It’s been 4 days since terrorists attacked Paris and my feelings about it get more complicated everyday.
The night of the attacks, Friday Nov. 13th, I was out with classmates celebrating the end of our month long TEFL course. We were out at a bar when I received a cryptic text from a friend in the States that just said, “you kids ok?” and then a few minutes later, “just saw the hell breaking loose in paris.”
It wasn’t long after that first message that other friends and family started checking in too. We cut the night a little short and walked home with friends. Two police men on bikes stopped us to inform us of the news (if we hadn’t heard already) and told us not to panic. They rode on to the next passersby and continued into the night. As soon as we got home, we checked the news and it wasn’t until then that we fully understood the depravity.
Acts of terror like this are sad wherever they happen and whoever they happen to. You feel it even more so when it happens in your figurative back yard.
This is where my feelings of mourning get complicated. I think Western countries and colonialism are a factor in these violent attacks. I think showing concern with the click of a pre-made, Facebook profile picture is careless. I think politicians promoting Islamaphobia and more violence will cause exactly what we’re still mourning – the loss of innocent lives.
I don’t know what the right thing to do or say is but it might be what I see people in Toulouse doing – continuing daily life.
People are resilient, but people also remember how you make them feel. Let’s remember how we felt Friday and never make anyone else feel that way either.