need your help to help understand some things, My friend got called an Asshole for putting this reposting this pic on Facebook (2)


I would like to thank  the people who responded to my post and subsequent question. If you do not know what I am talking about please read this post. I would like to clarify some things and give you my opinion or my thoughts on things.

Points In My Head

My friend here was actually my friend

My friend works in the field of international affairs and has done work in Pakistan Afghanistan Kosovo and Liberia during times of incredible strife.

When is the Right time to talk about things we dont Want to

I feel as a teacher this is a horrible tragedy. Children are so precious. I am not asking these questions because I am callous but because I don’t want this kind of thing to ever happen again. These events dont just happen in a vacuum. Many things precipitate them. Understanding why they happen wont happen  in 30 minutes. There is no single cause, like a video game. We have to look at I feel: how we deal with the mentally ill in this country. We have to look at access to weapon and Gun Control. We have to look at school safety. We have to look at a complex of issues not all we want to.

To me it seems foolhardy to wait till months later when this has passed and it gets shelved to start a conversation about it. We need to strike now while the iron is hot to me. it may be more painful of course, but I feel the more we talk about it, the sooner we start doing something, the more opportunity we have to protect our children in the future.

Countries are not a vacuum Either

When we have a global culture which we do now, it become impossible not to politicize deaths or tragic events. I have yet to see at any point a death which could not be or influence a political act: Assassination of the Arch Duke that started off WW1, the immolation of dissident Tibetans, the death of Amadoo Diallo deaths can be used in a lesser context. When Economic turmoil happens one place the whole world feels it.

Let me give you an example. During a Sunday morning panel discussion on the potential political impact of Friday’s massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., CBS Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer put forth the idea that if the shooter had an Arab name, people would be much more inclined to revamp public policy to address such gun violence, much like how government fundamentally changed its role after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

I wonder how would the media spin things & what would be the nation’s response if this happened in a

  1. Poor Appalachian Village in West Virginia
  2. College Campus
  3. A ghetto in Harlem/Brownsville/ Or East New York
  4. Rich gated Community in Martha’s Vineyard

Or if the shooter was:

  1. Muslim
  2. Fanatic-Christian
  3. A drug addict
  4. A KKK member

How we view the world  around us  affects can can affect negatively millions around the world.  I think of the tragedy of 9/11, especially as a NY and sometimes it bothers me that innocents are getting killed by inaccurate drone strikes.  I I think one thing tragedies domestic tragedies forced me to take into consideration how the policies we vote for and people who we put into power  can influence people  far beyond my sphere of activity and knowledge.

When is a Fact a Fact

In my head I wonder is a fact always a fact.

If  we have for the sake of an example studies that show that the American public is conditioned to respond negatively to a Palestinian man and positively to an Israeli man. Then imagine a man stabs his Turkish cab driver in the neck because he thought he was Palestinian but that story and many stories about violence against Palestinian Americans and other people mistaken for them don’t get aired. Would it be factually wrong to point out our collective bias  after a large media coverage about a story about  the death of an Israeli man ?

I don’t know anything about Israel and Palestine, and will never talk about that issue. Thats just the example I came up with because many people I talked to said the picture the image tells a truth, but the timing of bringing it up was wrong. Do we reject the veracity of a situation because it interferes with the projection of our emotions. Facts are rejected quite often because they get in the way of our emotional response and projects. Every try to tell an alcoholic soaked in his or hear own urine that they have a problem and need help?

I don’t think that bringing up something researched and factual at a tense time is being insensitive, especially without the knowledge of why it was brought up. I dont think insenstivity is the same as doing what the westBoro Baptist church does which is a targeted hateful act.

Final Words

Please keep in mind I include myself in this. I do the same thing. I’m stupid enough to think that there is some benefit in self introspection and sharing the questions I ask myself with you. I don’t have any answers to these questions nor do I expect you to. I expect that we can talk freely and respectfully and share ideas or put question out there.

 

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