Woke up to such heaviness in the world again today… hot on the heels of a terrorist attack in my own little city, another mass shooting in the US. My heart just aches with the knowledge that people truly have such darkness within themselves, and for me, it all hurts in the same way.
People are hurt and dead – plain and simple. It matters not to me in the end who are the perpetrators – my heart always goes to the ones left devastated.
But there has been a difference in the tone with which these two events are being portrayed in my social media feed this morning, and I’m trying to wrap my head around it all.
With the events here in Edmonton committed by a man known to be a Somali refugee, and found with an ISIS flag in his vehicle when he was finally apprehended, there seems to be a collective outcry for “banning the refugees.” A quick scroll through the comments of various threads give me a range of comments such as:
- “get those refugees out of my country,” to
- “build a wall around Ottawa, put all refugees and known terrorists there and they can stay there with the loser who runs this country,” to
- “to the extent we allow these barbarians to invade and colonize, we are deserving of the consequences that follow as day follows night. (Except those of us who have had the sense to see this coming and oppose it.) All the women/LBGTQ/mental defectives deserve it…because that’s who voted for HIM in droves.“
These comments just make my heart hurt. In fact, I believe they make our community hurt even more. These are comments blaming our Prime Minister, the refugees, the women, LBGTQ and those suffering with mental illness for the actions of assholes who decide to injure and/or take the lives of innocent others. Putting every refugee into the same “category as the terrorist. Putting ISIS into the same category as Islam. Why don’t people just get it that these are not the reasons these attacks are happening?
Skip forward to this morning’s news about a middle-aged, middle-class white man who opens fire on a concert on the Las Vegas strip… what the news is calling the worst mass murder on US soil. Nevada law says that a mass murder fits the definition of terrorism, but as of 2pm today, I have yet to see one news report calling the shooter a “terrorist.”
Why is this? Because he is white? Because opening fire on a group of your fellow citizens doesn’t follow the same definition as terrorising those as a refugee in a new country?
On a couple of threads, I reminded others that whites and Christians are responsible for the greatest atrocities in Canada, and said that the blatant racism was hurting my heart. I reminded that ISIS is not Islam – that comparison is like saying all white German men are like Hitler. I reminded others that when talk turns to hateful rhetoric and divisiveness, we must stand together and turn to love.
I’m fairly certain that I changed no single person’s opinion or mindset today – the zealots and the extremists will always be the first to post and the last to listen to different opinions. But I will say it again and again, and will stand up for it everywhere I can…
WE AS CITIZENS of the Human Race must turn to love over and over and over. We must encourage everyone in our path to change the conversation to one of love.
WE ARE ALL LOVE. We are all love. Plain and simple – every single one of us is LOVE.
And when we attune to love, and speak of love, and live our lives intent on spreading love, and when we send love to even our enemies…we create change. I firmly believe it.
LOVE has the power to heal and transform the world, but I can’t do it on my own. WE ALL must stand up, or kneel if you prefer, and pray for help in changing this world. It is no longer okay to sit idly by and hope things change. It’s time to PLANT SEEDS OF LOVE in everything we do, and by all means, lean into the Power of the Universe or the faith you have in your God… we need all the help we can get.