Je Suis Charlie – Charlie Hebdo

For those who don’t know, right now there are a series of event going on in France that are rather frightening. Yesterday, there was a terrorist attack in Paris. Some extremists killed 10 people from Charlie Hebdo, and 2 police officers. The attacker fled, is on the run, and recently has taken hostages in a region outside of Paris.

Not only that, but yesterday as well, in a region near Lyon, there was a bombing near a mosque. People here in France are afraid. Walking down the street you can tell that people are weary of their surroundings.

 The French are shaken up, they haven’t know attacks or horror like this in about 50 years.
 I agree this is terrible, horrible, frightening event. When I think about those who died, and what this was an attack against (Charlie Hebdo was a representation of the freedom of expression) my gut twists into a knot. But this isn’t what bothers me most about it. Two other things come to mind that bother me greatly when thinking about this event.
 What i’m about to say sickens me, but it doesn’t make it any less true: As an American I am used to this kind of stuff.

You can almost argue that it’s become a part of our culture to hear about bombings, attacks, threats, shootings, police shootings…. dreadful things. You turn on the TV and there is almost always something new that comes up, especially recently. I feel like since 9/11, too frequently we have heard of terrorist threats, or bombings (whether on our own soil or abroad in war zones against our people). I hate saying this, but honestly I’m used to it. There has always been so much hype and chaos around it all that now it sounds like white noise.

Because it’s happened so frequently it doesn’t effect me as much. I am not saying that I don’t feel sadness, or sorrow for the lives lost and the meaning of the attacks, but the event itself is much less shocking due to the fact that since my childhood i’ve been exposed to events like these.

This leads me to say that people are gross. We do dreadful, horrible, frightening things. Against our own kind! And what sickens me the most is that as an American I can say ‘oh, another terrorist attack’ or ‘oh another bombing’. Just thinking it makes me feel sick.

The second thing that comes to mind when thinking about this event is: solidarity. Naturally, with tragic and dramatic events, people come together and unite. It shows strength, togetherness, and support. We come together in times of sadness to make ourselves feel stronger and bigger, in terms of a group. But why do we only try to enforce togetherness during times of chaos and tragedy?

We call ourselves united, but the moment ‘all is well’ people fall apart again. Groups of people turn against one another, conflict spreads like fire, and people become anything but united. Which then leads to another tragic event.

 Why can’t we always be united? Or do we need tragedy in order to feel united? I don’t have the answers to these questions, but over the past few days I’ve given them a lot of reflection, and all I can say is: ugly. Human nature can be pretty darn ugly.
 I will just side note that I give my heart to France during this time. I truly do feel sad for the losses and the events that have happened over the past few days. #jesuischarlie

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