I’m super busy at the moment and should most certainly be doing uni work rather than typing up blog posts, however in the wake of today’s bombing in Manchester, I feel that I need to clear my head of some of the clutter.
Most people that know me, are more than aware of my addiction to social media. Recent posts that I’ve been reading more and more frequently across such avenues have been really troubling me. With this mornings terrible news and the way it is being relayed, I’m finding myself even more dismayed.
The levels of empathy for those hurt and their families is truly reassuring, but if the news is true that the attack has been committed by a suicide bomber, I feel that their also needs to be some empathy on their behalf. Thus far all that I’ve seen has been blame, stigmatisation and abuse. When will we see that we all have a role to play in these events? We, each and everyone of us, construct our society and the atmosphere which incubates extremism. In posting these message of ‘scumbags’ etc, we are perpetuating the problem. Rather than finding scapegoats, we need to acknowledge our own complicity in creating these events. I am by no means excusing or condoning the action, but we need to look for the underlying structural reasons driving these events. They’re not isolated events by ‘crazy, lunatics’, these attacks are often committed people who are well informed and highly reflective about the actions they are undertaking. They develop serious grievances against society to the point that we need to take revenge, yet we don’t question the source of their grievance we question them as individuals.
My feelings with regards to this matter have been growing for sometime, mainly as a result of the posts relating to the upcoming snap election. I find it worrying when I see so many of my friends, whom I respect and admire, posting misinformed, bias, negative and often abusive messages on social media. I understand that people feel extremely strongly about their political opinions but focusing on the negatives of ‘the other’ serves to fragment our communities. Others opinions and values may not mirror our own, yet they’re just as valid…yes, even those who want to disband the NHS or remove school dinners for children. Rather than judge, I truly wish that people would open their ears and start listening to where these voices are coming from.
I know that many people will be extremely frustrated with my own views here, and I do apologise to those people, but I certainly feel that the judgemental attitudes pervading our society have impeded my life personally. I can’t imagine that there are many people reading this now who do not agree with that statement. To counter this, I intend not to project the fault upon others but actually look to myself. I can be just as judgemental as the next person. I’ve poked fun at the girl who I’ve believed has been dressed ‘too slutty’, or purposely sat away from the guy on the train with a skin head and lots of tattoos, (not you Madness, promise) so I too am an architect of the negativity which drives people to feelings of hostility.
Once again, I hope that I haven’t upset people too much with this post, but as a emerging historian and sociologist I feel compelled to document my thought processes at this socially significant point in time.