aujourd’hui, nous sommes tous français … aujourd’hui, nous sommes tous humains
and, pardon my terrible French skills if I butchered that in any way.
I am in shock and absolutely appalled. Saddened.
The horrendous and cowardly terrorist attacks that rocked Paris, Île-de-France, France demonstrate the lowest of the low in humanity. The type of ignorant hatred it must take to carry out such a feat truly demonstrates how far we still must go evolutionary when it comes to the use of our unique human traits within intellect, empathy and reason. To murder the innocent, brazenly and without remorse and do so in cold blood without an opportunity for defense demonstrates not a strength of character or an enlightened sense of being but rather a fear driven act of reactionary rage that thrives on one’s actual lack of self-worth (individually or socially speaking). Those who lost their lives and those whose lives will never, ever be the same as a result of this tragedy are the victims of the absolutely worst elements of the human condition.
I stand with the French. A country who’s scholars and intellects helped craft and shape many of the founding father’s of these United States ideas about how government and society could function. A country with military and political efforts that were in no small part a reason we were able to achieve and subsequently maintain our own freedom from the British in the late 1700s and early 1800s. And, a country where the citizen were able to band together and create one of the most formidable underground armies that granted the Allied Forces during the Second Great War opportunities against the Nazi Axis they would otherwise not have had and led to the ultimate freeing of Europe from facisim.
I stand with the French. A country providing the world with great culinary ideas and many of the basic cooking techniques we now take for granted as well as an ever traditionally respectful yet always progressively balanced idea of what food consumption should be from traditional wines and cheeses to new vodkas and vegetarian protein combinations. A country providing the foundations of literature, not just classic scholarly and fiction prose and luscious poetry but also contributed heavily to modern legal writing, journalism and satire. A country providing visual arts influencing everything from the textile arts (clothing), to painting, to sculpting and mixed media, to architecture and engineering, to modern computer coding and so much more. A country providing beautiful music from romantic era inspirations to modern atmospheric black metal, from religious music to folk hymns, from every era of the discotheque to the most experimental avant garde. A country providing innovations from perfumes to pharmaceuticals… and so much more.
I stand with the French. The country who most closely resembles the United States in its patriotic arrogance and belief it is the best. A country most strongly has sided with some of the most basic principles enshrined in our own Bill of Rights and yet clings to it’s thousands of years old identity in the same conservative way the US wants to hold onto it’s decades old identity. A country struggling with its own place in the world culture the same as the US continues to in the post-millennial reality.
I stand with the French. The country where my ancestors originated. The immigrants thereof had an indelible influence in the Americas ranging from Quebec and the former Acadian Providences as well as Nunavut along the Hudson Bay, through the north and western parts of Northern New England and upstate New York as well as NEPA and the Delaware Watergap region, through Appalachia southward, the “New France” region in the central states along the western Mississippi River, and, of course, Louisiana and the Mississippi River Delta and also ranged into LaTam and South American and along the Caribbean Islands. While the French immigrated to what is much of modern day United States out of expanded opportunity for the most part, it was unlike may other Europeans (Iberian and Mediterraneans specifically in this case due to geographical proximity to old Gaul) who were coming from the mother land for other reasons mostly fleeing economic or social issues, or from indentured servitude and yet the French both old families and new were most likely to help contribute to protection and not ostrisitation (in NY for example, Italians protected their restaurants by using French on their menus and the French cultural society made few efforts to dissuade it). It doesn’t make the French immigration better, but it does make it “different” and for Franco-Americans we don’t make the distinction other than to support calling out the hypocrisy of of immigrants around us and stand up for their opportunities.
And, it is in that last point I feel obligated to note my last point, I am embarrassed by the behavior of some of my fellow US Citizens who’s commentary reeks of ignorance at so many levels I don’t know where to begin.
How DARE we as a nation who experienced thousands of deaths in the flash of an eye in a terrorist attack belittle a friend in their time of need? How DARE we question what they are doing to thwart such an attack when we ourselves are equally as susceptible to one of that nature? How DARE we decide to turn policy against the French in their time of need and talk outside of the other side of our mouths when domestic terrorism has done some significant damage here on a routine basis and we’ve not controlled that? How DARE we begin to apply what we consider “success” on a country that’s six times the size of France and then dismiss and ignore what France has proven as “success” or Scandinavia or Australia, because “it’s different”? How DARE we think that somehow some untrained, small weapons side armed wearing vigilante was going to stop a suicide bomber from detonation or an executioner with mass weaponry would be successful.
You didn’t hear the French criticize the attacks at World Trade in 1993 like that did you? You didn’t hear them say in 2001 not even ten years later that we should have known better and been prepared for that attack did you? No, of course you didn’t. You didn’t hear them say, “well if only those stupid ‘murkanz” … no, rather they mobilize to help take care of the victims and offered, and truly meant it as a country, what can we do … and they did. Sure, they didn’t drop everything to bomb Iraq. They are also only the seventh biggest military in the world and do not spent over 60% of their budget and close to 10% of their GDP on the military. They, like us, need to pick and chose their battles and a warrant-less war seeking non-existing weapons of mass destruction that would create a power vacuum in an already unstable region probably didn’t seem like the best choice. Honestly, that was probably right, considering the war created the power vacuum that helped contributed to IS ability to grow was a direct result of the inability that came out of three US insurrections to the region (as well as 100 years worth of artificial western impose boundaries among other reasons…)
So, being that the US is inherently imperfect, as are the French, as are, well, everyone… I’m not going to “blame” the attacks on anything other than shitbaggery by IS or whomever is proven to have carries out the attacks.
I hold solidarity to my French brethern. Not because they are my heritage. Not because they gave so much to modern society. Not because they made the US possible more times that we’ll ever give them credit for. Not because they are part of a world economy and society that cannot function without them. But, because they are fucking human beings with lives and families and friends and who should NEVER be subject to such atrocity. I stand with France because I am human.