Politicizing Tragedy


I spend much less time than I used to in “general population” Facebook, less time scrolling through my Timeline. Some of that is because of a migration to “groups”, smaller communities designed for actual discussion, some is due to a re-prioritization of my minimal moments with nothing more productive to be doing, and a lot of it is disillusionment. Since the election and its outcome more and more people seem to have become emboldened to share their opinions on all things societal and political, an irony that I recognize as I sit here and do exactly that.

Some of it’s my own fault. I refuse to unfriend anybody for reasons based on political or religious beliefs different from my own, no matter how tenuous my connection to them may be. I also purposefully follow and read sites and columns that I know advocate views antithetical to my own. Algorithms and partisan “news” media make it extremely easy to isolate oneself and never be exposed to opinion that doesn’t align with your own. I try and avoid falling into that habit.

Sometimes I’m disgusted by what I see. After the horrific suicide bombing earlier this week at a concert in Manchester, England there were some who felt that this was an example of karma, that twenty three year old pop singer Ariana Grande “got what was coming to her.”  The young singer had openly supported the campaign of Hillary Clinton, attended January’s Women’s March, and two years ago was quoted out of context while joking that she “hated America”  when presented with a tray of over sized fried donuts. Obviously this makes her a terrorist sympathizer who hopefully has now learned her lesson in the realities of the world. Excuse me while I go puke.

Less often are the times when I become absolutely fucking infuriated, as I did after coming across this bullshit:



I’ve never thought of myself as a liberal, preferring to cling to the belief that I am a centrist.

That doesn’t really matter, my beliefs besides the point. I’d be just as angry if I saw something from the left side blaming the President and his policies, anything that used this senseless tragedy to try and further an agenda or assign culpability. I not only pray that liberals never have to face anything like this happening to their children, I pray that conservatives, libertarians, socialists,  progressives, tea partiers and Knights of Ren never have to.

The Middle East is a complicated place, known as one of the birthplaces of civilization but also as a cradle of conflict. A region almost constantly at war since the rise of Sumer and the Early Dynastic Period of 3000 BC.  Sunni and Shiite battling for the soul of Islam since the death of the Prophet Muhammad in 632. From The Persian Constitutional Revolution in 1905 and its attempts at modernization to the creation of Israel in 1948 to the Iranian Islamic Revolution in 1979, the last century nothing but shifting landscapes.

The Middle Eastern youth of today have known nothing but poverty and war. Their leaders promise them Paradise if they martyr themselves for ill defined causes and wars without borders, without care for who is targeted as long as it is done in the name of whatever group or ideology is being followed.

I don’t know what the answer is, or even if there is one. I know that only by working together, Democrat and Republican, with a combination of strategies, will we ever realize the goal that we all share – an end to the senseless violence and strategy.  Being dicks to each other and using dead children to try and build a case for your side being “right” accomplishes nothing.




35 thoughts on “Politicizing Tragedy”

  1. We actually stopped Politicising our views for a full two days after the bombing. The Election campaign stopped; everything ground to a halt.

    I’m the same actually. It’s as if I have some sort of death wish that actively seeks out views that make me physically sick. We had one guy on the news telling us that we should send Muslims back to their own country, and a ton of other hate speechers spout their crap. I refuse to be trapped in an echo chamber of my own thoughts and become a fragile little flower like so much of us are becoming.

    Opposing views are healthy, it keeps us balanced.

    For me the situation is straight forward. We’re only in the mess because we’ve been bombing, killing and installing puppet dictatorship in their countries for nearly 20 years now. We stop that, then the violence stops.

    1. I think it may be a bit more complicated than that, but we certainly have made some mistakes about who we choose to support and have tried harder to impose some sort of influence over the region than we ever needed to

  2. Whenever something awful like this happens I always wonder how anyone can want to automatically tie it to anything political. Why isn’t the first reaction to be sadness and grief over tragedy?Shutting the hell up is always an option, too. I wish more people would take that approach. Great post.

  3. I read the same comments with disgust. There is just no need for it – especially immediately after the event when it is all still so raw. I don’t want to read it – but then as you say, you run the risk of never reading any viewpoints that differ to yours! It’s difficult. I try not to spend too much time on Facebook now in case I get enraged about something 😉 #ablogginggoodtime

  4. That is an actual meme?! Someone took the time and made the effort to create that … Just wow. Just as well I didn’t see it on my feed as my follow up post would have been way less considered than yours. Just what is wrong with people?!

  5. Oh wow I think this is my favourite post, it’s so well written. I truly cannot believe some of the things said about AG and that quote is just unfathomable. Narrow minded and ill educated to say the very least. What has happened lately has been truly awful and using it for gain, of whatever nature just cannot be right. The problems are deep seated as you say and are so hard to overcome that I am not sure anyone really has the answer. Either way the loss people experienced and the terror they went through should be respected and not utilised for political gain #ablogginggoodtime

  6. I haven’t seen anything like this in my feed thank goodness…but like you say it’s easy to be surrounded by like-minded people & never exposed to anyone with opposing views… #KCACOLS

    1. There is nothing wrong with that either. I’ve been tempted to rid a few people from my feed and have held off…for now

  7. Absolutely right. It’s hard enough to have to deal with the atrocities that are happening in the world right now without having to further deal with the awful opinions and slurs from some of the small-minded people in social media. Thanks for joining up with #KCACOLS, hope you can make it next time.

  8. The reaction of some people towards Ariana Grande after the bombing infuriated me. Instead of being angry with the actual terrorist who committed the act, they somehow piled their anger onto her!
    Thanks for linking up to #AnythingGoes 🙂

  9. Yes. I actually think that politicising is perfectly valid in a certain respect because, in truth, these things are political. And discussions surrounding the increased risks created by certain foreign policies, by arms deals, by cuts to security and public services, are extremely relevant. However, what many people do is use these events to peddle their ill-informed prejudices, and that is different. That is not making any valid or helpful point, and it is disrespectful, and counterproductive since the point of terrorism is to try to breed hatred and discord. And I do also believe that even the valid politicising and discussions should wait – they don’t need to start within half an hour. There should be some time to just let it be about the victims.

    The comments relating to Ariana Grande I found annoying for another reason too, actually. There was a self-centred arrogance on display in that too – certain American commentators (and Presidents!) making it all about an American celebrity when it really wasn’t. There may or may not have been some element of there being an added bonus to it being her concert, or to it being a lot of young women targetted, but it really wasn’t mostly about her, and she wasn’t the target, she was never in danger. That man was of Libyan background, and his beliefs were tied into British relations with Libya, not Ariana Grande’s liberal and feminist platform. The target was the audience leaving the concert, and those waiting to collect them, not anybody connected to the performer. This is no criticism of her, incidentally. She wasn’t at fault, it must have been a terrible experience for her, and I think she handled it really, really well, and didn’t at all make everything about her. But all those people who were using it to make comment on her, as well as the political attacks they were making, I also just ended up thinking ‘oh my god, get over yourselves’. #AnythingGoes

    1. very well said. I always enjoy your takes on politics. I feel that I’ve learned a lot about the UK from you. Unfortunately it sounds a lot like you have the same fools running the show and running their mouths as we do

  10. There’s so been so much going on over here in the UK, the last thing we need is people adding more fuel to the fire. I agree about people’s political views on FB too – some of the things I’ve read are pretty unbelieveable! #KCACOLS

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