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Make America Universally Compassionate, Again
Back in September, I wrote an article called "The Trouble with the Annual 9/11 Televised News." In the article, I expressed an observation of hypocrisy among my fellow Americans who become especially patriotic for one day, each year. I explained how there is nothing wrong with being patriotic, but the type of patriotism I witness is not necessarily the nice kind. It tends to boil over into arrogance. As someone who has never lived anywhere else, I am all too familiar with this behavior. I don't share or partake in its absurdity. It is so common that it's sickening. One of my major goals in the article was to encourage readers who become so passionate on 9/11 to use their energy to not only read the news on other days of the year, but read about other countries because they are just as important. I know, I know, that's a crazy idea for some to grasp.
Publicity of Paris
Here in America, our news is biased. When news broke of terrorism in Paris, one could see world-wide support. Facebook was full of France flag-filtered profile pictures, and memes read “Pray for Paris," but not all terrorist attacks are received equally. That same time, there were bombings in Beirut that no one felt were news worthy. When it finally came out, still, no one made “Pray for Beirut” memes. No one wants to care about the darker-skinned, "other religion" folks America pegs responsible for losing our twin towers and all of those citizens of ours. Years go by and we still can’t get over that they aren’t responsible.
After the terrorist attacks in Ankara, I read that many Americans think Turkish people are terrorists. I have known someone in Turkey for over ten years. He was the first person I thought of when I saw the image of the bus explosion, and I reached out to make sure that he was okay. Thankfully, he is well, but it turns out that he lives in Ankara. The last time we spoke, he lived in Istanbul. What if he weren't okay? Some readers may want to ask, “What if you didn't know anyone in Turkey? Would you still care?” The answer is “yes.” Apathy is not in my nature.
A few days after Ankara, there was another in Istanbul. It was in a shopping center. Reading the article, I learned that the city is not a chaotic one. The town looked not unlike New York City, after the bomb; however, for citizens, to see police, perametics, and people so frightened was highly unusual. Perhaps, photos of the city like this does not look out of the ordinary to the United States because we are so used to images like those. Due to these events, my friend may be moving to live with his brother in Switzerland.
Just last month, I published an article on racism in America and why it's still a hot issue: "Racism Today: Real and Faux Politics." If looking at which stories are news worthy and which aren't doesn't prove the existence of racism further, I don't know what will. Then again, Americans are applauding Trump for wanting to build a wall to prevent Mexicans from immigrating, while denying that unless we’re Native American, we’re all originally illegal immigrants. Despite this reality of how America came to be, America is supposed to be great because it mixes races, religions, cultures, ideas and so on; unfortunately, now, we have candidates trying to reverse that, making claims that those of us against racism are delaying the process to better the country.
Is anyone else as confused as I am?
If you are familiar with with me or with my articles, you may have noticed that I’m a big fan of social experiments. I saw one on YouTube, a while ago, and realize that it's pertinent to this subject. A guy set up an experiment in which a woman in street clothes is hit by a man in public to see if there would be an intervention. Not surprisingly, men walking by took immediate action to end it. Then, they did the same situation with the woman wearing a Muslim hijab; unfortunately, not surprisingly, it took a very long time for one man to step in and threaten to call the police. Before the intervention, people walking by were disturbed, but wouldn't do anything. Like the video mentions, why is a Muslim woman being beaten any different from any other woman?
I think it’s because Americans are taught to disassociate themselves from other cultures. That happens in “other countries.” When it happens here, and believe me, domestic violence is a very real issue no matter what your race or creed, Americans think they don’t need to do anything about it because it isn’t part of their culture, but it is.
Things like race and creed are social constructs designed to make us think we have less in common than we do. For example, Christians often think the Bible is less violent than the Quran; however, this is incorrect, too. Just look at this other social experiment in which a group disguised a Bible as the Quran, and read Bible passages to unknowing Christians who thought they knew everything about their religion. It may make you think twice about your own identity.
Care for Humanity
Maybe, instead of playing the category game, we should view all suffering people as deserving of care. Personally, I don’t care where someone is from. If someone is in trouble or in pain, and I hear about it, that affects me. For example, when I hear there is an Amber alert, I feel a need to help. As a fellow human being, I feel a sense of responsibility to do something if I can. The idea that most people do not respond to information like that continues to confuse me more than anything. If you were in trouble, wouldn't you want someone to care enough to help? If so, why aren't you helping others, as well?
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