When the world has been turned upside down it is impossible to walk upright. I don’t know how to be normal—how to get out of the bed, make my to-do list, make a healthy breakfast and get my kids off to school, work out, and then write something silly on this blog when nothing is normal. People going to soccer games and to dinner, only to be savagely murdered isn’t normal. Dear God, please don’t make it normal. This can’t be our world.
It is scary.
But the reactions scare me more. Whereas, I feel almost desperate to cling to those I love and to send love to those I don’t; others have reacted so immediately with hate.
Before the all of the bodies could be cleared from the streets, there were detractors angrily screaming about the unequal coverage between the attacks in Paris and the suicide bombings the day before in Lebanon; about why the slaughter of more than 100 college students in Kenya earlier this year did not draw the same outcry? I understand the sentiment. I am sensitive to how the pain of brown people and the countries they inhabit are not provided with the same coverage, or given the same sympathy as tragedies suffered by European countries and people. I think that in this case, the tragedy in Paris is being augmented because people don’t expect these types of things to happen in Paris: it is the city of love, it is a tourist destination (over 25 of the victims were tourists), and it’s a wealthier country that is psychologically more familiar to us.
Do I think that there is bias in the reporting—of course. But, before we address all of the inaccuracies, take our political stances, or argue about the best reaction — can we spend a moment mourning the over 500 people who were injured or murdered on Friday night? Can we pause from being democrats and republicans, black and white, and be human? Can we just take a moment to feel?
It is terrifying how our default emotion is hate. The immediate hate speak against all Muslims is alarming. How quickly some people were ready to blanket blame and to denounce a religion and over 1.5 billion of its adherents is distressing.
Instead of there being one extremist group who is acting from a place of hate; there seems to proliferate many that only feed off of one another. Let’s not be stripped of our own humanity. What they did doesn’t scare me half as much as what I fear we will become.
My intention is for Black people to love themselves and each other. It sounds somewhat silly, I guess; but oftentimes my people are overwhelmed with negative images, bad news, and stereotyped characters about us. I’d like to flip that script. I’d like to remind us, as often as I can, how incredible we are. Read more