I’m always scared to post things like this for fear I’ll horribly mangle it and make things worse. Nevertheless, I’ll try, and if I screw it up, I’ll apologize and take my lumps, because this is the sort of thing that doesn’t go without saying any more.
I have some readers and fans who identify as Muslim. Maybe not a huge majority, but I know there’s at least a couple–and there may be a lot more than I know about, because it’s simply never come up. (Why would it? We talk about crawfish and wombats and eating lousy food.)
You sure don’t need me to tell you that there’s horrible crap that gets said on the internet at times like this. The very best of humanity is what made people run toward explosions a week ago—the internet and a lot of our senators aim a lot lower. It goes on all the damn time, but it’s going to be really bad for the next little while.
I’ve avoided talking about all the crap going on in this space because A) I know nothing more than anybody else, have no insights, and don’t presume to be an expert, and B) have nothing to say that’s not trite or repetitive, and if you’re here, odds are good you’re looking to talk about something else.
But I just want to say, since we’re gonna hear some vile, vile shit coming out of people’s mouths in the near future–guys, you can be in my life-raft, any time. We’ll figure out the short wave radio together and take turns fishing with hooks made out of toenail clippings, or whatever the hell it is people do when they’re lost at sea.
You’re not a them. You’re part of my us. I’m glad you’re here.
(Note: We’re all kinda raw, so be very nice to each other in the comments. If Mister Rogers would not say it, you should probably think twice before posting. And if anybody start offensive pontificating, I will not hesitate to ban them so hard that their Facebook account will feel it.)
“If Mister Rogers would not say it…”
Perfect! I can hardly think of a better guideline for bringing reasoned discourse back to the ‘Net.
I just want to say that you are one of the few bastions my hope for humanity resides in. This post reinforces that feeling.
Lost at sea does about cover the feeling, doesn’t it.
I’m glad to be part of someone’s us. Even without being specifically close to anything that’s happened this week, been feeling very scared and alone.
I’m kind of a hug everybody person. Most of my friends and family are more grow-spikes-and-hurt-things people. I’m not sure how that works out, though I admit it doesn’t usually come up, not like this.
So yeah, I’d get in the life raft with ya.
The impression I’ve gotten over the years is that reasonable followers of Islam get it in the neck from the extremists at LEAST as much as we infidels do. So I feel doubly sorry for them.
The cartoon at this URL says it pretty well I think..
At times like this I just always have this strong urge to start talking about the Troubles in Ireland and reminding everyone that those three decades of terrorist actions were largely about religion /too/, only it was Catholics versus Protestants rather than Muslims versus non-Muslims or whatever you want to define the current situation as. To remind everyone that it’s not “Islam is evil” any more than the Troubles were about “evil Catholics”.
Religion and politics (which are often the same thing) have /always/ been the two issues some percentage of people will go to war and/or commit atrocities for, and it’s never meant you should start making horrible comments at some guy down at the donut shop, because buddy, it might be your socio-political-religious group that did it last time or does it the next time.
As a Midwestern transplant to Cambridge, MA who celebrated a year in the area on the 11th, let me just say that your note at the end was frickin’ amazing and sums thing up nice. I’m going to get in printed on a shirt for when I go back home next time, because I’ve already been told that people are running their ignorant little mouths back there.
Oh for the days when I was equally ignorant…