In the wake of the murder of six people in a Canadian Mosque and Trump’s controversial executive order, tolerance and unity are more important than ever.
We as a species are at a crucial junction and the destination of each path is uncertain. Human rights activists the world over are banding together in a bid to prevent the further spreading of the ignorance and anguish that is crippling the already fragile infrastructure of society as we know it.
World leaders are in disarray, some taking a cemented stance against Trump and the regime he seeks to impose and others cowering gingerly under his absurdly small thumb. Debates on whether or not State visits are appropriate, considering the current tumult in the international political climate, have taken place both here and in the UK.
One would-be millennial journalist doesn’t have the answer of course. I can merely echo what everyone with any semblance of intelligence has been saying since before I was born: stay informed, stay loud and don’t let the hatred seep in.
For those of you that have been persecuted for unjust reasons, don’t allow the same despicable ignorance that has oppressed you, influence you. The hatred that brought radicals into the world and the hatred that was unleashed in Quebec at the weekend, is the same brand of hatred that brews under America’s cheapest Toupee.
The instant that we allow our frustrations to morph into intolerance, terrorism, malevolent politics and hate groups have defeated us. The mantra is old but never more true, hatred breeds hatred and only love can break the cycle.
It can be disheartening to think that within a year of the US Supreme Court recognising and facilitating the gay community’s right to marry, one man entered an LGBTQ nightclub in Orlando Florida and killed 49 people.
After all the progress that has been made to create an equilibrium for all genders, a misogynist now sits at the helm of the world’s most influential and powerful country. It does look grim, but we cannot allow bullies and predators to run our planet.
Historically, extremist groups have taken advantage of the young and disenfranchised for their own ends. It happened on this very Island during the troubles and it is happening right now on a global scale from white supremacists to bigots and radical religious groups. This is a multi-faceted issue, we can’t just leave it to the diplomats and cross our fingers anymore.
We as human beings have enabled the progress of this plague. Immediate examples that spring to mind would be Brexit and Trump. We’ve even allowed dictators such as Putin and Kim Jong Un to rule nations of millions for years, completely unencumbered by the ‘Universal Declaration of Human Rights’. We have rested on our laurels too long and they have crumbled beneath us as a direct result of our passiveness.
The world cannot be pieced back together over night and little can be achieved by one man or woman alone. It takes mass organisation and ambition. If it truly sickens you that refugees have had their livelihoods stolen from them, donate to their cause, write for a blog or a newspaper, share a petition to ban drone strikes. Do something.
If you don’t like the idea of your clothes being sewn in sweatshops by Bangladeshi children, look for the clothing lines associated with that repulsive industry and never buy from them again. If enough noise is made, we will be heard. Protests work if applied with enough vigour, you don’t even need to look abroad to see examples of this. Irish Water have been struggling from the beginning with regular releases of ever-more dubious and ambitious figures depicting the amount of Irish citizens who have paid.
The intention of this piece is not to sound condescending although it will inevitably come across in such a manner. The idea is to give people a little push, the more active we all are the more attention we demand. We need to keep faith in each other across borders and seas because without that trust in basic human decency we are lost.
Last year when the attacks happened in Paris, the world flocked to help or at the very least show that they weren’t alone in the fear and pain they felt. There is no reason we can’t make Muslims, Mexicans, African Americans, LGBTQ folk or refugees feel that same support. We all have loved ones that are susceptible to this tide of hostility. We are all in this together, so act like it.
Stay loud, stay proud and stay humble. Peace and love to you all.