There is a concept that I have written about quite a few times in this blog; it is a simple concept, yet the vast majority of people do not seem to understand it. What I’m talking about is recognizing that each and every human being is just that- a human being. This means not only your immediate family and friends, but also that guy on the corner asking for some spare change or that little girl in Afghanistan who doesn’t have a school to go to because some unpersoned drone blew it up, thinking it was Bin Laden. This also means seeing the humanity in the Marine who gave the command to kill a whole village and the “Terrorist” sitting in a shed, building IEDs. It is as easy as it seems- if we understood this, it would be a lot harder to continue our complacency when it comes to things like this. If president Obama truly grasped this concept, would he be able to send people into some dark cage to be tortured for an undetermined amount of time? I am against war in almost all situations, but I understand the POW concept- if two countries or groups are fighting and there are people captured (which is better than being killed, if the correct laws are followed), then it makes sense that these people are held until the war is over. However, what the US has been doing – and what Obama has declared he will continue to approve – is not following any recognized laws. What the US has been doing is paying corrupt people to bring them prisoners and make up rules about what can and cannot be done to these prisoners. We are not fighting a war against another government which will end when one side surrenders, but rather a War On Terror against an enemy who gets bigger every time we kill or torture one of their members.
Another example of where humanity could come into play is the recent battle between the New Black Panthers and the KKK. It would be obvious for me to say that members of the KKK need to see black people as human, not much different than themselves (or as different as a random white, yellow, or gay person), but it goes deeper than that. I know it’s hard, but imagine the New BPP members – who, in the video, are wearing masks and making disparaging comments – could see the angry, hateful KKK members as human. If they were able to try and understand how these people end up where they are- was it taught? Were they picked on by a black person at school? Do hateful people even know where their hate comes from? I’m not taking sides here (although if I had to, you better believe that I wouldn’t stand with any KKK members), but some group has to be the bigger one.
I’m not trying to say that all of life’s problems will be solved if the majority of the world’s citizens could understand what I have been discussing, but there sure would be a big change. Even if everyone could try it for a week- or even a day; next time you are walking down the street and see a homeless person, think about that person taking a shit or losing their spouse. Next time you are traveling by subway or bus and a group of “scary looking” people get on, ask yourself why you perceive them as scary. Are they trying to be accepted? Are they trying to cover up their fear? The majority of people only want to be happy and lead a secure life and even if a very small minority of us can see that, the world will start changing without a single protest or rally.