Yes, the title of today’s post is an actual song title: whether you want to believe it’s Backstreet Boys or SHINee it’s up to you. Both are different.But it doesn’t make one worth more than the other or one better than another. And that’s kind of what the point of today’s post is all about.
With all the crazy going on in the world these past few days, I needed a place to sort it all out.
Where to even begin?
I guess we should start with Paris due to its high publicized coverage…but in a way it’s ties to into just about everything else going on. Which is also a point of this post.
This will probably turn into jumbled mess but I need to get all the thoughts out of my head before I go crazy.
I woke up on Saturday afternoon KST to posts all over Facebook. “Pray for Paris” “We stand with Paris” but nowhere did it mention what had happened. I had to google it to find that Paris had been attacked in multiple areas with mounting causalities
It blew my mind. It seemed out of the blue. And why Paris?
I think the shock of it wasn’t that it was PARIS that was attacked, but the fact a world class city that seems untouchable was a victim.
These are innocent people who were trying to enjoy a nice night out at a soccer game, concert and dinner.
It disrupts the veil that we live in a civilize and safe world where war and terror don’t happen to us.
But the more I read about who the blame would fall on, I first had to look up the Syrian War. I knew nothing about it despite the fact that my taxes have been funding it.
I learned about Assad, the Kurds, the rebels…all of the power struggles, rebellions and how the USA and Russia put their support in where they saw fit.
It became clear to me that the USA and Russia didn’t care about what would happen to the people. They didn’t care that civilians would be displaced or that the war would tear families and people apart.
Yes they might claim they want to stop the dictaroship of Assad. But in the process of training rebels and supplying weapons, ISIS was born.
The same group that has taken over as the main threat of terror. I grew up knowing Al Queada as the “it” terror group. But now, this “ISIS” is what my students will grow up fearing.
I saw that people were quick to blame the Syrian refugees in France. Did they not understand these were the type of people the refugee were fleeing from?
I saw people quick to damn all Muslims; people wanting to close boarders.
It’s interesting that people choose to reach for hate and exclusiveness first. They say they are doing it to protect people. They are in fact acting no better.
Children reach for hate and fear first. They reach for revenge. That’s why when one of my students hits another, his first reaction is to hit back. And hit back harder.
As an adult, my first reaction is to ask “why”?
I know we can’t sit down with ISIS and ask why, and even if we were able to, there would be no ability to reason. You can’t reason with extremist. Just like drunk people.
But the more I thought about Paris and the Syrian war, the more I became disturbed. I had this thought running through my mind that I dare not put on Facebook.
“Why does it take an attack on a world class city to realize how horrible and terrible death and war is?”
Is it because they are innocent citizens in a far away country? No one is untouched in war. We all feel the pain whether directly or indirectly.
It shouldn’t take us feeling sorry for Paris to suddenly care about the bombings in Beirut two days prior that no one cared about. The bombing that took the life of a true hero who sacrificed himself and his daughter to save a mosque full of people.
I stand with Paris. I stand with Beirut. I stand with the citizens of Syria who can do nothing but watch their country kill itself.
If this is truly an attack on humanity as Obama states, then what about all the problems the rest of the world has? What about poorer states that receive less media coverage? What about states were it’s become second nature to accept death and murder? What about racism in a country that claims it’s free of it? Is that any less of an attack on humanity?
Some people may claim that my opinion is taking away from France. I say it’s not. It’s supporting it. It’s supporting all those future cities that might be attacked. I want the world to wake the FUCK up ( and I use that world lightly as I hate using it). This isn’t about one city in one country. It’s about the entire world and us as humans.
If we can only can find it in ourselves to care about what others are feeling through out own pain, it might happen. If we pretend that we are blind and lack empathy, that how could bad things NOT happen to us?
Why does it take an attack on Paris to make the world leaders want to increase it’s manhunt and destruction of ISIS and put an end to the Syrian War? Couldn’t the refugees and dead civilaians of Syria be enough to want to help end the war? Couldn’t the killings and horrors we know of ISIS to be true BE enough cause to want to hunt down ISIS?
It blows my mind that it takes Paris being attacked to put this all in motion.
Which brings me to my next point. Islam.
I’m a Christian. I’m Christian enough to the point where I will hate missing Christmas service this year. I’m Christian enough to know all the important dates, prayers and saint. I’m also Christian enough to realize that those people who “claim” to be doing things in God’s name are nothing but insecure people who are full of hate…and thus are actually filled with the devil himself if you will.
I don’t have any opinions on Islam good or bad. I don’t know enough and don’t want to spout out false statements.
However, I do understand while these ISIS extremists are claiming to be of Muslim faith, this is a small percentage.
Muslim is a religion. Just like Judaism and Christianity. And just like any time you have a large amount of people in one large group, you get crazies.
I teach 270 students. You think they are all angels? You think there aren’t some crazies or students who act out among them?
You’d be OUTTA YO MIND if you can honestly say that all 5th graders an angels. And I would commit you.
