05 December 2011

There Is Hate In This World, And We Must Oppose It

I am fully aware that the Internet, like any medium of expression, is a place where the good, the bad and the downright ugly all bump against each other.  It is not a medium in which the easily offended should spend a great deal of time.  I am am not among the easily offended, but occasionally I come across something that disturbs me, especially because of the depths of its banality.  Consider the following image which I clipped from a screen shot of an effbook post I read.  The image has been redacted to remove names:


Note the headline at the top.  Also note that at the time of the screenshot, five people had already liked it.  What is worse, this was posted by someone whom I know to be a retired police officer who now works in a security or law enforcement capacity, dealing with the public at large.  Someone who should know better than most of us the consequences that can arise from implied violence.

This turned my stomach.  The casualness of it, the 'inside joke' joviality of it.  I find it repugnant to the point of near incomprehensibility that someone could feel good about displaying that to the world, and expect us to respect it as an "opinion".  It boggles the mind and sickens the heart.

This is a free country, yes, built on democratic principles.  People are allowed to have viewpoints.  I understand many feel concern, even anger and resentment towards foreigners and immigrants, both legal and illegal.  But the above message is disturbing and loathsome, not only in its presentation but in its message. It insults human beings based on their supposed literacy, although the ignorance of the creator of this sign shows in the statement about not being able to read English.  If a person can't read English, how are they supposed to know what the sign says at all?  

Much worse than alleged illiteracy, however, is the implication that outsiders who attempt entry into this country will be met with violence.  Not just random violence, but premeditated, firearm violence.  That is no rubber bullet gun, that's a rifle with a scope.  A rifle like that has only one purpose: killing people at long range.  And wouldn't the premeditated shooting of a person who has given no offense (the sign does not say that stepping over the border is illegal) considered by the courts to be homicide or attempted homicide?

I am having a hard time deciding what upsets me more, that it was posted by someone who had and has ethical and professional obligations to protect and serve the public or that other people liked it.  And on a highly public social media site, no less!

Is this what America is really about, xenophobia, paranoia and violence?  How someone could believe that the image is simply harmless fun is beyond me.  There is nothing funny about it.  It speaks to me of bigotry, pathological violence, hatred and ignorance.  If it speaks to me of such stains on the soul of America, then it speaks to the world of the same.  People who propagate such vileness have no right to be surprised that the world begins to meet them with disrespect, hatred, and violence of its own.  If the creators and admirers of such a sentiment want to live in a country of violence and hatred, they are free to do so but it will hopefully be a tiny country with only room for them.  I will not be within its borders.

9 comments:

  1. Yes, it's what America is about. It's not ONLY about that, it's also about some really wonderful things. But as much as it is known for those wonderful things, it is also known for the bad. Life.

    I guess now would be a bad time to bring up the way you Americans pronounce "herbal....":)))

    By the way...the title of my post today is I Am Satan Personified. In which case I fit right in here....

    Don't take it on, Mr. Irish....chill.....xo

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  2. Placidus Hominum seething with righteous anger.

    There is nothing about bigotry and violence which is good. Ignorance can still be rectified, and hatred can sometimes be eased.

    There are good people in everywhere who have just as much anger about such things as you do. Then there are the idiots. And I am glad you are not one. Idiot, that is.

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  3. You know, I've decided recently that I have no intention to visit countries who are offensive and insulting to outsiders, this screenshot about sums up why I have no intention of ever planning a holiday to the USA, even under duress.

    I don't want to be frisked at the airport. I don't want to be asked about my reasons to visit the country as a tourist. I don't want hate to be directed at me because I paid people my money to visit their country. I just don't.

    I guess one of your labels sums it up - "crazy shit people do".

    And it's nice to know that there are a few who don't stand for hate. :)

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  4. Just the gun alone makes me shiver with disgust. And, unfortunately, I know way too many people who feel this way. I'm curious. Did you unfriend?

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  5. It's definitely sad, especially for a former law officer to have posted (imo). I won't go to the whole illegal immigrant side of this (because I have strong opinions there, and not everyone probably shares them).

    Shruthi's comment makes me scratch my head though. I don't think she can get why we need security at the airport, pat down's etc, questions as to why you want to enter our country. Try living through 9/11, try wondering (for years in my case) if every time you get on a plane you might die. If the friends who lived in NY and DC are going to die today.

    It gives a whole new perspective on why I don't care if I get questioned at check-in or run through an x-ray machine before I get on a plane. I'd rather live to see my destination.

    (Sorry Irish, her comment annoyed me enuf to say something)

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  6. I think Shruthi's comment is thought provoking and Andrea is not perceiving the fullness of it. We may not be able to get rid of the pat downs at the airports, but we can hope and pray that our fellow Americans have more grace and gratitude for foreign visitors who choose to spend their money here and visit us.

    All the people in the States bordering Mexico need to review their history. The deal with Mexico that was made and forgotten....

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"Let your laws come undone
Don't suffer your crimes
Let the love in your heart take control..."


-'The Hair Song', by Black Mountain

Tell me what is in your heart...