In light of the Paris terror attacks the vast majority of my friends and associates are changing their Facebook profile pictures to hold the French flag. Because of solidarity. Or something like that.
The majority of people can be pretty dumb at times.
When I was living in Italy back in 2002 I think it was, the craze to place rainbow colored flags outside your home, perhaps hanging from the balcony, swept the nation. It was supposed to represent peace, in light of the Iraq war which was blundering on at the time. I did not place a flag outside my home. I merely observed that once again the vast majority of people tend to be dumb at times.
Right about now you may be feeling slightly uncomfortable. And that is the point. Feelings. Placing a flag outside your home or on your Facebook page makes you feel good. Maybe it’s a hashtag, something like, #westandwithFrance, or #giveusbackourgirls, or that Charlie Hedbo one. Once again, these make people feel good about themselves. “I stand with them! I show solidarity! I’m a good person!”
You’ve done nothing. And your pitiful feel-goods will not prevent another terrorist attack. If anything, it will entice another one. For they feed on the attention. It is their manna from heaven. Did it work any of the other times? Nope.
There are no Islamic terror attacks in Japan. If I asked you to consider what you think the chances of such an attack occurring, you would most probably say very slim indeed.
Why is that?
Go on, have a think.
Putting a flag on your Facebook page is nothing. It is a cop-out so you feel good about yourself. What you should be doing is asking the hard questions. Why is this happening now? What are the causes? How do we intend to stop this from happening again?
The answers to these questions are very uncomfortable. They are unpalatable in our modern day Western ideology where political correctness runs rampant. Since they are uncomfortable it is much easier to put out a flag. You are saying something, but really saying nothing at all. So you are safe. From uncomfortable truths. For the moment.
I stand to lose something by writing this post. It is connected to my real name. The people who read my book and my future works may turn against me. But I cannot in all consciousness say nothing. I must draw a line in the sand and state my position for all to see. The fact that I have hesitated to write this is indicative of where we are now as a culture. Free speech is not under threat any more. It is under attack.
The good Germans kept their heads down. As did the good Japanese, and the good Russians, and the good Chinese. The list goes on. “But it is only a minority of muslim extremists who commit these acts!”
It was a minority in all those other historical cases as well. And things went pretty badly. Don’t think that it can’t happen here. It is happening. It has been happening for quite some time.
Paris was not killed by complacency. Paris shot itself in the head.