lördag 23 juli 2011
My prejudice the killers excuse.
I fell asleep and woke up with the news from Oslo and Utöya ringing through me and my phone. Normally I would get angry and sad and set out to change the world with a feeling och determination and righteousness but today I'm just empty.
Everywhere there's tweets and bloggs about the horror of yesterday. Some tried early on to blame muslim terrorists and got a well deserved virtual kicking. Since it became clear the killer was a white man with racist nationalistic and conservative values The storm changed direction. I can feel a desire to rage with the rest of the and use this horror to my advantage but what does politics change for those young persons who was murdered for their convictions? Like any terrorism the reasons behind it are more complex than the act itself. Because even though he's a lone killer he's inspired by a violent ideology. I don't believe ideology means more than an excuse to the murderer who coldbloodedly and intelligently planned and executed over 80 people by face to face. It was us, you and me, who created that excuse and we are all guilty.
Every time someone expresses support for an ideology that in any way condones violence we strengthen that ideology. Everytime I say "I'm not for the deathpenalty but those .." vi separate the world into us and them. The we, who are good, and those others. We simplify the world to be able to comprehend it and in or simplifications we simplify the most complex phenomenon there is into something we can count, a human beeing.
I don't want to see the pictures and shakey phonecams from Oslo and Utöya any more than I want to see shredded Afghan children or Irans homosexuals hanging on a footballfield but I have to watch because I am me and I don't recommend it. I want to understand. It is my duty to understand. I have to take in all the horrors of the world and separate the causes and work every day to keep this from ever happening again. But it always happens again. Human beings are always murdered for some aspekt of their person that we simplifyed regardless whether it is all the transgendered, gays, lesbians, bisexuals or any one of the 1,5 million women who are murdered every year because an ideologysays it's okay to do so. Every time you and I or any of or fellow humans use simplyfied terms like tranny, communist, immigrant, muslim, swede, women or any of the thousands of simplyfications that we strengthen an ideology. For good and for evil.
To get around this we have to be clear, even in the most casual conversations, that we are using a simplyfication and are not showing the full complexity of the individuals we are describing but most important of all is that WE MUST TAKE STAND AGAINST ANY IDEOLOGY THAT PROMOTES VIOLENCE NO MATTER HOW DISTANTLY. Because when we support that ideology of violence we are creating the terrorist and it is when we forget that we simplify people that we give the murderer the excuse. It's not "if you're not with us you're against us" it's "the silence of the good people that scares me". Not taking a stand against ideologies of violence is to silently strengthen the violence and the excuse. Silence is not avoiding responsibility, it is to allow the ideas to continue to spread. Every time your parents or children defends such an ideology it is up to you to stand against it. Every time your coworkers or friends are talking in simplifications it is your responsibility to point out that this does not cover every human being in that group. It is you responsibility as much as it is mine. Whether it's about the Gaza-blockade, 9/11 or women means nothing because what happened in Oslo and Utöya yesterady happens every day in the whole world because of the silence of good people like you and me.