Just because someone looks at you the wrong way, that doesn’t mean they’re out to get you. Just because someone believes in something else, that doesn’t make them a terrorist. Just because someone see’s life a little differently, that doesn’t mean they’re crazy. We are living in an age of paranoia where one wrong word, one misinterpreted gesture, and you could be looking at ten years or more behind bars while people you don’t even know argue over your fate. Nobody knows who they can trust anymore, and out of fear they will jump on anything that makes them feel even the slightest bit uncomfortable. I’ve heard people say that things like prejudice and racism don’t exist anymore, that we have overcome such shallow judgements of others in order to create a more accepting world. If you will excuse my language for a moment, I find that to be a load of bullshit.
It’s true that most of the people I have befriended throughout my lifetime have been equipped with very open minds, and I am thankful for that. For the longest time, I assumed that everyone else had minds just like my friends, open to new possibilities and accepting to anything different. How naive I was. It feels like I can’t even walk a block down the street without overhearing a racist slur, or a bunch of guys talking about how something is ‘just so gay’. Even sexism is still prevalent, even though women have more than capable of the same feats as men.
As more and more people become more open minded, just as many people seem to fall back onto old dogmas and preconceived ideologies that have no place in modern society. People don’t seem to realize how powerful a thing fear can be, especially when they let it consume them and control the way they see things around them. All it takes is one moment to cause a person to generalize that experience onto anyone who is in somehow related to the people involved. 9/11 is a prime example of this. All it took were the actions of a few members of a terrorist group, and now if someone from a middle eastern country so much as sneezes over the boarder, they could be put on trial for a conspiratorial act against the state. If this isn’t prejudice, then I don’t know what is.
We let the actions of a few dictate how we judge an entire community. I came across an article this morning about Abu Qatada, who was accused of having a close connection with Osama Bin Laden. Seven long years on trial, and it is only now that they have decided that it’s time to let him ago. How does it take seven years to determine a man’s innocence? So much time is spent trying to determine whether or not a person is innocent, you can’t help but wonder if perhaps these lengthy deliberations are being fueled by personal biases. If you are convinced that someone is guilty before any evidence is placed on the table, it has to be kind of hard to separate yourself from your initial impression. We’re only human, after all.
We are living in a paranoid world, where the innocent suffer so that others can feel safe. This is one of the driving forces behind why I want to become a journalist. Everything we write is based purely on the facts; no biases and no personal feelings, just writing about everything as it is. Journalists give voices to the voiceless, and bring the elites down to the same level as your average Joe. They bring out the truth, which is the only remedy for this epidemic of worldwide paranoia.
As always, I encourage you to share your opinions, thoughts or anything else that has to do with this particular topic of discussion. I am also open to criticisms, since no one is perfect and nobody knows everything. Otherwise, that’s all for today.