Sunday, November 15, 2015

Mizzou vs. Paris...

I'll be honest.  I haven't really spent much time reading about the racial tensions at the University of Missouri.  I have a friend who lives in Columbia, Missouri and she has been posting about the situation on her Facebook.  But given that I am not in the United States right now and don't have any personal ties to Missouri or Mizzou, I haven't followed the news coverage of the trouble going on there.  I did, however, spot this post about how some Mizzou protestors and supporters are upset that so many people are focused on Paris right now.  One person went as far as to Tweet "Fuck Paris."  Yeah.  That makes me want to stop and listen to him speak about his cause... Not.

I reposted the admittedly snarky post to a group I run on Facebook.  One member, who has a biracial son at Mizzou, took me for task for not caring about the racism issue.  It's not that I don't care about racism.  It's a huge problem that has been going on since the dawn of time.  It'll be going on long after I'm dead.  However, I have to admit that when Bill was explaining to me just what all the hubbub about Mizzou is-- it involves racist remarks by students, a hunger striker (and those who read this blog may know how I feel about those), and a potentially cancelled football game with BYU,  I had to stop him.   I literally held up my hand and said, "Stop."  

I'm sorry.  When I think about all the things one could be upset about right now...  a crashed airliner full of Russians, 37 people killed in Beirut, people killed and wounded in Paris, ISIS claims responsibility for all of these events, by the way.  I just find it hard to believe that people are actually being shamed for being more focused on these ISIS perpetrated tragedies that affect the whole world rather than racism at Mizzou.  Talk about a first world problem.

Simply being able to get an education is a privilege denied to many people worldwide.  Being able to attend a university and speak one's mind is an even greater privilege.  Yes, it would be better if we didn't have racial tensions anymore.  It would be a good thing if everyone in the world was suddenly made oblivious to another person's skin color or religious beliefs.  However, the reality is that these issues are not going to go away anytime soon, if ever.  To my knowledge, no one has been killed at Mizzou.

Right now, I happen to live fairly close to Paris.  I could be there in an hour if I took a plane.  Moreover, a car full of weapons was reportedly stopped by German police in Bavaria.  It was apparently bound for Paris, based on the GPS system.  Fortunately, the German police stopped the vehicle and arrested the man, who was apparently smuggling weapons from the Balkans.  Here's another story about a car stopped on the ferry to Denmark, also loaded with weapons.

Who's to say what happened in Paris couldn't happen here in Stuttgart or anywhere else in the vicinity?  I currently live in a country where thousands of "refugees" have come from the Middle East.  According to CNN, one of those "refugees" was a bomber responsible for the attack on Paris.  ISIS is a problem that affects the whole world and, one could say it's also a problem rooted in racism and one group wanting to avenge and overpower another group.

So... it's not that I don't care about racism or even Mizzou.  It's just that in the grand scheme of things, random people being killed by a group of murderous Middle Eastern criminals is an issue that is more important to me than racist remarks said at an American university.  And I don't need to be shamed for feeling the way I do. 

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