We have been beset by a summer of pain and tragedy.
The horrors of Westminster, Manchester, London Bridge, Finsbury Park is a national tragedy. Those of us who have kids have all hugged them a little longer and a little tighter than usual and tried to insulate them from the avalanche of atrocities in our backyard.
There is something particularly horrific about targeting people when they’re having fun – It felt the same when monsters marched up the beach in Tunisia firing into swim-suited holidaymakers.
To target excited kids, weekend revellers, commuters or people attending worship is unfathomable. Like you, I’m sure, I just can’t comprehend the wickedness.
Neither can I understand some of the social media activity these horrors prompt.
I get the Facebook filters and Twibbons – not for me personally, but I think it’s a nice tribute when we all feel a little impotent and unsure of how to express our anger, shock, sadness etc.
What I can’t understand is the appearance/reappearance of screaming red-faced troll, Tommy Robinson – is he still leader of bigoted knuckle-draggers EDL? Who cares!? – who is all over my social media timelines…and on GMTV! Shared, unfathomably, by people I’d previously liked.
As are posts like “Share this if you think we should deport all Muslim refugees” and “Why are Syrians getting houses when our soldiers sleep on the streets?” – we’ve all seen them. Emotive bull that is usually posted by Britain First or some other right-wing league of keyboard warriors.
What’s perhaps more worrying is the sweet-natured, middle-aged mother sharing petitions to “deport or imprison the jihadists”, “friends” sharing video clips of sacked talk radio presenters ranting about “evil Islam”, that quiet lad from school saying Islam “offends my bacon” and on and on and on…hell, one of my family, who I love unconditionally, massively tested that affection by sharing an editorial from Nick Griffin!
I have no patience for this. None at all. Block, delete, ban, report…no patience.
Just key “Muslim” into Twitter’s search bar if you want an example. I did and quit scrolling after the first 20 tweets – thoroughly depressing.
But then you see the video of the muscled homeboy with the face tattoo – you think “her we go…”, but he’s talking tolerance and about how Muslim kids will be bullied as a result of these atrocities and how that leads to isolation, anger and loneliness; there’s Ian the blood donor stoically holding back tears as he speaks passionately about unity and love just a day after Manchester, and the Imam explaining how no true Muslim would partake in bloodshed and those who do are not of his faith.
It doesn’t outweigh the hate, but it is something of a relief to know that not everyone is buying into the hate epidemic sweeping the country’s social media.
To quote one Twitter sage, “think about what the people who commit these atrocities would like you to do…then do the opposite!”
Spread love, not hate…oh, and while I’m on my high horse, don’t buy The S*n or Daily Mail!