I'm sorry for your loss
Sadly that’s what we’ve faced in our beloved Aotearoa this past week.
The attack on innocent people while they were praying in their house of worship was nothing short of a scene from a horror movie. It defies belief that anyone could plan and then actually do anything as intentionally destructive as this.
Unfortunately the events of Friday were not part of a movie where you could press rewind or have another take. The cold blooded actions of a single killer have caused the death of 50 innocent people and irretrievably changed the lives of many, many more.
Nor did they happen overseas. They happened here, in our home, to people we call neighbours and accept as part of our community. Sadly our gun laws have proved to be somewhat lacking given the weapons used were acquired legally.
Public reaction has been quick to support the Muslim community and its thankfully reassuring to know that for the overwhelming majority of Kiwis the actions of this cold blooded killer can in no way be considered ok. Still, it worries me to think that there are people who support his rhetoric and somehow sympathise, or applaud him for his choices. How can they be justified in their work of white supremacy? Seriously dude, where’s your f***ing head? Ironically, it appears to be in a very dark place.
As kiwis we’re famous for our laid back attitude to life, for opting to “Take it easy” and assuming “She’ll be right mate”. But lapsing from courage into complacency hasn’t served anyone this time. The evil lurks around us and flourishes within the darkness that lives in the spaces of the words we don’t say and the actions we don’t take. Sometimes those words might not be what another person wants to hear, but say them anyway. Calling out others takes courage, where have those muscles gone?
Our day to day actions are so important. It’s the things we do, say and accept everyday that count so much more than the things we do, say and accept every now and then. The habit of ‘letting it slide’ isn’t serving us as a nation nor does it serve the human race.
Remain true to your beliefs and make a stand with your everyday actions by:
Not repeating the racist jokes you hear
Calling out the racist comments
Saying hi to strangers as you pass them in the streets
Celebrating the differences that diversity brings to our lives
Meeting anger and hatred with compassion and love
Standing next to anyone you see being attacked or harassed
As a person who is committed to shining a light into dark spots I can see there is a lot of work to do. Meeting the darkness with light and love is something that each and every one of us needs to step towards; dig deep kiwis, we’ve got a huge amount of work to do.