It is with a heavy heart that I look at the nation of my birth this morning. On the back of an awful act of terror committed by psychopathic lunatics, an act which breaks the heart, once again. It is the response of (some of) the people, my people, that saddens me even more.
When hate is met with hate, all it does is breed more hate. Over the last 24 hours I have read some disturbing things. You have people who haven’t been to church in years or more demanding that muslims be removed because England is a Christian country (not very Jesus like behavior by the way). You have people demanding vengeance from people who have no connection to what has happened. Others demanding the removal of human rights for criminals, tempting, but who gets to decide? Most of all, what you have is hate, in a lot of cases it manifests itself as racism, yet in other places it is not even refined enough to be labeled.
The hate problem in England is pandemic, it is so ingrained that I could not see it before I moved to another country. You might think I am overstating it, but watch a game of football over there and listen to the crowd. Oh, sure, they are just having a laugh, the referee knows they don’t really think his is a bastard, the forward is not really a shit slow bastard. These are some of the milder things I remember, chants that I joined in with, just like everyone else. We were just having a laugh, getting them worked up, its ok because everyone did it. Or is it? I look back now and I am ashamed of the culture that I chose to fit into. It is not having a laugh, it is hate, it is vitriol and it is absolutely wrong. It is not just sports and recreation though, it can be found with the man on the street, on message boards, it has driven me away from Leeds United. The problem is when you allow such things to be acceptable in the name of fun, you also begin to breed tolerance for hate that is not “fun”.
So come on England, you can do better, you can be better, I know because I have seen it, you showed it at the Olympics last year, many people show it everyday!! The good side of that great nation needs to come to the fore again. Hate should not be met with hate, you need to rise above the hate, meet the hate with love, show people that there is a better way. Live that better way, be that better way & watch your surroundings change, positively, as a result.
Please don’t misunderstand me, I am not in anyway trying to excuse terror & extremists. The law must be obeyed and upheld, this is nothing to do with that, this is about our response to such incidents as the public, we all can, and need to be better with that. Don’t judge an entire people based on the acts and thoughts of an imbalanced, mentally ill few.
I know it is difficult, you look at the news and it is death, death, death, murder, bombings, suicide. The world is insane, we want answers, yet the answers do not come. All we can do is find the positive in life, find hope, cling to that hope and share it with others.
I applaud my friends who I have seen standing up against this very thing, you are the England I am proud to have come from. May other be inspired by your stance.