This is a strange kind of post, I’m not too sure whether it will read like an open letter, an attempt at a mini-lecture or some sort of sermon. You know how it goes, sometimes the words will not let you settle and all you can do is try and organise them into something readable.
The Internet and its child Social Media; we can debate the blessings and the curses these have brought, we can even say they have not; it’s simply Humanity doing what its always done only louder and quicker.
One thing they certainly have done, more than travel ever did; they shrank the world. You can now in all but physical proximity belong to a community. And being part of the WordPress community has brought the Orlando massacre closer to me than previous events, particularly as I have been in contact with so many of you and reading of your feelings, fears, angers and concerns. So maybe the event itself by its distance may not be so resonant as it was in the opening hours (as I wrote previously we do compartmentalise to cope), but the emotions from my ‘neighbours’ on WordPress still motivate me. And in case I needed any further reminders gay clubs in at least London were concerned in case there were any copycat attempts, which again shows how our world has shrunk and like other diseases how quickly Hate & Fear of Hate can travel.
In its aftermath memories came back of the countless other episodes of Hate & Ignorance which I encountered and my own visceral response to some incidents. There was a news item, US based Muslim girl in a soccer team banned from wearing a headscarf, so all her team mates wore one too-lovely yeh? Oh the criticism that came in on comments pages. Did yours truly stop for breath? Oh no! I tore into each derogatory comment, for a whole day; I used insults, sarcasm, castigations anything short of profanities, though I deliberately goaded on easy target into that response and mockingly thanked him; eventually the whole lot were gone. Do I feel any better for it?…not really the anger at them is still there. Did I convert anyone?…Well no one likes being insulted and losing out, so no they’d just go off and nurture their frustrated hate. So bit of a hollow victory, because I got caught up in the cycle of Hate. What would have been the right thing to do?….I don’t know, honestly.
This is the problem with Hate, once it starts, the whole business does indeed become contagious and in the febrile atmosphere other aspects breed. To avoid the issue, Denial comes so does Isolation: ‘nothing to do with me/us…let someone else sort it out, don’t want to know’. Fear of the Hate leads to compliance, masking it as ‘understanding’. And the complex one, whereby someone will deny those bringing The Hate are at fault and someone else is to blame, and it’s alright to hate that target because it’s a fashionably acceptable one. Of course The Haters are having their own afflictions, Arrogance of a perceived superiority. Nurturing imagined or long passed injustices as if they were yesterdays. There may even be valid causes for complaint, but those have long been subsumed in Hate and no one wants to talk anymore.
On a national or international level, this will eventually lead to War, because that is where Hate is bound to lead. War itself is avoidable, particularly ones based on a government ‘policy’; actually in the post-WWII era these usually fail in their objectives because the nation’s survival is not at stake. But when Hate has been allowed to take hold into the fibre of a nation or a community then the survival issue comes into play and the grim logic of War will have appeared. Think of WWII, the opportunity for avoidance was there along the years, but The Hate grew to arrogance, grew to aggression and no one stopped it, and there it was, and there was no longer any option; survival was at stake. The fearful rules of The Just War took centre-stage. That was WWII. WWIII took place, but only if you were in the armed forces or happened to live in a country that was chosen by opposite sides as a place to have a ‘skirmish’ (that’s sarcasm by the way)
And now we are in WWIV.
I’m afraid so. Conflicts span the globe; often as you know in small sudden ways. Even played out in childish ways; see the antics in the Euro Soccer tournament.
It’s not as simple as old wars. National boundaries do not figure so much as they used to. The modern world allows you to export your war in all sorts of ways. The causes are not that easy to define. Alliances are always fragile things; in this war they are often ephemeral. From an historical point of view, the origins can be arguably traced back to the old 19th Century Empire building era. Maybe some historians in centuries time will say all wars from 1900 to ? were part of one long re-alignment of peoples. One factor is certain Hate is playing its full toxic part.
So, we are all in the front line. What can we do?
We can stem our Hate. We will get angry at the violence. It is understandable. But…Angry is for the moment; Anger can fester. So rein it in, forge your Angry into a determination that you will not go down the same path as the Hate Mongers and feed upon Hate. There may well be a time when you will face a choice, do I support a military/security response to the literal defence of my community? You may find you have been placed in a situation where there is no option. You may have to take up that option with a heavy heart. But never blame a people or a community, only the perpetrators. In this complex communal world, never put everyone in one category. Stand against Hate, Injustice, Ignorance, Prejudice, wherever and whenever you meet it.
Look at it this way, Hate leads to violence, leads to injury leads to death. Children will cry. Take the Hate out your life and maybe a child will not cry tomorrow. That person may look different, dress differently, worship or not worship in ways unusual to you, their politics may be very annoying to you and sexual orientations? (short of child-sex of course). Is your objection to those differences so important to you that you are willing to cause a child to cry?
I’m going to stop now it’s passed the 1100 words; it’s 00:12 in the UK, it’s been 2 hrs in the writing, and I’m all written out.
Over to you folks.
Take care all of you out there.
Best wishes to you and yours.