Here’s a Thing So Many Of You Do, And You Need To Stop

StopIt never fucking fails. Every time some globally horrifying event takes place, like the recent instances of cop-on-black-man violence, or the Nice attack, people start piping up with their favourite reasons why.

“It’s Islam!”

“It’s racism!”

“It’s American foreign aggression!”

“It’s a lack of gun control!”

They’re sure they know what caused this tragedy, and they won’t hear any other possible causes.

Take, for example, the shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. While I wholeheartedly agree that racism plays a big role in violence like this, I hardly think it’s the sole cause. We have racism in Canada – a ton of it, but cops aren’t pulling over black men or aboriginal men and just recklessly shooting them. They’re throwing them in prison, that’s for sure, but not shooting them. They’re not killing minorities here. There’s racism in the U.K. and cops aren’t shooting the minorities they interact with. There is racism everywhere, and only in the U.S. is that racism translating into so many deaths we can’t even count them. Why? Why is it? Is it that there could be other forces, added to the apparent racism, at play?

Of course, I suggest this at great risk of a loud and unending backlash much like that time I liked an interview, because to suggest that anything other than racism played a part in these killings, clearly means I am a racist.

I believe these killings were the result of racism, yes. But I also believe the gun culture in the U.S. played a part. I think economic woes are partially to blame, and the militarization of the police in the U.S. is also a contributor. I think this problem is far more complex than just being caused by racism, though I know that racism played a large part.

In Nice, Islamic terrorists claimed responsibility for an attack that killed 80 people yesterday. Of course irrational belief in a God that will reward such action is partially to blame, but to suggest this is the only cause is childishly naive. A number of forces have come together to create this powder keg situation, including, but not limited to, fundamentalist religious belief.

If you’ve followed along with my blog here for a while, you know few things piss me off more than the regressive left insisting attacks like the one in Nice have, “nothing to do with Islam”. Likewise, it pisses me off that those who recognize Islam as a contributor to such violence, insist it is the sole cause. I see Islam as a huge factor in events like this, but I also see some aspects of immigration as a cause. I see a lack of integration as a cause, nationalism is a cause, racism, economics and power-seeking all lead to this bullshit, too. It’s not just one cause, it’s a perfect, motley storm of causes swirling above us, ready to strike at any time.

These problems are brought to us through many different forces, some more powerful than others. To deny any one cause, is to not really want the problem to get better. We desperately need, for the sake of potential lives lost in the future, to recognize everything that leads to these events. Everything. We need to see all the causes. We need to be rational and realize that fixing just one thing may improve the situation slightly, but working towards fixing all the factors that lead to this heinous violence, will reduce the frequency we see it by so much more.

Be reasonable. Be rational. Emotions are not where we should be deriving facts. Calm the fuck down and look at this with wide eyes and an open mind. Realize that a social phenomenon that is caused by just one thing, is about as real as Jesus’ resurrection. They don’t exist outside of television and film. You cannot simply save the cheerleader, save the world out here in reality. No, human interaction is far, far more complex than that and it deserves to be looked at as such.

So, when someone suggests that perhaps your favourite issue is a cause, just not the sole cause, of a recent event, hear them out. Don’t jump on them for reducing the importance of your pet issue. That’s not what they’re trying to do. If you truly believe that the one issue you care most about, is the sole cause in all this bullshit, then you’re the unreasonable one. Not the people who are willing to consider all angles.

It’s time to get serious about this shit, because I am so fucking sick of all this senseless violence. It’s time we get past our own, personal hang-ups and look at it all with logic. Pack your baggage away and open your fucking eyes. The world is not black and white. There are infinite shades of grey in between that demand to be seen and acknowledged. Acknowledge them. Acknowledge them all, so we can work on fixing them all, and maybe, just fucking maybe, we can save a life or two.

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Category: Current Events | Tags: , ,
  • Robert Karma

    Anti-war and racial tensions were high here in the US with fears of a violent revolution in 1968-69. I remember how terrorism that was rampant in the 70s and often made the evening news. You had the Palestinian terrorist group Black September attacking the Olympics in Munich, the Baader-Meinhof Gang in West Germany, the Spain’s Basque separatist group Euskadi Ta Askatasuna, the Symbionese Liberation Army in California, the Red Brigade terrorists in Italy, the Irish Republican Army fighting the Brits in Northern Ireland, the Palestine Liberation Organization fighting the Israelis, culminating with the overthrow of the Shah in Iran by Islamic revolutionaries who then stormed & captured the US Embassy in Tehran in 1979.

    I see how just in my lifetime how things were worse and the threat of violence was more prevalent at home and abroad. I didn’t even mention the ever present threat of global thermonuclear war between the US and the Soviet Union that hung over us like the Sword of Damocles. When you put our contemporary world in the context of history, we are living in the best of times. Yes, there are still plenty of issues facing humanity but we seem to have forgotten the progress our species has made since the devastation of The Great Depression and World War II.

  • Margaret Tombs

    I totally agree with you, the reasons for these things are always complex, normally much too complex for most people to get a grasp of. Also there are different complex circumstances for bad things happening in different parts of the world which also adds to the confusion, especially as discussions on social media are conducted on a global scale.
    There isn’t one magic solution, and there is unlikely to be consensus on what any solutions should be.
    I sometimes look at my own Twitter feed and find things that apparently contradict each other in my timeline. This is precisely because of the complexity of the issues that concern me. People who are oppressed can also be oppressors and people who cause harm can also be harmed by their own actions.

    • Subramanyan R

      the effect of the valid points made have been marred by so many swear words,

      • Margaret Tombs

        Which swear words are those? I’m not aware of using them.

        • Subramanyan R

          First one in the first sentence: “It never fucking fails……”

          • Margaret Tombs

            So why reply to my comment? I didn’t write the blog. None of the words she uses offends me, If you’re offended take it up with GM.

  • Daniel Quackenbush

    What is the “gun culture?” If I own a gun, does that automatically make me a part of this “gun culture?” What is an “atheist culture?” I’m an atheist, does that mean I have a particular culture? Atheists are always (rightly) claiming that theists to prove their god, need to prove or define the “characteristics” of their god. The same is true of the supposed “gun culture.” Maybe it’s a “cop culture” (whatever that is) causing most of the problems? Maybe it’s a “culture of violence” for problem solving when we should have a “culture of peace.” Blaming problems on inanimate objects seems irrational to me.

    Ordinarily, I find most atheist rational, sensible people, but when it comes to guns I find more irrationality among atheists than rationality.

  • Mike Smar

    If racism weren’t the driving force, the police killing death rate would be nearly the same for all races. It’s not. The death rate for blacks, that I could find, is at least 2.5 times higher than for whites, everything else being equal. Why was the PP shooter in Colorado taken alive, while the Dallas shooter was blown up? He was clearly incoherent and not a threat to the cops. He could have been taken alive. Let’s face the facts, it’s mostly about race.