Extremists, Trump, and Putin all depend on your Western sense of middle-class privilege to move their goals forward
A child dies from malnutrition. A child dies from a gun accident in the home. A child dies from living on the streets with an insane person. A child dies from a curable disease. A child dies from drinking dirty water. A child dies in a shanty town from parental abuse. A child dies from a drunk’s car crash. A child dies from abandonment. A child dies from suicide. A child dies by police. A child dies because no-one cares for him. A child dies because no-one cares about her. A child dies at the hands of a Christian extremist. A child dies at the hands of a Muslim extremist.
No-one cares about the child who dies of malnutrition. No-one cares that an unsecured gun took the child’s life in someone’s home. No-one knows that a lunatic killed the homeless child. Nobody is concerned about the diseases of the poor; there’s no money in it. The child’s brothers and sisters keep drinking the dirty water because they have no other water to drink. The abusive parents go on abusing. Auto accidents happen all the time. Another child will be abandoned to take the dead child’s place. The child dead from her own hands is just a statistic. No punishment is meted out to the murderous police. No-one will be there to care for, or about, the next child either. No-one will blame Christ or Christianity for their extremists’ brutal act.
But every headline, every newscast, every blog, every sermon, every politician’s speech, every great leader’s pontification, every slogan, every soapbox, every curling lip, every radio call-in, every weak mind, every small brain, every quivering backbone, every hard heart, every gelatin spleen, every tight sphincter, every tongue, every ear, every second of every minute of every hour of every day until the next extremist who happens to be Muslim commits a mindless cruelty will be filled to overflowing with venomous cowardice, with the same thought, with the same words –
Terrorists! Fear them! Hate them! Hunt them down and kill them before they kill again! Rights be damned! Sanity is for wimps! Bomb their countrymen! Bomb them more! Bomb them harder! Ban them! Suspect them of all evil things! Keep them off the plane! Watch them on the streets! Only more police in more places with more weapons will help! If you’re not willing to join us all in our PANIC! PANIC! PANIC! then you must sympathize with the Terrorists! And so, death to you, too!
This doesn’t make us any safer, of course. It makes us less safe – because it helps nobody, advances no interests, saves nobody, rewards nobody except the extremists. And the gun makers and bomb makers and what is referred to as the Security Porn Industry: None of it helps at all, but it makes you feel all tingly. They are helped immensely, of course – a gigantic transfer of both wealth and backbone from the insipid, pampered, unthinking masses to the lunatic fringe and the Military-Industrial Complex. Your backbone. Their wallets. Like a straw sucking our culture dry; the Courage Vampire.
There’s no reason for it. No excuse. None. Death is death. All deaths should be prevented where they can be. No death is made better or worse by its cause, no death more excusable than another. Every child’s death is equally evil. Killing is evil, is absolutely evil. It’s not made more or less excusable by comparing this killer’s reason with that killer’s reason. The reason anyone kills doesn’t enter into it at all. Yes, I understand that you think it does –
But that’s inexcusable. It’s cowardice. If a death can be prevented, it should be prevented. To carry on as if this child dying is acceptable as the way things are and that child’s death requires OH MY GOD STOP THE WORLD YELL SCREAM PANIC BELLOW ARREST WATCH BOMB SHOOT KILL BAN HATE HATE HATE AAAAAAH!!!!!!!! is exactly why they do it. Why they’ll do it again. You keep freaking out, so they keep doing it to make you freak out, so you keep freaking out, so they keep . . .
Why do you reward this behavior? Why do you support them? Why do you underwrite their hatred, their cruel acts? Why do you make them stronger? Why do you give them the sustained applause they so desire? Why do you keep ensuring they will strike again? Why does that one death mean All Things to you and the many poor children’s deaths, the brown child’s death, the homeless child’s death, the many many deaths happening all the time, the many deaths that can be prevented, mean nothing at all to you? Have you ever, will you ever see hours and hours of endless news coverage for days and days when a poor child dies from his poverty? Why?
Because you’re stupid and you’re a coward. The pampered millions in their McMuffin world living in their McMansions driving their McSUV’s to their McWorkouts and their McJobs watching their McPolice Procedurals on their McTelevisions and in their McMovies going to McChurch on McSunday talking about their favorite McFootball team over their McMug of McBeer and McBelching have become used to the idea that Bad Things should Never Happen to Them. Poor people, sure; homeless, absolutely; other people in other places with other lives than theirs, of course. No reason to disturb their white world. Bad things that happen to these others, these less valuable, don’t cause a single blip on their McRadar. But to them! No!
Your mindless, privileged, entitled lives should never be disturbed, your small ideas never expanded to include the Other, the Foreign, the Different. You know which God is the One True God; and if someone with a different god – hell, since Allah is simply The Lord in Arabic, and since the God of Abraham is the same God to Judaism, Christianity and Islam, make that a different name for the same God, spoken in a different language in a different house of worship – if some follower of that different name for the same God commits some mindless act of cruelty that causes the Tightey Whiteys any loss, everything must come to a halt while we puke all over each other.
The War on Terror is an absurd nightmare that dreams itself, a feedback loop that increases its own mayhem and death and a militarist’s ejaculation, a bad smell that fills our brain-dead culture with the stench of cowardice – and you’re the asshole that farts it.
And I really hope it pisses you off that I’ve said so, because something has to jar you out of this cycle of death and destruction your spinelessness begets. Terrorism is a criminal act. The appropriate response is bravery, to be found in calm thought and our Justice system. Our Criminal Justice system. This cowardly panic, this War on Courage, only helps the extremists and the very wealthy. Knock it off.