This is not my typical type of post. But I feel a strong need to add my voice to this discussion. I know I’m opening myself up for all kinds of criticism. We each have the right to our opinion. I will be the person over here—> teaching her children to be compassionate, accepting, tolerant, and caring.
I was driving Little Man to school one morning last week when I saw a sign on the side of a bus, “Report suspicious activity.” At first my brain said, “Yes, we must report suspicious activity,” but then my brain said, “Hey, wait a minute…..someone is bound to take that too far.” It sounded like something from a movie. It sounded like something you might hear in the 1950’s, or 1940’s. I became worried, and afraid.
As citizens who care for one another’s safety, yes we should make known things that are out of order. But there will be those who take advantage of the process. This is my fear…..we are moving backwards, and an environment of fear is being created. People are preying upon the fear they’ve created.
Ban all Muslims from entering the country, Trump says. Create a database. Tell the police about any “suspicious” activity. Sound familiar? Nazi Germany, anyone? Or maybe McCarthy USA? Or we could take it all the way back to Salem, Massachusetts and the witch trials. Create an environment of fear and individualism. Separate neighbor from neighbor so there is no remorse in turning them in, even if you make up “suspicious activity.”
Why are we so afraid of different? There are bad people everywhere. Nothing about skin color, religion, race, sex, or creed saves a person from being evil. Nothing. Look at our own history; you don’t even have to go back too far. We have memorials for a reason – so we remember the bad things we did ourselves. Let’s not go backwards. Yet I fear that’s exactly what’s happening.
I’m not a paranoid person. Neither am I a conspiracy theorist. And I do believe we need to be aware of our surroundings. But I’m more afraid of going back to the days we put millions of Japanese-American citizens into interment camps, had neighbors reporting neighbors as Communist just because they annoyed someone, turned in the girl down the street as a witch just because she looked at you sideways.
When did we stop caring about other people? Nowadays, it’s commonplace for people to shoot other people on the freeway because they cut you off, or to yell at someone in a store for not moving quickly enough. It seems selfish, self-centered, me-first behavior is the more popular way to go anymore. I almost think that’s why the stories of people doing good go viral – because there’s so little of it anymore we pay attention when it does happen. We need more “Love your neighbor as yourself,” and less, separatist, selfish, individualist rhetoric. As a mom, I preach kindness to my children. Would that more would do the same.