It’s awful and heartbreaking and terrifying and absolutely unacceptable.
But please stop pretending it’s incomprehensible. And please stop thinking the perpetrators must be “mentally unbalanced.”
We in the white western world are in their countries, killing civilians, bombing hospitals, and destroying infrastructure. And in “our” own countries (as if we have some more right to the land than brown people do), we in the white western world are incredibly racist and place huge barriers to education, employment, and the freedom to walk the streets and worship unmolested.
It is not okay; it is never okay for “them” to be killing civilians and committing terrorist acts. Absolutely in no way is it justifiable. But please let’s stop pretending we’re not doing the same thing in other countries, and please let’s remember that one person’s terrorist is another person’s freedom fighter.
An eye for an eye leaves everyone blind.
Compassion begins at home.
Don’t let this polarise you even more. Don’t let your governments and friends convince you that this is a reason for revenge, for more violence, for escalation, for the commission of more acts that will incite more rage.
The French government says the eight terrorists are dead and they’re looking for the accomplices. Let’s be wise enough and show enough self-control to let the consequences of these actions be paid by the actual people involved—leave their families alone, leave the Muslims on the street alone, don’t hold every brown person responsible for this.
We have to be better than this. We have to stop flailing around in a panic and causing even more harm.
Hurt people hurt people, and everyone is hurting right now. Grieve together, not separately. Open yourself to the possibility that we can can do this differently. Become better and braver. Don’t let fear make you small.
What they did is terrible. Do not become what you hate.