I had my usual Friday post all written out… and then I heard about the Boston marathon suspects.
I was born into a race (notice that I did not say a culture) of people that frequently gets lumped into a group.
What one person of similar color thinks, says, and likes, we all must as well, simply because our ancestors originated from the same continent.
We clearly must all share the same feelings and hurts, because we’re all… obviously… just alike.
This has been a source of frustration for me throughout my life, so you’ll have to forgive me if I react strongly to anyone being categorized or persecuted for something they haven’t done, endorsed, or been a part of.
I’m not merely a token representation of a race… or a religion… or a socioeconomic status.
I bellowed out “We Built This City” while driving to work this morning, I’m once again refusing to wear jeans on Casual Friday (you’re lucky I’m not wearing white gloves, people… don’t complain), and I’m perishing for sushi (it’s been two weeks… too long… too long). I love gloomy weather, I adore corn (not on the cob), and I have a phobia of working out in front of living people.
I’m not anything but entirely myself.
I have, only in the past few years, discovered a group of people that enjoy many of the same things, but we’re still all very different people. I don’t assume that the two sisters that come over to watch Doctor Who are two bodies with a single mind, nor do I assume that since the DW group is predominantly white, everyone shares the same background, food preferences, and tastes in music.
There is no hive mind.
I’m getting into this now because I’ve been listening to people shriek in high-pitched, righteous voices about “The Muslims”… because there has been some information that the Boston Marathon bombers may have been been Muslim or converted to Islam.
I’ve been watching the fever spread all morning, and I’m waiting for people to start boiling over… per usual… so I’m just going to say this:
All Muslims are not terrorists.
I would go so far as to say that most Muslims are not terrorists… just as most white males in their 40’s are not serial killers.
All Muslims do not bomb things or kill people… any more than all blacks wear rags on their heads, love Tyler Perry, and despise white people… any more than all whites watch Duck Dynasty, only drink fancy coffees, and are terribly afraid of their differently skinned neighbors.
THERE IS NO HIVE MIND.
Are there people in the world with dangerous agendas?
Yes. Of course there are… but those people and those agendas do not solely belong to one group, nor is the entire group responsible for the outflow of that agenda.
People of every race and nationality (and certain religions, let us not forget) have banded together to do horrendous things, and will probably continue to do so. If we start hating and killing everyone who was vaguely or superficially associated with a horrific crime, would there be anyone left alive?
If I, as a Christian, were to step out of my front door and be assaulted because of the people slaughtered in the Crusades, would we not find that outrageous?
Should every Christian be blamed for the deadly bombing of an abortion clinic?
We all have the fundamental right to be viewed as individuals.
I am not a representative of all that is black, nor am I some sort of fascinating anomaly.
I’m just me, and I would like to be viewed and known as me.
I would hope that we could check our fears, question our assumptions, and extend that same basic courtesy to everyone… including the person who lives next door who happens to be a Muslim… who has never hurt anyone.
Let’s stop lumping people into boxes and categories, can we?