Unless you’ve been living under a rock over the past few days, you’ve probably seen profile pictures coloured red, white and blue on your Facebook timeline in support of the victims of the atrocious terrorist attacks in Paris.
Presumably, just like the rainbow option that Facebook rolled out for the legalisation of gay marriage in June, some of those displaying the tricolore jumped on the bandwagon and don’t really care that much about what happened. For others, especially those who were personally affected, it conveys a deeper meaning of solidarity and resistance against militant jihadists.
But as usual, before the bodies were even cold, the progressive left has declared this to be extremely problematic. Writing for Identity Mag, Liza Dunham (of no relation to Girls star Lena Dunham) claimed that the filter signifies the user was not standing with France, but ignoring other tragedies and creating an “us vs them” mentality. We can’t have people uniting against Islamic terrorism now can we?
Charlotte Farhan, highlighted by the Independent, echoed the anarchist “no borders” idea in a Facebook post that has since gone viral. Yet again, SJWs utilise a tragedy to push their own agenda of opening Europe to floods of “refugees.” It’s as if they’re all completely heartless – I can’t imagine where anyone gets that idea from.
Lulu Nunn of the Independent, however wins the award for the wackiest accusation. Displaying the French flag (according to her) means that you’re “buying into corporate white supremacy.” You’re basically an apologist for colonialism, she argues, which of course was the prime motivation for these accidents by those poor jihadists and definitely not the barbaric interpretation of their religion. In fact, you’re as bad as ISIS itself, because you “spread propaganda via social media.” I didn’t realise that I in fact hate women, gays, freedom of speech and democracy, but if a raving Independent writer says it, then it must be true.
The real issue here is not the comparisons to ISIS but what I like to call “grief hipsterism.” If any of your Facebook friends have lambasted you for showing your support for the French and not the victims of attacks in Beirut or Lebanon, just check back on their timelines a few days. Have they ever before expressed any desire to raise the issues of those nations? I’d take a wild guess that they haven’t.
The only reason why they’re pointing out these other tragedies is simply because they want to look cool. “My disaster is, like, wayyyyy more obscure than yours.” In reality, it’s difficult to connect with these far-flung countries when you live in one with little danger or unrest. However, it is easy to relate to going to a restaurant or a football game which then turned into a bloodbath.
Matt Frew succinctly summed it up in a post on Facebook: “let people pray and grieve and love in their own way without the lecture.” We don’t need these idiots spouting off about white supremacy or open borders after all these deaths. I think I can speak for many people when I say to them, just shut up.
Jack Hadfield is a British libertarian writer who spends too much time on Tumblr. You can follow him on Twitter here @ToryBastard_