israel