In our supposedly enlightened modern society we pretend to deplore violence but we are willing participants in perpetuating it – in our sport, in our movies, in our games, in our language, and sadly, all too often, in our homes.
From our high moral ground we see our violence as better than ‘their’ violence. We meet aggression with greater aggression.
In the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave, the peacekeepers of the world insist on every individual’s right, almost obligation, to own a gun. To combat the obvious problems this creates, they give their police force bigger guns.
In Australia, customs and immigration have turned into some form of gun totin’, black-uniform-wearing Homeland Security Force tasked with seeking out the aliens among us and repelling any who come near.
To address the human rights abuses in other countries, we bomb them. Or we arm them so anyone trying to flee from the persecution will be stopped from leaving.
To deter people from fleeing by boat, we are prepared to subject a few thousand people to indefinite torture with no hope of an end to it just to teach them, and others, a lesson.
Our politicians, who are tasked with finding solutions to problems, instead concentrate on demeaning and belittling each other.
Our government has stripped funding from many of the community and support groups that help to prevent violence, addiction, and marginalisation. They now go running to these groups asking for advice on how provide services for an influx of 12,000 refugees.
When a solution was proposed by the Security Council on defining the borders of Israel and Palestine, Australia and the US vetoed it, presumably because they would rather see the conflict continue than find a resolution so Israel can continue its expansion.
Our government asks how young Australians can be seduced by the violence of IS, and seeks to impose draconian punishment on anyone suspected of sympathising with them.
I ask how has our society let these young people down where they see this as a better option than their current life?
It is only by addressing inequality and poverty that we can end oppression. It is only by recognising our own failings that we can help marginalised people become productive members of our society. It is only through education and setting an example, by making respect and co-operation the norm and by offering support, that we can ever hope to stop the violence.
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