I was never one for being proficient with tact.
As we have already involuntarily boarded the train of political correctness and the turgid paradigm of diagnostically indulging our social hypochondria with infantile, false empathy in attempts to conform and become allies to what would have been infinitely mocked by our predecessors, all this while either either purposefully ignoring cognitive dissonances and substituting it with blind or sinister sympathies. Nothing irks me more than sentiments riddled with dishonesty.
However, the nature of things being political very recently have been synonymous with things being disingenuous. Cultural sensitivities for example, in which the utterances of simple phrases are deemed catastrophic to some, in which when said decimates the egos and is linked with primitive forms of standoffish, irrational defenses. The mere act of “acting offended” is enough to silence any form of dialogue that may serve to offer solutions, but rather like a pig in mud, we allow the infantilisation of individuals or groups to metaphorically “roll in their own mud” rather than offer alternatives to support them with existing, debilitating predicaments that they, and their communities suffer from.
The reluctance I bear when expressing these words is after the inundation of considerations I have been trained, to ‘act professional’, be wary of ‘controversial opinion’ or ensuring I do not stoke the flames to be unemployable due to being ‘offensive’ in any public space, such that would be deemed to dangerous in my chosen profession of being a teacher. To that I ask, as a role of an educator, should my rights as an citizen, a human and my own identity be compromised in a contract of silence? And should education, rather than tackling ideas and hard-hitting discussion be thrown away for the risk of offense, turn to inoffensive chatter, devoid of feeling or sympathy and be strategised to form round-about ways to avoid socially and philosophically relevant issues?
Don’t fret, I don’t use the classroom space as a vehicle for ideological indoctrination. Rather, they are conducive spaces that can be used for students to strengthen and gain perspectives of viewpoints they wish to discuss or find more about. I merely mention the actual compromise I face when expressing a view outside a professional context, one rooted in personal experiences as an individual. Here, I am, enraged at the way society has willingly thrown away one of its greatest assets; the freedom of dialogue, of constructive criticism and logic. So many times have I heard the phrase freedom of speech, or it’s just my opinion from individuals willfully feigning ignorance of their apathy to consider the opinions of others, but are more than happy to thrust around their ineptitude to further educate themselves that would improve their statements from simplistic, irrelevant, well-rehearsed reductionist slogans.
“Genocide? Why not make the Earth clean again!”
Of course, that quote is a silly example of what I’m trying to present. However, what’s quite frightening about that actual sentiment is that no longer are we probing the intent of those words, as if they were hidden behind veils of protected echelons of society, any criticism would be deemed inappropriate and offensive. And any action that would strongly be linked with such statements would be fiercely protected as an action that is highly misunderstood, or critics would be deemed discriminatory despite said protectors of protected groups to admitting their condolences for the lives lost. Here is where I grow aggravated at what I deem disingenuous sentimentality. An act in which I’ve previously discussed with constant slacktivism, in which people express an outpouring of emotion or culturally appropriate sensitivity, but then go through a cognitive dissonance of relying on their feelings and condolences to justify their guilt of being completely apathetic, or offering no solution or reluctance to discuss the actual issue. A socially relevant issue has befallen upon you, urging you to acknowledge the consequences and the aftermath, but the moment feelings are hurt – it no longer becomes contentious, rather it becomes an escape and an avoidance strategy to carry out in the world like a tragedy cycle. A cycle in which, people emotionally divest themselves after latching onto their fleeting, false sympathies and just wait for another tragedy to creep up on them for them to do the same thing.
If I may be shamelessly, culturally relevant…
“Band-aids don’t fix bullet holes
You say sorry just for show
If you live like that, you live with ghosts”
– Bad Blood, Taylor Swift
Surely, the context I discuss is different from a revenge song meant for Katy Perry, but there you have it. Acknowledgement of any tragedy that befalls our world is a start. To build further, we need to start addressing how to ensure or prevent tragedies from happening again or discussing them to recognise solutions and make an impact. A simple “sorry” or a “statement” doesn’t bring back the lives of the people who are brutally murdered and these days, those seem to spread faster than an STI. The Sorry Transmission Intervention in which apparently an apology fixes everything magically like a redo button. Guess what? It doesn’t. Without further strategies, discussions and actual actions – I’m sorry to say, it doesn’t do shit.
To respond to the recent tragedy happening at Orlando, Florida, it doesn’t surprise me that censorship is rampant on the issue and delusional social activists on defending the murderer on the internet. The focal message is lost on the semantics, the prejudices or the struggle to fitting discrimination into a neatly packaged agenda.
To ANYONE who doesn’t see the sin, or wrongness of murder of any kind is misguided. No justification, whether it be related to a doctrine, law or someone’s attitude can change that. This transcends any kind of belief system, political ideology or agenda. Murder is wrong. And how have we come to that conclusion? Because despite our differences, what makes us all the same is that we are all human, we are all living and we all know the preciousness of life (at least I hope so). If you took a second to find sympathy for those that would endorse, support or sympathize with people who conduct such heinous acts – you should take a closer look at your distorted sense of morals.
For 50 people have died and even more of those were injured. And before any links about violent acts and murders happening elsewhere in the world, I do not suggest that myself highlighting the Orlando massacre to diminish those events. Murder is murder. The taking of something so fleeting, tangible and precious so recklessly and senselessly, with disregard of the hurt that will irreversibly affect others, is wrong, no matter the scale or no matter the motivation.
Especially if such motivations are due to something as innocuous as sexuality and if such actions compromise the safety of others. As I’ve stated previously, I wish for a world in which everyone can be safe, and follow out their dreams of contributing to a better society for all. As for myself, whether I fall in love with a man or woman, I hope I could do that in a far more accepting world in which my freedoms to love, be who I am and make a positive impact isn’t impeded by small minded individuals who struggle or are willfully ignorant to have a guiding sense of morals and ethics that look to a common humanity rather than arbitrary rules ingrained and unchallenged.
And as a foolish, but wide-eyed compulsive optimist, I genuinely have hope that it can happen in the future.