If we as a nation, and we as a species, choose to turn our backs and shun people with brown skin, people who are Muslim, and people who believe differently than we do, then the only people who win are people like these:
What happened in California is heartbreaking and sickening. It’s totally unacceptable and abhorrent behavior by anyone, however, the ONLY people, movements, and twisted beliefs which will be victorious if we succumb to the non-stop fear-mongering, which makes us infantile and (blindly) accepting of whatever is put in front of us are exactly the things which rot out what modern civilizations should stand for.
Now is the time to double down on what makes us human: compassion, empathy, and cooperation. Yes, of course there are some unsavory parts to the human psyche, but I implore people to consciously and deliberately turn their backs on hate. If anything, this is our moment to truly put our convictions to the test and not simply mirror or even accept ugly rhetoric. If you know someone who is Muslim or someone who may be feeling unwelcome or a target of public blame or derision, step out of your comfort zone and say the thing which is unspoken: “I stand with you. I don’t blame you.”
What’s at stake, exactly? We’re quickly sliding towards another major war, staring down the barrel of ramped-up intrusions and monitoring of what connects us (the Internet), and setting ourselves back as a civilization easily half a century. I saw this coming a month ago, and this is definitely one time I wanted to be wrong. Please, please stand up for what are the very best parts of your nation and your community, and remember that those identifiers are merely subsets of what really counts, which is our shared humanity.