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The E.A.R.: The Price of Hatred

 

Something really messed up happened in Pittsburgh two weeks ago, and no, I’m not talking about the vicious beating the Cleveland Browns endured under the hands of Big Ben and Antonio Brown. What happened was far worse, and probably one of our lows. The United States is no stranger to mass shootings. We’ve had our share over the years, and more than a few of them have been motivated by a hatred towards a certain group.

In 2015, Dylan Roof shot up a black congregation during a bible study; In 2016, Omar Mateen opened fire in the Pulse Night club, killing 49 members of the LGBTQA community; In 2018, you’d think by the yelling of angry far right conservatives that racism, and anti antisemitism was dead; but nope, not a chance. Eleven were shot dead in a synagogue for none other than their religious affiliation.

Look guys, none of us are the same, and that is probably a great thing. The world wouldn’t be as colorful as it is if we all looked, thought, and acted the same. We all have our differences. We on Facebook have had our differences. I have gotten in to heated ten way debates with some of y’all on some hot button issues. I’ve seen fights breakout in the comments sections of some of my rather controversial statuses. Regardless of frustrations on both ends, I love that our ideals get to clash together, for better or worse.

Regardless of how different we are, everyone belongs in this world, and no one should ever feel as if they don’t. Well, in a perfect world that is. Sadly, we don’t live in a perfect world, and there exist those who have strong hatred for those who don’t look, talk, walk, or act like them. There are people in this world who have a strong hatred for those who don’t share the same ideals. Antisemitism was something that should’ve died the day we brought the beef to Hitler’s door. Sadly it’s just as alive as racism.

I’ve lived through many mass shootings, but this is the first one that has hurt since the Pulse Night Club shootings. With the Pulse shootings, I know many people in the LGBTQA community that I’m pretty cool with. With the Charleston Church shooting, why that one hurt is pretty obvious. With this shooting, it bothers me because Jewish people have been pretty impactful in my life ways you wouldn’t imagine.

Y’all already know I’m on the spectrum. I grew up visiting Ludwik Szymanski (Google him when you have the chance), a once prominent child psychiatrist at Children’s Hospital that helped me navigate some of the complications that came with my unique wiring. Dr. Szymanski is a Holocaust survivor, and I constantly wonder to this day where I’d be in life if he never pulled through. I also have plenty of good friends, co workers, and acquaintances who are also Jewish. I’m also a sucker for good Kosher wine (Barkan Merlot, and Malbec are some of my personal favorites).

There are couple of things I shall leave you with.

Antisemitism, racism and homophobia are alive and well. Don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise. Never let anyone try to justify the actions of Robert D. Bowers.

This will undoubtedly bring up the debate of guns once more. Before we start bickering about guns which is inevitable, how about we come together, focus, and call this incident for what it is; a hate crime.

Regardless of our differences in opinion, religion, ideologies, etc., we’re still called to love one another. I know we’ve had our spats on here over various issues (well primarily one, and y’all already know what that is), but I just want y’all to know that I love each and everyone of y’all. We’re all different for a reason. Like it or not, we’re stuck with each other until the day we die.

With that being said, no one, regardless of how much their differences bother you deserves to go out the way those in Pittsburgh did. We can be different and coexist. We can have different religious views, and still coexist. We can have different political affiliations, and still coexist. We can have differing opinions on what happened to the footballs at Foxboro during the 2014 AFC Championship (it was the weather damn it!), and still coexist. We can have differing opinions on whether or not pineapples go on pizza and still coexist

In all seriousness, this senseless violence needs to stop! I’m not here to place the blame on anyone or anything. I’m just here to say that we all messed up pretty badly, but we can right this wrong one act of kindness at a time.

Stay classy…

 

Flemmings Beaubrun is an avid gamer and lover of music. When not working, Flemmings likes to spend his time whipping up dank beats for the masses. He also spends his weekends thrift shopping for rare video games and obscure electronics. Other times he’s in front of a TV with a giant bowl of cereal enjoying shows from the 90s.

 

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The E.A.R: American Terrorists

 

So, every now and then the subject of terrorism comes up and when it does, people are quick to mention those of Middle Eastern descent (specifically Muslims). When a person of Middle Eastern descent commits a mass shooting or bombing, we’re quick to nonchalantly throw around the T Word. We’ll constantly run the whole damn thing to the ground like a baseball player sliding for home plate.

The problem, however, manifests itself when a white person commits similar crimes and people aren’t willing to call the crimes for what they are. Even going as far as defending/justifying the said crime.

Let me throw two definitions at you that will help you follow the rest of this article.

