I get it. I, too, roll my eyes when I see someone sharing “news” from some site called “rightwingersareawesome.com” or “christianityrules.org”. That is not necessarily because these sites don’t pander to my own political and religious viewpoints —- in fact, they usually do. But I spent too much of my parents’ money at a “liberal arts college” to harbor an inane paranoia of “the liberal media”. In addition, while at that liberal arts college, I took a journalism class, and frankly what I’ve witnessed lately is that few are quite as “liberal” in their usage of the term “fact” as conservative media outposts as of late.
And so, because of that bias and because I was on vacation, I largely ignored much of the ramping news about the Islamic State crisis in Syria and Iraq. That was until today, and I took some time to read up. Thanks to a few folks who responded to my facebook inquiries about legit stories about the issue, I became knowledgeable about the subject in about 30 minutes via reliable sources including CNN, Telegraph.co.uk, BBC, and Al Jazeera. Wait. Add to “knowledgeable”: “horrified”, “angered”, and at least “aghast”.
I’ve always thought the United States was pitiable in their perception of world news stories. The nation has a bit of a Pearl Harbor/9-11 predilection: If it doesn’t reach our shores, it doesn’t really matter. And frankly, it is doubtful that the Islamic State ever will. However, that doesn’t change the facts that:
- People are being told that they must leave their homes or pay a tax to remain in them, with the enviable option of…death.
- Al Qaeda, notorious anti-Western terrorist group, is distancing itself from the Islamic State and saying, “woah woah woah, you guys need to chill a little…”
- Innocents aside, numerous people are being killed in warfare daily
I’m posting this with a title that I hope draws in my “liberal” leaning political friends, but I actually hope that no matter who you are and what your politics involve - that you take the following steps with me:
- Tomorrow is Sunday, bring up the Islamic State violence in your prayers
- Read good news sources and share good news sources on your social media feed
- Conversely, don’t share sensationalistic crap, which will only serve to deaden the nerves of those who need to actually hear what is happening
- Donate to a cause that you feel is appropriate, and search until you find that cause
- Talk about this at dinner with your family
No matter who you are. This is a problem. Let’s address it together as such.
Posted on Saturday, August 9th 2014