A Letter to my Facebook Feed Following the Manchester Attack.

I’m both shocked and upset by the amount of people of my feed spreading racist and / or hateful posts and videos. You never expect the people you know to be the ones with these opinions, it’s always the ‘internet trolls’, those nameless, faceless people who I have never associated myself with. I have considered unfriending / unfollowing those of you spreading hateful posts but, I just don’t feel comfortable turning a blind eye to the hateful ignorance that you are spreading.

It is so so important to engage these people in debates, but even more so to start discussions and not just shut them down. And it’s hard, so hard sometimes when my immediate response is to type something along the lines of ‘you’re a dickhead’ in the comments. But I won’t. Yet at the same time I refuse to stay quiet.

You have a right to your opinion. Of course you do. When you’re spouting these hateful, damaging, ignorant comments and videos my immediate response is to call you out as racist scum, because what you’re saying is fucking hateful. But I won’t. I won’t attack you personally cause you’re not scum. You’re a human being, the same as me, them and everyone else. And you have opinions (ones I disagree with vehemently, but all the same) and you’re entitled to voice your opinions, sure. 

But political correctness and the like is not an attack on your right to free speech. It is common decency and it is fucking respect for people whose views are different to your own. But I won’t stay quiet about it. Because when your opinions are hurting other people then they become everyone’s issue. I will challenge you when you post ignorant things but I’m doing it to discuss it with you not to shut you down. I want, desperately, to understand your views and how you’ve come to the – in my opinion – insane conclusions that you have. 

What do you really know about Islam as a religion? Have you ever sat down and discussed it with someone who does know, whose faith it actually is? I know I’m guilty too of being practically clueless about it, so instead of throwing out half researched bullshit comments, why don’t we take the time to actually learn? Because what I do know is this, the actions of a few do not equal the ideology of the majority. Just how I know that the KKK do not represent Christianity as a whole. I do know that if you replace the word ‘Muslim’ with ‘Jew’ you start to sound eerily familiar… I do know that if these people are being radicalised into hating the West with such passion then us throwing more hate their way in such an ignorant manner is only going to push them further in that direction. 

I am in no way excusing it, what they are doing is incomprehensibly evil and awful and it needs to stop. And we need to talk about it, of course we do, saying nothing isn’t going to help anymore than spreading hate is. We need to challenge it in the same we we challenge the fact that a percentage of christians still demonise homosexuality. I’m not saying don’t talk about terror attacks for fear of offending someone. We’re all fucking offended by what’s going on. The man that committed the Manchester attack did it in the name of his religion. But he did it in the name of a twisted, distorted and zealous understanding of his religion. And that’s the ideology we need to challenge. Not just ‘all muslims’ because we should be capable of distinguishing the difference.

I read a news article yesterday warning about more attacks being imminent and more fear-mongering but just at the end, there was a small paragraph reading; 

‘A Pentagon investigation has concluded at least 105 innocent people died in the American anti-terror strike in Mosul in March.’

 – and my question is this, ‘Is that your answer?’ Do we kill more innocents for every innocent they kill? Where will it end? When has more hate ever beaten hate? When has blowing up innocents ever achieved anything? When have fear-mongering articles ever achieved anything? When will you realise that blind, ignorant hatred is not the fucking answer?

-Emily 

❤️❤️❤️

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