I was in shock when my husband told me what had just happened in Christchurch as we were making dinner Thursday evening. It was Friday afternoon in New Zealand and the Christchurch community was living a nightmare.
Bryce and I were just on vacation in New Zealand last month and visited Christchurch. I couldn’t believe the news he was reading to me off of his phone.
Hasn’t this city been through enough?
Christchurch had a massive earthquake in 2011 that destroyed its city center and killed more than 100 people. When we visited the city, there were parts of it that looked like the quake had hit earlier this year. That’s how much destruction it caused.
But, the city was rebuilding. Everyone we came across were so nice and friendly.
Obviously, a natural disaster is far different from human-caused terrorist attacks.
My heart hurts for not only Christchurch, but Muslisms around the world.
Can you imagine how it would feel to be scared to go to your place of worship? Or, if you are not religious, to a place that is special and sacred and is full of comfort to you?
When I woke up Friday morning, I was still deeply sad and then got angry. My local newspaper had very little coverage on this news. My dad, who is currently visiting my grandma in Japan, said Japanese news outlets were showing some coverage of the New Zealand Police conferences.
I wrote to the online editor of my paper about how disappointed I was in the decisions they made for what was front page news. It’s the first time I have every written to any editor of a newspaper. And, don’t get my wrong, I have a soft spot for journalists … I used to be one “a lifetime ago.” But this was just unacceptable to me. No banner alert about this news on the top of the newspaper’s website? Why couldn’t the local neighborhood story that was front and center wait until the following week?
And, yes, there was one story about the New Zealand shootings but it was below the fold, which meant that on your phone, you would have to scroll to even see it!
Why was I getting so worked up about this?
Because even though these events are horrifying and tragic, my community needs to know. Everyone needs to learn. White supremacy is the United States isn’t just affecting Americans. It is negatively affecting the world. This is not OK. This is not right. This should not be acceptable.
All humans should be treated with respect and dignity. And, not be feared of because of the color of their skin or religious identity — or anything else for that matter.
But, you already know that.
Maybe I’m getting more worked up about these events because I was recently in New Zealand. But, don’t get me wrong, even if I hadn’t visited New Zealand at all , I would still be livid about what took place in Christchurch.