Fear and Loathing in America

Recently, I received a text from a close friend who asked me if I had gotten a strange email from someone we both know.  At first I joked that “every correspondence I receive from said individual is weird” but I told him I’d check it out and write back.

In my inbox indeed I found the following:

Do you know which city this is? 
It is MARSEILLE, France’s 2nd largest city!
And do you know what is the 2nd language spoken in Marseille?
Well, yes: it’s French. THE FIRST IS ARABIC.
Give them Paradise, and they will turn it into a garbage bin.
Muammar Gaddafi said in a speech that there was no need to invade Europe, because in 20 years Europe would be Muslim!
Are any of the readers of this e-mail foolish enough to think it will stop in Europe???

The text was interspersed with pictures of brown and black people living their lives and smiling and interestingly… creating art.  Others were selling goods in an open market.  Many had traditional Muslim garb, though not all.

I wondered whether my friend had an email virus that was using his account to spread unwanted emails out to his contact.  When asked via text if he sent the “do you know which city this is” text or does he need to run a virus checker ?  I offerred to email it back to him if he didn’t know what I was talking about.  In response I received the following:

I sent it firmly proudly.  Don’t need it back.  On my way to Colin Hay show.  Talk later ~ tomorrow.

My immediately rely:  No, you’ll get my reply now.  Please dont ever email me anything again.

Him: delete it then.  Peace

Sadly then I had to report to the mutual friend that it was indeed intended. My first response was simply to terminate the friendship.  Despite the fact that the relationship is over 30 years.  I’m still not sure the relationship survives regardless of what decisions I do or don’t make.  I’m finding that I don’t have much in common with some of my friends.  At times he single thing we have in common IS the past.  But there’s only so much recalling the glory days one can do.  I’m also not the guy I was back then.  I’ve grown up.

I find myself not wanting to be around negative people.  Or people that live their lives in fear and hate.  Or drunk for that matter.  Looking at a group of people and making broad generalizations is wrong, racist, and based in fear and misinformation.  I don’t think this guy follows the channel that deals in fear and hate but unfortunately it’s all over the place.

So when I take a breath and try and uncomfortably sit in his shoes I have to do it fully.  I grow up fairly neurotic due to my home situation.  After college my serious jobs are working in a correctional facility and then moving on to be an RN.  I’ve seen the worst of the worst in the psych facilities that house the crininally insane.  The ones they make movies about.  After traveling across the country as an RN I settle in Boston and after years of dedicated service am a well respected surgical nurse.  Then when the Boston Marathon is hit I’m on the front lines of trying to put people back together again and I know several people that have been effected by that horrific act.   That’s my minimal travel in those shoes.

What I find interesting about all of this is that in some ways this guy is now radicalized to hate a bunch of people.  In a way the terrorists win.  Further, the people that carry out these acts like the marathon bombing, 911 and Paris don’t clam they are doing it because of their religion.  Bin Ladin was a US alli in Afghanistan when we wanted the Russians out.  He became angry when the US troops landed on Saudi soil.  His homeland.  He became radicalized when we stayed, despite the war being over.  That, combined with the bombing of a chemical factory that turned out not to be a chemical weapons factory.  Where a lot of innocent people died from a senseless act of STATE SPONSORED terrorism.

Read this article to see a far better description.  It’s an article about why they hate us.

So this guy has PTSD maybe?  I have compassion.  But I still don’t have anything in common.  I’m not sure what happens next.




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