Tuesday, January 13, 2015

I am just me (je suis moi)

I am relieved to see that we have not totally gone numb, cynical, shrug shouldered when atrocities happen.  That as a world murder still shocks us into taking a moment to not only weep but take stock of what we have.  This past week has really been an emotional rollercoaster in many ways for me. 

I did not read Charlie Hedbo - full confession I had not heard of it before - but I was still appalled at seeing 12 people killed over it.  The response was swift and mostly universal .. sadness, anger, staunch defense of free speech for a few days and then of course there are the people whose sole existence is to write or tweet or speak publicly in a way that just antagonizes or disagrees with whatever is happening.  

Of course there is also the opportunity to blame the jews (to some groups they are responsible for everything), to blame past christian acts (yep atrocious), blame the lack of religion in the staff (irony obviously lost on this group), attack the lack of "taste" this magazine often showed, misunderstand satire for editorial and of course those Muslims .. well you know them they are just all about blowing up the joint.  

I am angry even if I did not have to like, agree with or even know the magazine to be able to defend it's right to write.  I am tormented by the idea of pulling down social media sites that are obvious jihad/hate rants because it is a slippery slope to know when it is yelling Fire in a crowded area vs yelling I hate Firefighting equipment in a public area.  For all those who think that you cannot make fun of men who once roamed the earth or currently are in power - you must be weak and doubtful in your belief,  incredibly so because if a mere cartoon can make you this defensive boy you are standing on some serious thin paper that you think is a soapbox.  You can choose to not support these publications and you can even protest them but why do you think your belief trumps any other's right to have a different one???

I am not Charlie - I am not Ahmed the police officer who was gunned down  - I am not the brave muslim shopkeeper who helped hostages taken by the fanatics.  I am a woman whose family left a country that had no tolerance for any dissent or freedom of speech.  My father's cousin was jailed for multiple years for telling an anti-goverment joke among other college friends, one was not a friend and reported this to the secret police and within hours he was arrested, "tried in a special tribunal" and sentenced along with his friends for this.  A joke ... that's it ... among young people who did not like the government or agreed with it's policies but were just using laughter to hide their sadness at the state of affairs. 

So as much as David Duke or people like him offend me they have the right to write whatever their small minded, hateful little heart desire - as much as I do not agree with many of the teachings of multiple religious leaders they have the right to preach 24 hours a day until either of these crosses the line and goes from editorial to call to action with instruction on death.   There must be checks and balances in place though for identifying these that are more than just rants and threats lest we do exactly what they do - censor dissent just because it is unpalatable to us.  

I am just me - a mom who wants what every mother wants to have a world that her boys do not have to fear in - a world where the preachings of hate are not the only place that welcomes them because life seems so lost ( like many of the recruits of any fanatical religion get drawn to ) - a place where they can be who they are without being judged by their appearance and most of all a mom who wants them to grow up in a world that spends more time on kindnesses, music, laughter, art, books, sharing a meal and appreciation for one another than one where people are gunned down for daring to be irreverent.  Believe if you need to or want to in whatever deity of choice you have because if that gives you comfort no one mocking it can take it away. 

I am also one of millions who think the killings like isis and boku harum (who just killed over 2200 people in a day and then took a kidnapped 10 year old and made them into a suicide bomber) so let us ask for not only rallies for the victims of that sad day, memorials for those killed in 9/11 but bring back the girls who were kidnapped and put an end to the reign of terror. 

We all need to keep writing, talking and yelling that we want peace and prosperity over doctrine of intolerance. 

I am me .. and I thank you for just being you. 

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