NORWAY’S MASS MURDER AND OUR WAKE UP CALL FOR TOLERANCE AND CIVILITY
BY PATRICIA GRAS
Fear mongering is a favorite pastime of many fanatics or those who are smart enough to recognize that by creating fear, a scapegoat, an enemy, someone responsible for all our problems works efficiently to get people to your way of thinking. Ask any right or left wing ideologue. How do they manage to get millions of people to listen? Fear. It works. Once you believe this way, (whatever it is, whether Muslims are all terrorists and taking over, or Catholics, Jews, Immigrants or Democrats or Republicans, Gays or progressives, One World Order Advocates, Obama, multiculturalists, etc.the list goes on and everyone you talk to or listen to agrees with you then, you are convinced you are right and what better way to live your life or so you think than by blaming someone else for your miserable life?
Its so easy to do and yet so harmful to the self and to those around you. The extent one does this can lead to the Norway massacre. This country, one of the most peaceful in the world, was home to a violent monster Anders Breivik. His manifesto blamed Muslims and many others for his own insecurity, unhappiness, and miserable life. Strangely enough, Muslims there number about 70,000 out of 5 million Norwegians. But of course, according to him, they were going to take over and invade his country. The same can be said for immigrants in the United States who entered illegally, all 11 million will take over and impose their culture on 300 million Americans. Believe it and keep listening to the vitriol. It works wonders for those who live in fear.
On Norways massacre.
There is nothing wrong with disagreeing on immigration policy, or whether someone should wear a burka or not, or whatever you want to discuss any issue in a civil matter because you are angry, disappointed, overwhelmed, or feel cheated, but to kill innocent people? Yes of course many say, well, you cant control crazy maniacs but are we not creating in many countries including an environment that allows these people to truly believe they are right and that millions agree with them when it is NOT THE CASE.
Take the case of Jared Lee Lughner, a 22 year old who killed 11 people in Arizona this past year. He just didnt like the government. Does that sound familiar right now? The authorities say, there is no evidence the shooting was a result of anything in particular Loughner might have read or heard. He was just crazy and full of hate and again He didnt like the government. He targeted Democrat Representative Gabrielle Giffords who weeks before had written a Republican friend she was concerned about the heated political rhetoric and partisanship in her state. Did it help that Sarah Palins campaign webpage had a targeted election map with Gifford in the crosshairs of a gun sight? That story may be out of the news cycle right now but for the family who lost a 9 year old girl that day, it will take a lifetime to heal.
Those who believe that to live in a pluralistic democratic society as we do in the United States, we need tolerance, one of the chief civic virtues, now need to stand up and speak out more than ever. Maybe the best people to turn to for this is our youth. They have been raised studying, playing and talking to kids different than themselves. They are in the same classroom with all religions, Muslims, Jews, Christians, Atheists and different nationalities and ethnicities. They are the future of America. Lets hope they choose to stand up to the extremists of any religion, political party or nationality.
Watch Living Smart show on the Virtue of Tolerance airing this Sunday at 3pm and next Friday night at 10pm.