*This is a something that has taken me 2 days to write. These are my own personal thoughts and opinions and if you have something to contribute, please leave me a comment.*
“Why did young men who grew up and studied here, as part of our communities and country resort to such violence?” -President Obama speaking on April 19, 2013
This is a question that may never get answered. I have been waffling on whether or not I should write this post. I’ve heard so many different reactions to the events of the past week, that I feel I have to.
Allow me to speculate.
When the news broke that they had images of the suspects, it was later in the day here in the UK. I turned off the computer and walked away from the coverage. I was scared. I didn’t want to know.
Because I was afraid of
what who I might see.
Because I’ve seen first hand what happens to someone who is filled with hate. I’ve seen what it can do to individuals, couples, families, friends. And it’s fucking scary.
What happened in the situation that I am personally familiar with is that the person in question immigrated to the US from a country in the Middle East (let’s call it Q) at a young age. He and his younger sibling grew up in a major city in the Northeast of the US and lived a quiet life. They didn’t have a lot of money, but they had family and that was very important to them.
The parents had particular prejudices and beliefs against a certain group (let’s call them X) that were passed down; perhaps because of what they had seen and witnessed in Q, or perhaps, and more likely what they saw in the major US city; the wealthy versus the poor.
When I met this person I had NO idea that he harboured such feelings. He seemed like a nice, hardworking individual that worked out and took care of himself and cared about his family. Nothing wrong with that, right? I was having issues with the person I had been seeing, I was feeling lonely and vulnerable, and friends encouraged me to start fresh with this guy.
It was only once I mentioned my particular previous affiliation with X that I realised there was a problem. A very big problem. (I must say that at the time, and this was well over a decade ago, I was even more insecure than I am now, and was convinced that was this my one shot at love . . .and I was very, very stupid.) So I tried to change him. And when that didn’t work, and the fights were too much to take, I made what was probably the biggest mistake of my life apart from actually dating him. I tried . . . I tried to see it from his perspective, for lack of better words to use.
Granted, that didn’t last very long, but I learned a lesson. Love makes you stupid, but hate makes you even more stupid.
I tried to change him. I did everything in my power to do so, but nothing I did could change his feelings and opinions on this group of people. Like these brothers, he grew up here, studied here, went to school here. How is it that you can become so filed with hate against a group of people, in this day and age?
It was far too ingrained at that point. And when he began to frequent internet message boards to interact with other people who felt the same way, I was scared. He became more angry. A simple news story could send him into a rage. I was honestly afraid he was going to do something terrible.
And finally I had enough. Probably the smartest decision I had made in several years.
Getting back to my original point, I don’t know what led these young men to take such actions on Monday. I do believe it was some sort of indoctrination by someone who held power and influence over the older brother especially; possibly a father figure, as his own father is in Russia. Perhaps the younger brother was encouraged by the older brother. Perhaps he was enamoured by him and wanted to emulate him, without a full understanding. It is so easy to be led astray by someone you love, in my opinion.
We may never know why these young men took these actions. We may never understand why they took these actions. We can only remember and heal.
Watch 5 Days in April, a documentary.
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