Extremist: A person who holds extreme or fanatical political or religious views, especially one who resorts to or advocates extreme action.

Terrorism: The use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims.

Now with these being said, if the media and authorities are going to label any mass murder committed by a person of Middle Eastern descent an act of terrorism and call these people extremists because it perfectly fits their agenda, then I need to list a few others who fit this description.

Robert Dear: Recently, this guy went on a shooting rampage at a Planned Parenthood clinic in the name of his religious beliefs. Now this guy was a hardcore evangelical which would easily put him in the extremist category but since he’s white and Christian, no one will ever call him for what he is, an extremist and a terrorist.

Dylan Roof: You may remember this lovely little shit bag from a few summers ago; you know, the one that went into a church and opened fire on a group of people of color who were in the middle of bible study? Dylan Roof is a hardcore racist and even had a manifesto of his hatred for people of color. Dylan Roof is a hardcore confederate supporter and can be seen in many photos with a confederate flag. Dylan Roof murdered those parishioners in the name of his extreme political beliefs but no one’s calling him an extremist or a terrorist because guess what, he’s white.

Timothy McVeigh: Some of you are too young to remember the Oklahoma City Bombing. Timothy McVeigh committed these attacks based on extreme political disgust he had with our government with how they handled two raids that happened within that time frame. Now though this guy is labeled as a terrorist, he’s not often in the conversation about home grown terrorism. As a matter of fact, this guy seldom ever comes up in the conversation of acts of terrorism on US soil. None the less, extreme political views drove these attacks in the early 90s.

Do you wanna know what all these guys have in common other than the fact that they carried out attacks in the name of their extreme views? They’re all white. None of these three guys are Muslim or of Middle Eastern descent, yet they all fit the definition of terrorists and extremists.

My point is this: y’all have no business magically labeling only Muslims as terrorists and extremists when people born and raised in this country who are not Muslim have committed acts that fit those above descriptions. Not many people were calling Dylan Roof an Extremist or a Terrorist when he opened fire in that church. No one’s been calling Robert Dear an Extremist or a Terrorist for his acts on people near a Planned Parenthood clinic in the name of his Christian beliefs. They’ve both been labeled as disturbed and troubled.

People of Middle Eastern descent aren’t the ones with people within their population that pervert religion and politics for their own gain. Americans and Christians are just as capable of such carnage. Just read up on the Ku Klux Klan. If you think Muslims are the only people we should fear then y’all are part of the problem.

You should be just as afraid as the guy next door with the nice fence. We have no right to decide who gets called a terrorist or extremist and who we simply label as “disturbed” and “troubled.” EVERYONE OF ALL BACKGROUNDS ARE CAPABLE OF EVIL AS LONG AS IT EXISTS IN THEIR HEART.

Evil has no skin color and, it has no religion, evil has no race. Evil simply drives the heart of those willing to hand it the wheel.

Stay classy people…

 

Flemmings Beaubrun is an avid gamer and lover of music. When not working, Flemmings likes to spend his time whipping up dank beats for the masses. He also spends his weekends thrift shopping for rare video games and obscure electronics. Other times he’s in front of a TV with a giant bowl of cereal enjoying shows from the 90s.

 

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Bamboozled No More! History, Cover Ups and Denial

 

June 17, 2015, a young white man walked into an African American Church and after some conversation, executed the members of the Bible Study group. The nation was stunned and shamed.

The murders and media frenzy threw us so far back in time, it was difficult to figure out where we were. In an attempt to avoid any awkward discussions about race, the media, politicians, etc tried to described the crime as an “isolated” incident, “not related to racism.”

The “isolated incident” theory started to crumble when news stories eventually appeared about five or six other mysterious church fires that occurred days later.

According to one account, electrical wiring was identified as the culprit. But that story was soon squashed by the Church’s minister who was also an electrician. Yes the Lord does work in mysterious ways!

Denial remains the recurrent theme in US history. It gives our daily lives that ‘groundhog day’ quality.

Speaking of which, did you know that Amber Roof, Dylan Roof’s sister was to be married on June 21, 2015? She cancelled the wedding because of all bad press. But not to be deterred by murder of 9 people, she set up a Gofundme page for donations to cover the expenses for her perfect wedding. The account was eventually removed.

Thought for the day: electing and re-electing a Black President doesn’t win you a place in heaven.

 

Janet Cormier is a painter, writes prose and poetry, and performs comedy. JC prefers different and original over pretty. She loves collecting stuff, but cleaning not so much. Janet also talks to strangers…a lot. Her column appears regularly in Oddball Magazine.