My French Flag Profile Picture Isn’t Shallow, and It Certainly Isn’t Meaningless

14 Nov

In response to this post:

We are in an age where news travels faster than it sometimes happens, and virtually all western civilization has access to social media. 

When tragedy strikes, we feel helpless. We feel horrified. We feel outraged. We desperately search for something, anything we can do to show solidarity and strength. And so, #prayforparis and the French flag profile picture were born.

And it’s not shallow. It’s definitely not meaningless. It’s connectedness. It’s solidarity. It’s support. It shows that we care about more than what’s going on in our immediate vicinity. And in our immediacy, it is something we can do right now to tell Parisians that we love them. 

To some, maybe many, this is all they can do. This is their capacity. And that needs to be okay. Why are we shaming those that take a second to acknowledge this tragedy in the simple way they can? Why are we telling them that if they can’t do more, then it’s not enough – and to not even bother? 

Should you “do more” if you have the means? 100% absolutely. Paris DOES need more than just our prayers. It’s important that those of us who can, do. But I promise you that those who do won’t stop at a profile picture. 

Should we be just as outraged at Beirut? Oh goodness yes. And it’s incredibly unfortunate that we weren’t exposed to that the same way we were Paris. It’s a gross testament to the power of news outlets and the potency of a tragedy involving white men over PoC. We need to do better. I’m not denying that. But that’s a bigger problem and bigger conversation, one that is being highlighted largely due to the events in Paris. Until yesterday, I saw no mention on my feed about Beirut. Today, I see chastising that all we care about is Paris. We eat what we are fed, friends, and before yesterday you were just as hungry as the rest of us. 

I stand with Paris. My profile picture reflects that. I am feeling helpless and compassionate, and I’m not convinced that one simple sign of support makes me shallow, superficial, naive, or shortsighted – but hey, to each their own.

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Posted by on November 14, 2015 in Random Shit


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