Is America getting better, or worse? We need a lot more “great” and much less “hate.”
Like many people, I end up reading a mind-numbing array of headlines on a daily basis – most of them featuring the depravity of people. That means under normal circumstances, my level of outrage is not very high, and it takes quite a lot for me to get sincerely angry. I’m talking about being far beyond the levels necessary to engage in a debate or argument about an issue or news item. For me at least, engaging in debates is just part of my day, and I’m capable of setting it aside usually right after it ends.
But today left me in a perfect storm of sorts, and my normally low-level of outrage spiked severely.
First, there was a news item on the site here, about a young Muslim girl who was killed, apparently as a result of road rage. That was a tragedy in itself, and I was at least slightly wondering why the authorities had not been classifying it as a hate crime. Maybe they’re rethinking that now.
That girl made headlines again later in the day, which lead to me making a single tweet:
— Liz Harrison (@LizHWrites) June 21, 2017
As of this writing, no one has “liked” or commented on that. I have some suspicions why, and none of them are pretty.
It was horrible enough that a young girl was brutalized, and her body was left in a pond. “But she was Muslim,” is a statement that I know at least a few of my followers on social media might be foolish enough to say to me. I say “foolish” because it would certainly leave them on my block list within seconds. That isn’t because I fear getting into an argument with them, or because I just can’t handle someone saying such a thing. It is because my social media accounts belong to me, and I don’t make a practice of inviting the depravity there. I get enough of it in the headlines.
The insult added to injury that I tweeted about – that someone set fire to a memorial to the girl – is barely a blip on the radar of a lot of people today. It might have been for me, too. But, for whatever reason, it infuriated me. Maybe I am so angry because I know that this incident will just float by most other people, in the wash of headlines and nonsense.
I’m intentionally avoiding newsfeeds for the moment, mostly because I suspect that I haven’t weeded out all the people who would stoop to the point of cheering for the arsonist.
I know the arguments by heart, akin to saying that we need to fight fire with fire. An eye for an eye. That Muslim girl did nothing to anyone to justify being killed, and the only reason why anyone would think of setting fire to a memorial for her is hatred, period.
Yes, there are more terror attacks popping up all over the world. I checked the “butcher’s bill” – Muslims are still dying in greater numbers than anyone else in these attacks. Westerners just don’t see most of the headlines about attacks in the Muslim world. Just because US citizens don’t tend to read about the attacks overseas doesn’t mean that they didn’t happen.
I understand the social psychology behind the hate – based primarily on fear. It’s grown-ups acting like children on a playground, picking on the “different” kid. Our high-minded “innocent until proven guilty” doesn’t apply to “those people” because they are all “evil.”
The man who beat a teenage girl to death is evil.
The man who set fire to her memorial is evil.
It is outrageous that anyone would attempt to take a moral high ground with those two despicable men, and suggest that somehow these crimes were justified “because Islam.”