Thursday, September 3, 2015

Escaping Reality

Becoming a mother changes one's outlook on life. There were times during the Iraq War that I saw pictures of children and felt immediately dizzy with grief at what was happening around them. And disgust at my relief that my daughter was not there.

In the days following 9/11, two co-workers of mine got into a disagreement. One, a middle-aged African-American woman, and the other, a Syrian refugee/immigrant married to a Palestinian woman with family still there. They disagreed on which was worse, the violence of our American cities that disproportionately affect the black community or living with the daily threat of religious extremists blowing up buses in Israel. I just sat back and listened to two persecuted people who have lived lives I cannot imagine.

I think they were both right. I dislike my reluctance to come down on either side because I can see both points. Nobody should live in fear of losing their life, wherever they live.

This morning's Washington Post had the second scene of a photo I saw yesterday. A Turkish police officer is shown approaching the surf. Where a little boy lies face down, arms at his side in the shallow waves. How often have I seen my daughter like this, fast asleep? But he is not going to wake when the officer touches him.

The photo they printed is less disturbing and I disagree with their editorial decision. Yes, there are people who read the paper over their morning coffee and they don't want their children to see something like that.They'll probably still get pushback over the "gentler" photo of the officer carrying the tiny child. The refugees living that life don't have a choice over hiding their reality.

Apart from Piers Morgan, who wrote a scathing column this morning, hardly anybody in my Twitter feed was talking about this crisis. Instead, the majority of my feed, even politicos that usually talk about Trump, are talking about Deflate-Gate and Tom Brady. For a while, the Post had Brady on the left and a picture of refugees being manhandled. That story is the third most read as of 1:40 PM today. The refugees? Didn't make the top five cut.

Listen, I like football. And football does bring Americans together in many ways. But talking about Tom Brady's footballs for hours on end and not just on ESPN makes me sad.

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