The World is Bleeding

Late last week, deadly twin bombings tore through Beirut. Within a day, similar attacks were carried out in Paris.

The world mourns.

Pundits discuss air strikes. Politicians approve military response. Governors refuse to accept Syrian refugees, with my own Governor explaining that “the safety and security of the people of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts” takes priority.

No Syrian refugees, he says, those people are dangerous.

We saw that from Paris.

Although at least one of bombers was a French national. “A Frenchman born to Algerian parents,” the Telegraph reminds us. We have enough dangerous brown people already.

The world is bleeding.

The New York Times runs the headline: Beirut, Also the Site of Deadly Attacks, Feels Forgotten.

As if they’re the fat kid on the playground. The kid we know should feel sorry for, if only we could stop secretly thinking: thank goodness it’s not me.

Charitably, I’d like to imagine overlooking the tragedy in Beirut as a coping mechanism: there’s just too much terror to take in.

The world is bleeding. And nothing we do can stop it.

Perhaps that thought is just too terrible to accept.

But I suspect that’s not at the root of the disparity in response. Beirut sounds like a place that would get bombed. Paris does not. Do we imagine Beirut as a bustling, urban city, full of young people whose skinny jeans we would silently judge?

We are used to watching brown people die.

That’s so sad, we sigh.

Thank goodness it wasn’t here.

The world is bleeding.

I have no solutions, no glimpses of hope. We are in a dark world of our own and our forefather’s making.

I don’t know how we suture the wounds.

But I do know, as the great Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

And ultimately, that is all I am left with: love for the people of Lebanon, for the people of Paris, and love, too, for the people of Syria – fleeing a terror I’m secretly glad is not in my back yard.

The least we could do is welcome them.

 

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