Thursday, June 16, 2016

Reflecting on Recent Tragedies

Hi everyone,

With all that's going on right now and all that's happened in the last couple weeks there is a lot I could say. The incident with Harambe the Gorilla was just an all out tragedy and difficult situation for all parties involved. Then there was the Stanford rape incident in which I say thankfully there were two young men who could have just kept riding their bikes passed the dumpster, choosing to not get involved. But instead they did get involved and the perpetrator was caught, thanks to those two young men. Then there was the brutal killing of 50 of our brothers and sisters in Orlando, followed by the tragedy involving a toddler and an alligator in the same city.

Of course, in the wake of tragedy, everyone rushes to social media to express heartfelt condolences, which is wonderful. But then those condolences are overrun with heated opinions and arguments over what "should have" or what "should" be done. People can't seem to rush to their computers or phones fast enough to get on their soap boxes and share their 'expertise', whether it's on parenting, zookeeping, history, foreign relations, firearms, human relations, gender relations, mental illness, religion, and on and on and on.
In a way, I can understand why. People are angry that these things have happened, and rightfully so. Naturally, they want to find a reason and a way to put an end to terrible things happening. They want to call out wrongful behavior. But is that doing more harm than it is good? Is it creating more division than there already is?

In the wake of the Orlando club shooting, the amount of people spewing hate and passing judgment on one group or another far outnumbered those posting links to how to actually be of help to victims and their families (donating blood, donations of money to help with medical expenses, etc). More people were rushing to post the mugshot of the Stanford Rapist than they were rushing to give credit to the two young men that stopped him. And as cynical as it sounds, I have to wonder if people get some kind of sick satisfaction out of that. I have to wonder if some of these people sit back, look at their poorly researched memes and clickbait articles and think "YES! THIS is going to help all of humanity!"  Or aren't they thinking at all? Are they merely going on some blind tyraid fueled by biased media coverage (and when I say 'media,' I'm also including the Gawker, TMZ, Buzzfeed, and the like because sadly, people do look to them as legit news sources) and the endless circle jerking that is the social media echo chambers?
Now apparently some pastor is celebrating the deaths of those in the LGBTQ community and people are rushing to post and share it. I haven't watched that video and frankly, I have no idea why anyone would bother. And I have to ask what a Facebook friend of mine did:

Why are we helping this guy with spreading his message and even giving him the time of day?

Of course, I know some would reply with "because we need to call out this type of hate."  Okay, but at the same time, if we weren't being the driving force behind enabling this guy to go viral, he would just be nothing more than some obscure douchebag spouting hate in bumblefuck middle-of-nowhere. Here's the thing. This pastor or whatever he is, doesn't care that you're 'calling him out.' In fact, I very much doubt that doing so will make him change his mind on his stance. What he does care about is his message being heard and right now it is.
As of now, the likelihood of the Standford Rapist's parents 'seeing the light' and the error of their son's ways is very slim. Unfortunately, the seem willfully ignorant and no amount of vitriol and pointing out his wrong-doing is going to change their minds. In fact, it might make them even more adamant of their son's "innocence."

Again, I know this comes from anger and frustration that such things are happening. People want answers and many seem to want quick and easy ones. The thing is, I don't think there are any. I don't think there is any easy way of solving these problems. People have done terrible things to each other since the dawn of civilization, and long before humans even existed, animals have always hunted and killed each other. While we should always strive to better ourselves, thinking that we can solve all the problems "if only this new law were instated" or "if only this person was in the White House/Parliament/etc is foolish at best. This has become a never ending cycle of lather, rinse, repeat.

The time and energy spent "calling out" some unknown bigot or some random dude sending a girl "dick pics" and her glorious response (yes, that's another clickbait article circulating...to prove how women actually do rule in the rampant and terrible patriarchy...I guess? Yet another thing being passed around that I refuse to dignify by reading and sharing) could be spent doing something that actually might be of help to a situation or issue. Instead of giving attention to evil, why not lift up those that ARE doing good things and make examples out of them? Again, I have to wonder if some of these people posting these so-incredibly-clever memes and clickbaits get some sort of satisfaction and think that what they are doing is the answer to humanity's problems. Or are they simply just blinded and too wrapped up in their idealogy to see that they might be doing more harm than good? And for all the venting about injustices that people do, and the "expert" opinions they give on what "should" be done, nothing ever changes. And in the midst of all that, many fail to see that while their intent in posting all these 'anti-this and pro-that' rhetoric might be good (don't they say that the road to hell is paved with good intentions?), they are failing to see where THEY could maybe change. It has to start with you, the individual. And if you don't think that there is anything about you that needs worked on, that it's "everyone else that sucks"?  Well, you are part of the problem.

In closing, here are a few links that could be of use:

Remembering the Victims of the Orlando Shooting:

http://www.cnn.com/2016/06/13/us/orlando-victims-profiles/index.html


How to help the victims and their families:

http://time.com/money/4365694/orlando-pulse-nightclub-shooting-how-to-help/


The fine young men that are the reason for the Stanford Rapist getting caught:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3630103/Student-came-rescue-Stanford-rape-victim-speaks-judge-let-attacker-light-sentence.html

http://www.attn.com/stories/8933/students-who-stopped-stanford-sexual-assault

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