Warning: Political strong political content. I’ve left my thoughts for the end, so you can think your own thoughts.
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Never Again (99 words)
First they came for Blacks, but I didn’t speak out–
Because I wasn’t black.
Then they came for the Jews, but I didn’t speak out–
Because I wasn’t a Jew.
They came for Boris Nemtsov, but I didn’t speak out–
Because the Russians don’t concern me.
Then they came for the cartoonists–
And I marched; I yelled; I let everyone know that this was wrong,
Because freedom is sacred.
But, I was left alone with cartoons–
The Jews were quietly slaughtered, again, and around the planet Blacks were massacred or put in prisons.
But I was free to speak.
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First, read the original poem that inspired this, here.
I saw this bucolic scene and thought of many things… but the news got the better of me. It’s hard not to feel like the world is imploding– there are some very dark things going on around the globe and in our own yards. Some of it, admittedly, feels more personal… and I am aware, that we all to some degree, care most about what effects us directly. But I can’t help but feel that “Winter is coming.”
I want to be clear (as this is a very political piece) that I do not in ANY way condone nor minimize the murder of the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists; it was barbaric and wrong in every way. However, they were artists exercising their right to free speech, by throwing rocks at sleeping lions. Many of the cartoons in question, were deeply offensive. Lions don’t stay asleep, and I don’t believe that freedom of speech means we should use that freedom to insult and incite. The same day, those same terrorists went to a Jewish market in Paris, and killed people, simply because they were Jews who were shopping for food. On that same day Islamic extremists slaughtered 2,000 Africans– men, women and children who did nothing that day but tend their crops, walk to the market or see their children off to school. Yet it was the slain cartoonists that dominated the news.
Throughout France, the rise of Anti-Semitism over the past nearly 2 years has been extraordinary. More Jews have left France than in any other time other than WWII, in direct response to persecution and harassment. Children have been threatened at schools; synagogues and stores have been defiled with swastikas. Copenhagen got a taste of this, a month later– again, the murder of a cartoonist and an attack on a Jewish school.
It is not Muslims– who are simply living their lives and practicing their faith, who are doing these things. ISIS, and other Islamic extremists, do not care about cartoonists nor freedom of speech, in the big picture. They targeted specific people who they felt had defamed their Prophet and their faith. They used violence and terrorism, because that is what they stand for. However, they do target Jews; they would in fact like to see all Jews wiped out. Who is speaking out about that?
For more on anti-Semitism in France, watch this shocking video. Check out: this story about the Nigerian massacre, this (US Colleges), or this (Black men in America). Personally, I believe Russia is only as stable as its leaders, and Putin is one scary guy, perhaps criminal. Read this. There are countless other sources; do your own reading, and share your thoughts.
And I will now step off my political box; you can share your thoughts in the comment section.
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