I watched the news unfold about the unmasking of the terror plot here in Australia and couldn't help but feel a little cynical about it all.
Not the actual raids - I'm happy for police and our security services to be arresting every Tom, Dick or Harry that's thinking about inflicting violence against people. I kind of wish they'd be as proactive about arresting people who beat their partners or children on a regular basis as they are about uncovering plots about so called jihadis on ipads.
No, my cynicism is linked to the media beat up of the story. In a few short hours we went from having thwarted a terror attack that was going to blow up a plane, to having thwarted a terror attack that was going to gas everybody on board, to showing people wearing hijabs being escorted from houses even though there has been nothing at all to suggest that any of these women have anything to do with anything but we all know that a key part of creating an anti-muslim narrative is to show pictures of hijabis.
And now we have the breaking news about some young men who planned violence back in 2014. It's breaking news. It's excellent breaking news that we can have all the bad news about those bad bad Muslim terrorists on the front page of our papers and news sites today, just when ALL OF THE MUSLIMS TRIED TO KILL US AGAIN.
I am so over the media narrative that creates a society that is so heartbreakingly xenophobic that no matter what the truth is, we can't see it because we're being fed a solid diet of inflammatory, hate filled bile that sees truth being abandoned for distasteful rhetoric that distracts from the issues we should be talking about.
Are we talking about the marginalisation of the poor to ensure tax breaks for the rich? Are we talking about the systematic torture and abuse of refugees that we are paying for on Manus and Nauru? Are we talking about ingrained racism so horrendous that we the death of an Aboriginal boy chased down by a man in a truck is considered manslaughter not murder? Are we sharing positive community stories of inclusion and success? Are we talking about anything that actually impacts everyday Australia?
Nope, we're all just hating on Muslims again. And of course, that means predominantly women and children bear the brunt of our hateful racist discourse because they are visibly identifiable due to their choice of headwear.
Now I know that not everybody subscribes to my way of thinking. I know that a lot of people think we have to do everything we can to protect ourselves from all the bad people. And do you know something. That would be fine by me IF WE ACTUALLY WERE PROTECTING OURSELVES FROM THE PEOPLE THAT ARE ACTUALLY FACTUALLY MORE LIKELY TO HURT US.
The statistics prove over and over and over and over again that the likelihood of us experiencing death as a result of terrorism are extremely low. We're more likely to die at the hands of a partner, or a drunk driver, or the police. We are more likely to die falling down stairs, being bitten by a dog, as a result of an breathing related incident.
Basically - while terrorism totally sucks arse, it's not where we should be focussing our attention. We definitely shouldn't be having the media whip up a xenophobic rage against a tiny percentage of the population so that we stop thinking critically for ourselves.
Worse is that we've been here. We know how the demonisation of a religious minority plays out. We know that ultimately it ends badly.
Hate sells. So please for the love of Colin, you have the power, so stop buying into it.
And actually, physically, stop buying it. Please.
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