I haven’t used my blog to talk about current events before but sometimes I write a whole bunch of words and I have nowhere to put them, so here is as good as place as any to get some things off my chest.
The subsequent anti Muslim rhetoric after yesterday’s appalling events has just as great a potential to be harmful to the everyday tolerance and understanding we work so hard to instill in our communities when it comes to living side by side with those who live their lives differently to ours. The world is a bigger place than it’s ever been, but it’s growing smaller each day as we find ways to travel, to communicate and to explore like never before. We are integrating like never before, like it or not, it is inevitable, as the wind blows seeds to other shores, as the birds fly south seeking preferable climates, as the trees grow taller to reach the sun.
I come across people everyday that are filled with hate, for women, for homosexuality, for men, for foreigners, for the Royal Family, for chavs, for cats, for the weather.. and i thank my lucky stars that these people can’t get their hands on a deadly weapon with the ease that it seems you can in the US.
My heart breaks for the LGBTQ community, and for all humanity again. For the fact that the mainstream media can still only seek to point the finger at the western world’s largest perceived opposite when any act of senseless violence in the western world in this day and age occurs. For the fact that these acts of violence are painted so as to highlight our differences and divide us, when we have worked so tirelessly to unite ourselves. A white guy, whose religious beliefs have gone largely unspecified, was arrested yesterday with a tonne of intention to harm those at LA Pride. Should he have been initially branded as a terrorist? Should we have speculated over his links with ISIS too? Or perhaps drawn similarities to Anders Brevik? Maybe some affinity to the iIdeology of, oh, Voldemort? I don’t know.
The plight of the LGBTQ community for acceptance and equality is still a very real struggle, the world over, as is the plight of women, of the black community, of the underprivileged, to name but a few ways in which society segregates itself. The plight of the DIFFERENT is ongoing, even in “the land of the free”.
I don’t know what the answer is to learning to live together. In an ever changing fast paced world it is unlikely there is just one easy solution. But I know that I could not point the finger at the so called “tyranny of Islam” for the acts of aggression, violence, war and hatred perpetrated in the world today. Religion may seem like an outdated or misguided concept to many, but it also brings peace, love and comfort to many, including something in the region of 2 billion people on this planet who practice Islam and don’t feel the need to pick up a gun and kill people for their sexuality or their colour or race or clothes or whatever. Those who are fasting during this holy month of Ramadan who have chosen to share their food with me at sundown, even when I say I don’t believe in a God, they don’t hate our differences. Those who are out but hiding from their families aren’t all plotting to kill. Those who are going to gay-friendly nightclubs to dance and make friends because they don’t feel comfortable in pubs and bars in town that aren’t openly welcoming aren’t planting bombs in Wetherspoons. Those who are piling into boats risking certain death to flee war aren’t coming looking for the people supplying weapons. Those men who hold hands with other men as a sign of friendship in Turkey, India, Thailand… These people arent rampaging killers shooting people in clubs because men holding hands incited a hatred in them they could not contain.
When you’re done chastising Islam, the black community, the Latinos, the immigrants, the poor, the queer, the dykes, the Polish, the young, the Catholic, the old etc, when you find a way to lay the blame for all that is wrong in your community on specific groups of people, and perhaps you get your restrictive legislature on people’s freedom to live the lives they choose, people will still persecute those they perceive as different, be it a ginger kid in school, a transvestite, a disabled person, a Christian, a woman. The freedom to own a gun is not freedom to live as you choose. It’s choosing to accept that you live in fear.
Even if you could take away all those that are different to you, toddlers will still be shooting you dead in your home because gun laws are outdated and the ability to responsibly bear and distribute arms is severely lacking, with repeated devastating consequences.
You, I, we will not change the lifelong beliefs of those we disagree with overnight, we can not eliminate hate and anger the world over by getting angrier and hating. Never give up doing what little you can to promote understanding and tolerance of each other, no matter what religion, colour, creed or preference, and most of all, do no harm. Look to the love and happiness in the world, to our common ground, to our ability to unite and express solidarity in times of hardship. Please.