The question is: Are the American people and the media unknowingly helping ISIS accomplish their mission?
We know ISIS wants to intimidate us. Have we not helped to make them the king of the hill? Do we now consider them the worst of all the monsters? Every day we give them more attention and news coverage than they ever could have gotten on their own. And why? Because they executed two American journalists.
Please don’t get me wrong, the death of those dear men was horrific. However, with all due respect, over 2,000 American soldiers have already died fighting in Afghanistan. Can you name even one of them? Over 4,000 military personnel died fighting in Iraq. I would guess the vast majority of those American men and women were not there because they wanted to be. Those soldiers were ordered to go, and if they refused, they faced a long prison term.
However, the two journalists, to my knowledge, went there of their own accord. Yes, perhaps their newspaper ordered them to go, but if they had refused, the worst consequence they faced was being fired, not going to prison. Sadly, these men were captured. Even more sadly, they were executed.
Now our country is divided as to whether or not we should have paid millions in ransom. Every day the country is talking about the barbaric acts of ISIS. Are we not helping to spread the name of ISIS and their message of hate over our television, radio, and social media? Are we not helping them terrify the American people? With all the hatred being pointed toward Muslims, are we not helping them to prove their point to their new recruits?
I think we need to pause. I now live in the South, so I am reminded that it was in my grandfather’s lifetime that good, God-fearing, church-going white men laughed as they watched people dangle from trees until they were dead. Some of those white folk also felt totally justified in bullwhipping another human being.
Were their acts any less barbaric?
Remember Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols? In 1995, when these domestic terrorists exploded their bomb in Oklahoma, they wounded 500 people and killed 168 American citizens — 16 of them were children. They executed them by blowing them to bits or crushing them under concrete. These men were not Muslims, but young Caucasian men who were determined to defend their beliefs.
Was their act any less barbaric?
Folks, monsters have many different types of faces, and some of them look just like you and me. They are white folk who commit barbaric acts, but that did not make you terrified of all white people.
Today, I say stop giving any barbarian the power over your life. Yes, we must figure out how to defeat them. Yes, they must be stopped. But the next time you say, “I am terrified of ISIS,” don’t help ISIS achieve their goal. Add another line, such as, “…but no cowardly, barbarian bully will defeat us. The American people are better than that.”
Hold your head high. Sing “The Star Spangled Banner.” Do what you must, but stop showing them your fear! Stop helping them to terrify us.
Now, tell me. What would your tagline be?
Who is Holly Lewitas?
Holly Lewitas is the author of the Spunky Murder Mystery Series — cozy mysteries for dog and cat lovers. Books include: The Nose Knows, The Nose Sees All and An Army of Noses. You are invited to connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest.