This is slightly political and fairly preachy, so look away now if you don’t want that…
Freedom of speech is such a tight rope of an issue. In the wake of the Westminster attack there has been a huge amount of opinion placed into reporting, and commenting on news storys. Right now, what comes to mind is The Tale of Two Cities quotation “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” However, currently I am seeing the best of humanity and the worst of humanity.
On wednesday my mum got home from work at 2.30pm, we sat and drank a tea and as I went to do my work I asked if she wanted the radio on. Turning the radio on I got ready to bring my stuff to the kitchen, but before I could the reporter interrupted whatever story they were covering to announce there was an attack at Westminster. Sitting down I listened intently as the reporter crossed over to a witness, who was describing what they could see from their window. The next few hours were a series of reports, headlines and images. Slowly the bundle of confusion unraveled, giving some clarity to the events.
I wont go over the events, it has been all over the UK media so its likely you already know the story. I do want to talk about how this matter has affected the nation and those who call it home.
I struggle when people say how we are a multicultural city or nation. I am proud of this, but I also find it sad that this is seen as something to celebrate. It should be the norm. So when I see comments condeming a group of muslim women standing on a bridge to show their solidarity with the victims I struggle, I struggle when the mother of the attacker who has publicly condemned her son is made to be a liar. I struggle when I see people making jokes about how it is a shame Teresa May survived.
This attack has become an excuse for people to condone the hatred in their heart. An attack isn’t a split second event, it seeps into peoples lives. It affects their thoughts and feelings towards locations and people.
On the bus to work last Thursday I sat and looked at the button I needed to press feeling helpless. I am only one person what can I do? How can I help? Is there any point? I debated the constant battle between ignorance and acceptance I see daily. In the end I realised maybe it is pointless, perhaps hatred will always be a part of society. There may be no way to eradicate it, where there is a mix of cultures there may be no chance of total acceptance.
I have decided to ignore this. I will not let the small minded amongst this nation beat me. By continuing to acceptance and inquire about what I don’t understand the good will win. I accept it is a romantic thought, that simply by refusing the bow down I will somehow right the wrongs of the world. It may do nothing to help, but its the least I can do for now.