Sunday, March 17, 2019

"My Tragedy Is Much Bigger Than Yours"

It's becoming a bit of a trope isn't it? Some horrific attack occurs (in this case the tragic terrorist attack at a mosque in Christchurch, NZ which claimed the lives of 49 Muslim worshipers), and the immediate responses are intensely politicized blame-throwing and then counter-responses are formulated often including a semi-exhaustive list of what this person or that person considers a similar tragedy which has been largely overshadowed by whatever panic, outrage or division has been ginned up by the mainstream media talking heads. Furthermore, an intense round of "Who has what right to feel in such a way" often takes place, in this case targeting the "Caucasity" of Chelsea Clinton as was decried by Muslim activists in New York....

If you think it's cringey and groan-inducing: you're not alone. If you should attempt to do the decent, human thing and express your sadness & dismay at the attack, your disgust at the perpetrator(s) or solidarity with the victim(s) you can typically count on criticism if you are what others view as an inappropriate race, creed, color or faith or.... "Caucasity". To hell with their objections and abjurations, thoughts and prayers do matter, they always have and they always will!

Conversely, shortly following the attack in New Zealand, Brietbart reported 120 Christians have been killed by Muslim extremists in Nigeria. While this is no fault of the reporters or anyone at Brietbart of course, what we see online is the basest of responses to social media posts of this story, the insinuation from many critics of Islam being that one cannot simultaneously mourn the loss of the 49 innocent Muslims in Christchurch while Christians, Yazidis, Buddhists and other faiths are persecuted and murdered en masse by Islamic jihadists.  The simply isn't the case. People are individuals, there is nuance between adherents to the Muslim faith and those who seek to violently impose their theocratic views in the form of a renewed caliphate.

Despite our differences we must learn that the loss of innocent life is tragic regardless of the faith of those lost. It's not a competition of what group's loss is most tragic. The various faiths of the world, the various political methodologies have all been stacking bodies since the dawn of mankind. There is no good way to measure tragedy, the biggest tragedy of all is that we feel the need to commit to this kind of one-up man ship, this calculus of what the immortal Charles Chaplin called "...machine men with machine minds and machine hearts!" We must answer as he did in the legendary speech concluding his anti-nazi film "The Dictator"
"Jew - Gentile - Black Man, White.
We all want to help one another, human beings are like that.
We want to live by each other's happiness.
Not by each other's misery.
We don't want to hate and despise one another.
And this world has room for everyone, and the good Earth is rich and can provide for everyone.
The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way."
Let us find the way again, and do not weigh our tragedies by how closely they resemble us, but see each innocent man, woman and child as equal as they are in God's sight. It is the will of evil men that the lives they take and terrorist attacks they wage divide us. We must deny them this victory, and unite to defy them, our US Constitution is an instrument to that unity, our American values cry out for that unity and our forefathers bled and died for it. Our Honor, our varied Faiths and our shared humanity demand  it.

Photo By Schwede66 - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

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