In The Wake of Global Tragedy, I'm Only Certain Of One Thing: Hatred Is Not The Answer

There is no equation that can be used to calculate the significance of sorrow or the legitimacy of human suffering.
Publish date:
November 14, 2015
twitter, tragedy, hate speech, xonews, Paris Attacks

Last night, I joined the thousands of people who waited, helplessly, for details on the acts of terrorism around the world that cost hundreds of people their lives. In the past, I've relied on Twitter as a source of breaking news, but last night, instead of finding information, I found hatred disguised as political and social rhetoric smeared across my newsfeed.

There is nothing more vulgar than attaching a political agenda to a tragedy, especially when that political agenda is built on tenets of oppression, hatred, and the degradation and loss of human life.

This is narcissism at its most malignant.

This is not the answer.

There is no equation that can be used to calculate the significance of sorrow or the legitimacy of human suffering. One act of terror does not negate another. Many of the responses to the tragedies that occurred in Paris and Lebanon are a painful example of this exploitative practice.

The rising death toll in Paris does not mean that a swastika smeared on a college dorm room is not a despicable act.

The suicide bombings in Lebanon do not mean that refugees with nowhere to go should be exiled to further displacement.

While we try to make sense of disaster on a global scale, it's tempting to draw parallels, to dismiss one unbearable thing so that another can take its place, so that we can feel less helpless, so that the world feels less fractured. However tempting, however cathartic it may be to find someone to blame, to find a solution, the unfortunate truth is there is no solution that will bring back the dead.

Every person who rails against policy, who finds solace in the belief that there is way to fix what is happening, what continues to happen, is adding a victim to a list of victims that is far too long.

Last night, this morning, more times in recent history than I want to admit, I have seen fear expressed by the blameless. Today, men, in fear for their lives, are shaving their beards. I have friends, who peacefully practice their religion, afraid to leave their homes. Refugees, who have walked barefoot across land-mines, who are fleeing violence, now face more displacement and terror.

I am lucky. I am safe. I am scared by what I'm seeing. I am frightened by the angry voices, the placating that runs the risk of doing more harm than good.

I am scared. I am hopeful. Today, I hope that there are people who will use their power to instill peace. I don't know what the answer is, but I know it isn't hatred.