“We’ve always had Islamophobia”
“Shootings happen all the time”
“The shooter was crazy, right? Who cares about him?”
Much like Scrabble tiles, there’s a bag of rhetoric tiles in the bag of “things to say in a bad situation” and the same old letters keep coming up.
The sinking pit in my stomach when I heard of the lived taken in New Zealand was sudden. It was the same when the news broke about Pittsburgh. Charlottesville. Sandy Hook. The thought of a person entering a building with the intent to kill is just so chilling. It’s one thing to take someone’s life away without a weapon – that requires full psychopathy. But to simply aim and lift a finger?
That’s an operation. That’s a surgeon taking a scalpel with purpose. That’s a driver pushing the accelerator with purpose. To shoot is with purpose.
Islamophobic incidents are all too common. Most Muslims have stories upon stories. As are shootings.
That’s is why we can’t delegitimise them.
I pray that my stomach always turns in agony at the loss of human life or injustice. Every story is legitimate. Every story is different from the other. There were 51 full life cycles ended brutally.
Our polictians, celebrities and influencers wander into our lives as a crepe paper shoulder to cry on, wearing the empathy mask so fluidly, you forget it’s there. NZ were lucky to have a leader take off their mask.
I want the flushed, tear stained faces – the realisation that the society they have nurtured has chosen hate over love, fear over understanding and death over life. I want to see grandeouse public apologies, realising the murderer was born and bred of your own horrible fear-mongering. If you can’t provide that, I do not want your apologies.
This world wants us to forget. We’ll just post a few thoughtful statuses and share pictures of acts of kindness and wait around for the next one.
Or, perhaps, it’s finally time we recognise that our society is not all-inclusive as we pretend it to be so? When will we prevent these attacks, instead of nuture them?
I don’t have that answer. But you can start by learning who the 51 beautiful people were here.