1. The use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes.
Today across the Nation many people are mourning/reflecting/honoring/ (take your pick I have heard them all today) the lives lost 11 years ago. As a Nation we are asking ourselves if we are safer than we were before September 11, 2001. Will terrorist hit us again? Who should we be afraid of? I say, no we are not safer than before, but not for the reasons you might think; our country is eroding from the inside out; we are doing it to ourselves. We need to stop terrorizing each other.
As a Nation, we have become increasingly divided and vitriolic. We are letting our political views define who we think we are, and who those who are around us. Instead of respecting other’s points of views, we are becoming intolerant of any view that clashes with our own. Just as the suicide bombers allow their ideologue to turn to hate, we lash out at those who disagree with us. When we try to tear each other down with words and deeds, we are no better than those who crashed planes into the World Trade Centers. If anything, we are helping those who hate us.
Think I am being hyperbolic? Take the story of the republican pizza restaurant owner who hugged President Obama the other day. First, read Dictionary.Com’s definition of terrorist I posted at the top of my post, then read this article http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/10/scott-van-duzer-big-apple-pizza-yelp-bear-hug_n_1871329.html?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular. (Go ahead, I’ll wait)
This is a man who does not let his political views cloud his judgment. He is a registered republican, who weighed the issues that were important to him and voted for who he thought best represented them; turns out it was a democrat. The president went to see him to thank him for his involvement in his local community. Van Duzer frequently hosts blood drives. So what did this nice man, whom obviously cares about his community get for his warm welcome to the President? He got a bunch of nasty Yep reviews from people who never even ate at his restaurant! Fellow American citizens were getting on the site for one purpose only, to tear down his business. Yes, this big-hearted man received intimidation threats for political purposes. This is home grown terrorism.
This is just one example, luckily for Van Duzer, others came to his defense and Yelp pulled the nasty reviews from their site. We find this sort of nasty divisive fighting every day now. One does not have to look far for more examples. It seems no matter what the subject, online discussion threads turn nasty as people try to intimidate and coerce others for political purposes. We are tearing each other apart, bit-by-bit, day-by-day.
If we truly want to honor those whose lives were lost to foreign terrorists, if we truly want to heal as a Nation we have to step back and look at where we are headed. It’s okay to disagree with others who do not share our views or our religious values. It’s not okay to let our opinions get the better of us. In fact, before we even form opinions, we should damn well know the facts of the issues our opinions are based on. Those who used the Koran as an excuse to blow us up did not fully understand the text. They took much of it out of context and used it for political purposes. Every time we voice an uneducated opinion, or twist facts to suit our ideas, we are no better than those tried to pull us down on 9/11.
We are quickly becoming a Nation who views those with different views as “other”. We are no longer a strong Nation of one; we are fragmenting into smaller like-minded groups, and it is going to bite us all. As the Great Patrick Henry once said “United we stand, divided we fall”. If we fall, we will have no one but ourselves to blame.
5 thoughts on “A New Kind of Terrorism is Amoung Us”
Sari, this is a wonderful and thought provoking post, and too sadly true. We seem to be living in a world/nation where it’s playground rules gone overboard.
Thanks for stopping by Tamara. You got it, I wanted people to stop and think. You are so right, the rules we used to live by have gone. I shutter to think where we are going.
I was just talking to my Dad about this. He’s a retired Colonel in USAF. Was a Republican… and all his friends still are…. I can go on with reasons why he’s more open minded now. Bush Junior was a big reason for sure. He’s traveled the world and knows people who are often summed up in stereotypes are really not far off from us in general….
I hope as the internet makes our World smaller… that we can all appreciate each others culture, while respecting the individuality of the person themselves. I would want the same. I know I’ve made friends with people all over the world on the internet…. and have truly changed because of it. Don’t feel that tribal instinct so much anymore. Noticed a big difference during the Olympics. I was able to be happy for an individual from another country’s victory. Found myself more rooting for the underdog. I think that’s a good thing in the long run.
The other day I was talking to a girl involved with gangs, who was trying to get her kids back from CPS. She lost them when she attacked her husband upon finding out he cheated on her. She was going through many programs…. and was doing well. She recently saw a girl her age…. from another gang in her gang’s small territory. She immediately went after her. There was a fight and she got arrested. She’s never been out of this town and was fighting over a couple of blocks with a girl who could be her best friend had they happen to live on the same block. I feel like we do the same thing on a larger scale. It’s ridiculous…….
Thanks for writing this Sari……..:)
Wow, Mark, you really made this hit home. Leave it to you, to go deep! How can we expect our country to come together when our young are fighting those who live in their backyard. As much as we are told we should think globally, we need to remember we have problems close to home.
Yes… and I think the more we think globally, and know more about each other. The more difficult it will be to vilify and hate.