Two important news dominated my reflections lately. The story of former British parliamentarian George Galloway intended visit to Canada and the recent suicides of gay teens in the US. On the surface unrelated to each other. On the surface.
Long time ago, on another blog pages at Yahoo300 I wrote an entry about words that kill, words that harm, words that spread hatred and unable so called ‘normal people’ to commit heinous crimes and acts. And so do both of these stories. They show us the relations between words and actions. And the impunity that people use words as an example of freedom of speech, freedom of thought. Freedom that harms? Freedom that causes suffering and seeds of intolerance?
Mr. Galloway is a former member of England’s House of Commons. A politicians who often championed the causes of the underdogs, the weak ones or the less politically expedient groups. Famous mainly for his criticism of the state of Israel and the humanitarian crisis in Palestine. For that he was not really liked by previous republican Administration in the US. Not even more so by our own, Canadian government of Steven Harper. Last year he was prevented from entering Canada and branded as a “terrorist sympathizer”. This year a Canadian court declared such a statement to be purely politically motivated and without legal bearing and therefore meaningless. So today George Galloway landed in Vancouver to the cheers of many people gathered at the airport for that occasions with banners that read “welcome to Canada”.
So there is the word “terrorist” and “terror”. As old as politics and state relationship. We all thought that we knew what it means. Not so. Today it simply means “them” – mainly people who oppose our view (Western) of the world and global domination of mainly anglophone version of the world. It was reinvented during the infamous days after the horrible events in New York and following invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq. It became a symbol of ideology of “them versus us” . It is enough to brand someone as such or even use a name of a person near the term and such a person becomes a pariah. So a word was appropriated by the right wing philosophy and become a powerful tool in the struggle to govern the minds of people. Just as many years ago in the communist block the term “kulag” meant a substitution for a person who was well off financially. It become a double synonym: kulag=rich person= bad person, an enemy of the regular hard working citizen. In such an Orwellian language use anybody can become an enemy. The psychology of war takes over the way we think of society and politics.
The second events were the news of tragic deaths of 5 teenagers in the United States. Between the ages of 13 and 18. Young people unrelated to each other. Children for all practical purposes. And children who were driven to suicide because of hate. Hate that a large segment of society espouses toward the gay and transgendered community. How tragic and senseless. What a sad end to lives that could have enriched the world. And a terrible commentary about today’s ideological society. About a society that still clings (even more so than in the past) to notion of judging people for what they are. For our insane fear of others, different one. Not in a Islamic republic, not in Somalia, or Iran. In the midst of our own Western civilization: the United States of America. But it could have been (and according to many studies is) in Canada, in Poland, maybe in France or Spain.
Whats wrong with people, who utter words that fill the minds of others with rage, with hatred, with intolerance? What’s wrong with a man who can’t become human?