Two days ago, over 130 people were murdered in France. Innocent people who happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time...
Ya know - risky places - like a soccer game, eating at a restaurant, visiting with friends at a bar, enjoying a rock concert.
Naturally, Facebook & other social media EXPLODED with the kind of responses that only the truly meme-iophiles can compose -
"I stand with France!"
"We're with you, Paris!"
Profile photos were 'shopped so that the colors of the French flag were everywhere. We were irate. We were hurt. We were one with our amis.
But about 3 hours into our heart-felt show of love and support, the first Somebody had to point out, "Why is PARIS so special? Look around. What about --- Where are their memes and flags and shows of support?!!!"
Um... WHAT the??? So all night I stewed and burned and fretted - and worried about the stroke I was about to have - while mentally giving lectures, and writing speeches, and letters to the editor. The following are my feelings without all of the swearing that always bounces around my head.
So, for those of you who said I should publish my Facebook 'musings,' here's your 'book.' Enjoy. Oh, and pretend it's written in blue, white and red.
I'm truly perplexed by some of the comments on Facebook critical of why so many people are changing their profile pictures and posting big memes that say things like "We're with you, Paris." They think that because thousands of people are killed every day by despots, and little girls are kidnapped from schools and raped, and people are suffering every day without a break, focusing on Paris is somehow... what's the word...? Wrong? Misguided? Whatever.
So, lemme see. Let's say the people a couple of streets over from me have their house burned down over & over & over. Nobody but the police and fire department personnel can go onto their property and help, because it's just too dangerous. So none of the rest of us can personally help, no matter how much we want to or how hard we try. But, even though we don't KNOW them or anyone like them, or understand their culture or clothing or rules, we donate money and we pay taxes so the help can be delivered by professionals. We pray for them & feel so badly for them because it's been going on for years and years and years.
There's another family a few doors down from us. We and some of our other neighbors have been to their beautiful & historic home a time or two. Their home had nearly been taken over by some truly horrible people about 60 years ago It was bombed and partially destroyed - in fact, many of our ancestors and friends went there and risked their own lives and fought to keep them safe. So some of us even have a bit of their history in our family stories. Heck, we've even learned some of their language at school and read books written by them and seen some of them in movies.
Over the last 60 years, they've rebuilt that home and made it a showplace of lovely things. They've felt safe, and except for a few break ins & a couple of cross burnings on the lawn within the past few years, they've been able to move forward.
But a couple of days ago, their home was savagely attacked by evil men. Men who just wanted to hurt and discourage them - and you know why? It's because they offered THEIR support to the people whose house was constantly burning. They offered them shelter.
We were shocked! How awful! How evil! And most of us want to show our support. Because we on our street know what it's like to have evil men savagely attack our homes - it happened to us back in 2001. And we know what it's like to have some people across town say our own house deserved it because we tried to help others whose homes were being destroyed.
We put our signs up for and send our messages to the fancy house that was just hit. We know that it doesn't diminish the pain or hurt or fear of the people who are living under constant siege - they're never far from our thoughts.
I know that the people under siege would also raise a flag of support and solidarity if they could. Because that's what people do. They support one another when they take a hit.
So yeah. I'm gonna post Paris memes and keep my face blue, white and red - to show solidarity to the people who were hurt because they showed solidarity with and took in people who were hurt.