Paris Is Not Your Soapbox

The acts of
terrorism in
Paris are, in
all likelihood,
one of the
worst things
we will see
in our entire
lifetime. The
massacre of
over 100 innocent people for
absolutely no rational reason
is one of the greatest tragedies
of our time.
So, why on Earth do people
think that this horrible occurrence,
this loss of so many
brothers, sisters, mothers,
fathers and spouses is a platform
for their own political
Just hours after the Paris
tragedy, conservative TV
personality Ann Coulter
tweeted, “Too bad there were
no concealed carry permits…
anywhere in Europe… since
May I just say: are you
kidding me? What kind of
vulture uses this loss of life to
further their own agenda?
Coulter’s insinuation that all
of this could have been prevented
if people in that venue
were carrying guns, and how
that is an example of how the
United States should have
laxer gun laws, is appalling.
She is free to state her opinion
on domestic and foreign
policy online or elsewhere all
she wants, but the use of this
tragedy to further propel her
opinions into the spotlight is
beyond unacceptable.
The root of this problem is
the lack of human decency it
takes to use this as a convenient
soapbox, let alone
using it before the blood even
dries. That tweet was sent out
before even a single victim
was identified – before their
families and friends knew that
there was going to forever be
a gaping hole in their lives
where that victim once was.
Twitter is run amuck with
tweets about how “stupid”
the students are at Mizzou
for thinking their problems
mattered after Paris, how
“dumb” it is that people were
concerned with racist Halloween
costumes. These Twitter
users are using this tragedy to
justify their dismissal of real
problems just because they
don’t directly affect them.
Just to clarify: extremely
few people think that what is
happening in Mizzou compares
in any way to Paris, and
it is abundantly clear that racist
Halloween costumes are
nearly irrelevant when you
compare the issue to Paris.
However, these things have
nothing to do with each other.
Yes, the tragedy in Paris is
much worse and it should
take precedent when prioritizing
issues to take care of, but
that doesn’t mean that Mizzou
doesn’t exist and that it’s not
to a teacher, administrative
staff member, or peer in the
same position?
Christmas exists in multiple
separate entities. There
is the Christmas of the church
that depicts the religious
stories and is only seen marginally
or when looked for
through the holiday season.
In contrast, there
is the American, capitalistic
approach, including
everything from ornaments
to designs on coffee
cups. This innocent
approach is purely
cultural and exists
for all active members
of the community.
Buying gifts,
seeing Santa
and watching
Dr. Suess’s,
“How The
Stole Christmas,”
carry no
correlation to
the historical
spiritual birth of Jesus
Christ and, by that
fact, the
creation of Christianity. A
majority of the traditional
practices of Christmas are
inherently commercial and
open to the public. A menorah
sitting next to a Santa hat is a
perfectly frequent sight to see
in Birmingham because of the
cultural divergence.
By that logic, if everyone
participates in the American
version of Christmas, why
must we go so far out of our
ways to insist this isn’t true?
There is no need to
conjure up a false,
inaccurate sense of
inclusion in something so
arbitrary as a name for the
two weeks we
would likely receive
as snow days
if they weren’t mandated
time off.
Christmas, New
Years, and
Kwanzaa are
all consistent
calendar dates
through the
They all
within the
same week. Our break is
structured around that week
as it appears in the Gregorian
I say it is a false sense of inclusion
because Channukahs
past, present and future tend
not to reside in the allotted
“holiday break.” Channukah
is determined by the Hebrew
calendar, which does not
correlate to the Gregorian
calendar and renders Channukah
The problem is not that
alternative holidays such as
Channukah are not included
in the break. The problem is
that the name erroneously
and unnecessarily suggests
that they would be. In an attempt
to be politically correct,
the title actually has fabricated
The trouble an organization
as large as a school district
has to go through to have all
their students and teachers
transition from one name to
another is energy that could
be better spent working and
learning. Plus, at the end of
the day, we are all just happy
to have the time off.
It is unnecessary and taxing
to strain ourselves in the
process of implementing the
new name every time we wish
to reference the break, the
number of which grows
as we inch closer. Instead,
let the phrase “Christmas
break” role off your
tongue and leave you with
the faintest sense of
unencumbered holiday
a problem.
The partisanship in America
today is so out of control that
we can’t even agree on one
issue. The fact that Paris was
terrible and that we should
all have some respect for
everyone involved and show
nothing but support for
France for the time being is
something everyone should
be able to agree on. The use of
this event for one’s own political
gain should not even cross
anyone’s mind, but unfortunately,
it has already become
a problem only a few hours
since the attack.
Newt Gingrich also chimed
in on the conversation mere
hours after the shots were
fired with his own political
agenda, tweeting, “Imagine a
theater with 10 or 15 citizens
with concealed carry permits.
We live in an age when evil
men have to be killed by good
Gingrich has been extremely
pro-gun throughout his entire
political career – and that is
perfectly okay and within
his rights. However, when
he starts to use a tragedy to
further himself in the political
realm before flowers have
been placed by the site of the
murders, he crosses the line.
And it is not just him. Many
others have been chiming in
Can you imagine the outrage
there would have been among
the American people had this
happened directly after 9/11?
If Twitter had existed back
then and people from other
countries used our tragedy to
talk about their own political
issues while the New York
firefighters and police officers
were still sifting through the
rubble, the anger from the
American people would have
been unmatched. So, why do
we think it’s okay to do the
same to the people of France?
Paris is not your soapbox. It
is a tragedy.

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