These ISIS supporters and members draw a negative spotlight to Islam. But we shouldn’t allow that to skew out vision. We shouldn’t be so narrow minded and weak to want to find someone to blame. As I mentioned above, our first instinct is to retaliate-direct our hate at who we think caused us harm. That is an instinct of a 5th grader.
So before you want to “close our boarders” and bomb Muslims, please remember a few things. Christians carried out the horrific crusades in the name of God. Are all Christians like this? Germans committed the inhumane Holocaust. Are all Germans like this? Generalizing based on ANYTHING does nothing but make things worse. And the world is already in a shitty way-do you honestly want to make it worse?
This brings me to my next point. Korea.
Saturday. I knew only about Paris. Something that was happening far away. I knew nothing of why traffic was horrible in Seoul. Something that was happening an hour away.
A little while ago, the government here made its intentions known about changing the history text book by 2017. In it, the Korean history is rewritten.
That is not to say that American history textbooks must be read carefully, or any history text book. In Japan I’ve heard they barely mention the atrocities of the the Japanese during WWII.
In the USA textbooks, there is little mention of Japanese internment camps. Usually a side blog meant to be a “fun fact”. More interesting are the different teachings of the Civil War.
Demonstrators showed up to protest this, as well as a few other issue they have with the current president. I’ve read that ever since her poor handling of the Ferry disaster last year, her popularity is falling.
But none of my friends or people knew about this. It was only through international media did I even hear about it. At first it was mentioned that only water cannons were fired at the protestors. Then it came out these water cannons were filled with tear gas and chili powder. The police came the peaceful demonstration changed when people brought steel pipes and sharp bamboo sticks.
I’m from a country where demonstrations or protests aren’t uncommon. I walked through one a few years back in Philadelphia. I’ve seen many.
In my past 9 months here I’ve never once felt truly unsafe except for the one North Korean threat.
I’ve felt unaffected by the outside world. Not keeping up with international news or world issues. I’ve been blind and ignorant. But with the violent protest in Seoul, and the Paris bombing, I realized I can’t be ignorant anymore.
It was nice to be free of others suffering and the mess that is world politics. But with South Korea changing, and the world continuing to slide into chaos, I can’t stay like this forever. This country made me feel like I could be free from the mess. But as a human it’s my responsibility to understand what’s going on the in the world.
This brings me to my last point. When 9/11 happened I was in 7th grade. I will remember exactly where I sat at school, what period of the day it was, what day of the week it was. I will also remember the lie I was told. I understood that the school didn’t want us to panic. We were after all so close to D.C. that there were students who had parents working in D.C.
But the fact they told us that the school was closed due to “road construction” made us cheer. Then when my friend’s parents took me home, I was told “the stock market crashed” It wasn’t until I got home, and I was sitting on the sofa that I saw on the TV what happened. And I didn’t understand. I had never heard of Afghanastan or Iraq. I knew nothing about Extreme muslim terrorists. I was in 7th grade.
I understand it was the schools duty not to panic us. But instead of making up a lie, I wish they would have told us that something had occurred and we needed to go home.
I understand the need to protect children but who is protecting the children who have to live with bombings and killings on a daily basis?
I though about bringing up the bombings in Paris to my kids. I want to be honest with them. But at the same time I don’t want to scare them. And because it’s such a complex thing dealing with religion and terror, I don’t know how much they would understand.
But I think it’s something they need to be aware of. And I’m not sure they will really talk about it or care about it other than passing by.
Korea has it’s race issues. I’m not going to pretend otherwise. But the idea of this kind of extreme terror is something that isn’t serious to them. Yes North Korea is there, but as many people have told me, this year the threat of MERS was more lethal than that of North Korea’s nuclear strike.
If I had a chance to address this issue to my fifth graders I would say this:
“On Saturday, something very sad and bad happened. Paris, France was attacked. A lot of people were hurt and many died. This was because some people only hate. They hate what is different. They don’t want to try to talk. They just want to hurt as many people as they can. We can fight back by being kind. If someone looks different, or doesn’t have as much money, you should still be kind to them. We can fill the world with love. And stand up to these world bullies. I’m telling you, because I don’t want to lie to you. I want you to be people who fill this world with only good things.”
It’s not much, and it’s simple. I don’t need to go into detail about Islam and terrorists. I don’t need to scare them or tell them the true horrors of war. I just need them to understand that some people in this world are full of hate and anger. And we can fight back by being kind to each other.
I think that’s really it for today’s political rant.
It’s been hard keeping these thoughts in.
I’ve seen friend have major disagreements online about it.
I’ve seen people getting way too heated over it.
I don’t want to be like them. I just want those who can’t find a peaceful life to know that I support them-all of them, whether it be grief stricken France, human trafficking victims in Mexico, animals who are abused and tortured-it doesn’t matter.
Because if we continue down this road, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the apocalypse. God flooded this Earth once because it was beyond repair. I wouldn’t be shocked if he did it again soon.
But for now, all I can do is continue to this life, do my best….and of course listen to KPOP. Because sometimes all you need are 6 sexy man singing in suits and doing insane body rolls.
But hey, that’s just me.