Devastated. That is the word that comes to mind as I read about yet another attack, yet another event that leaves the world with that sick feeling in their stomach, yet another reason to cry and offer condolences.
I want our voices to be heard. I want those who commit these crimes against innocent people to hear us as we mourn. I want them to see us as we come together in the wake of tragedy. I want them to be flabbergasted as they see us gather together in love, not in hatred. In compassion, not in violence.
They are the violent ones. They are the ones who hate. Those who choose to attack people they disagree with, those who choose to hate the people they do not understand, those who choose to remain ignorant. Those are the people I want to hear us, see us, as we support one another, love one another, understand one another.
The airport in Istanbul experienced explosions that killed and injured many people on Tuesday, June 28. As I write this, the Facebook posts are sparse and the trending topics are Daniel Radcliffe being willing to play an adult Harry Potter, Taylor Swift and Tom Hiddleston’s vacation in Rome, and David Tennant reading out things about Donald Trump. These things are important enough, but where is the hurt and the support for those affected by this attack? The Istanbul attack is number eight on the Facebook trending panel behind China’s ban on Lady Gaga, a Cheetos contest, and the worldwide streaming of Gilmore Girls.
Where is the support that was found for Orlando? For Paris?
Turkey has borders with Syria, Iraq, and Iran. It has been dealing with a major influx of radicalized terrorists. Turkey has seen so many deadly attacks recently. This timeline lists seven previous attacks on Turkish people and tourists in Turkey this year. Each casualty leaving a family and loved ones overwhelmed and lost.
According to the CNN breaking news alert, a U.S. official said, “This is sadly the new normal.”
And, whoever the official is, has a point.
But, regardless of how many times an event like this happens, we cannot allow ourselves to become desensitized to such violence.
My heart cringes, my stomach knots up, my throat gets sore, my eyes get watery, and my whole body shakes as I read about the death and destruction that the attackers caused in the Istanbul airport. I mourn for those who were lost and those who were injured. I think about the Turkish deli in my hometown where I get my Turkish delights and my hummus, where I practice short phrases in preparation for the day that I finally get to travel to their beautiful country.
Turkey calls for unity and support, and we must answer this call.