I, like everybody else, have read the news, the Facebook posts, the Twitter feeds, the memes, and the subsequent discussions, these past days.
I saw people tri-coloring their faces. Complaints about the lack of coverage of anything but Paris in the mainstream media. Demands to close the borders. Greeks crying out they were being left alone with the refugee flood. People spitting vitriol at Muslims. Muslims standing up and shouting, not in my name. Pictures of heros, villains and victims. Candles and peace signs. Love and hate. Fear and insecurity. People judging things they have no means to understand.
I saw a British man hissing about insults, about how refugees are to blame, how one in five of them are known terrorists, how they only come to the UK, not to other EU countries…and when I confronted him with facts, he told me that if I loved them so much, I had better go and join the Muslim brotherhood.
I saw a Muslim girl talking about how tired she was, how exhausted. She had friends and family members die in the war, and now she’s expected to apologize for the deeds of a handful of barbarians who claim to act in the name of her religion.
I saw a French man speaking softly about the wife he has lost, the mother of his 17-month-old son, who will have to grow up without her, but who still refused to resort to hatred.
I saw a German journalist asking a politician how long he thought the populace will still accept taking in more and more refugees.
I am overwhelmed.
And I am angry.
And I want this to stop, just fucking stop, because I can’t take it anymore. I can’t stop crying, and my mind looks like the inside of a Pixies song.
I blame the past politicians, who fucked up Syria and the surrounding regions, who funded extremists, gave them the means to become what they are, then left them alone to stew in their anger and hatred, until they finally turned around and came for us, the so-called 1st world, the western civilization.
I blame the present politicians, who reacted and keep reacting at the speed of a snail, who never think further than the next elections, and who keep suggesting a culture of segregation, of mutual distrust, of envy and greed.
I blame the mass media, who filter accordingly, and who, like the politicians, nurture the seeds of fear, insecurity, and hatred.
I blame the weapon manufacturers, who supply the bombs and guns and tanks in a never-ending war.
I blame the musicians, who keep singing dumb love songs to lull us into complacency.
And I blame you, and me, and every single person, for voting for those politicians, for believing the words the mass media tell, and for listening to those dumb love songs.
Stop it, people. Stop taking it. Go out and inform yourselves. The people in power rely on your ignorance, because ignorance breeds fear, fear of the unknown, and it’s easy to steer people who are afraid. Easy to steer them towards hatred, towards a world where we need to build a wall between the rich and the poor, lest they come for us.
I may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, nor the most empathic person alive, but even I can see that if we keep on the path we’re walking on, we’re going wrong, horribly wrong. If we close the borders, let the refugees freeze outside, refuse shelter to the people who are running from the same terror we rightly fear…what does that make us? Just as bad, or worse. Shutting them out now would be tantamount to telling them that the terrorists have it right, that we are bad people and need to be punished. If we let that happen, ISIS will have won.
Because we have the means to help. We have the means to change things. Each and every one of us, every single person. Stop looking towards the person next to you, to wait for them to take the first step. The first step has long been taken, and all you need to do is, walk on. Show your politicians that you’re not afraid, that they need not pretend to protect you, when all they really do is build a cage, a golden cage, but nevertheless, a cage, with the bars settled firmly in your brains.
Get angry, people.
And for fuck’s sake, leave your profile pics alone.