To my American friends who are seeing the Paris tragedy from last night…

parispeacesignTo my American friends who are seeing the Paris tragedy from last night… I found out about it around 11 am this morning after receiving a message from a concerned family member on Facebook.

Yes, we are in the heart of Europe bordered by France, Germany and Belgium and just four hours by car from Paris. But, I feel safer here than I did in the US. Every day in America there are senseless shootings of innocents and it seems nobody cares enough to do something about it. But when something big happens it is a travesty and the media has a field day with it.

So, now, who do we blame? That’s the first thing that comes to mind in American society. I have seen some of the crazy tweets blaming the refugees and Islamists and even shaming Obama. Seriously?

I was at the Red Cross Refugee Center on Friday afternoon and saw a woman with her baby on her hip. I wanted to hug her not run from her.

I don’t know what the US media is sharing with America, but the French and European people and news are probably handling it much differently. As I sat on the couch this morning watching the French news, I commented to my French husband how different the American media would portray this tragedy.

Tell me if I am wrong.

American media portrayal: videos of people running and screaming for cover playing over and over on the screen; blaming, blaming, blaming every possible suspect (refugees, Islamists) before a real perpetrator was actually named; blaming President Obama for not doing enough with Syria; counting how many American’s were killed or visiting Paris and thought missing; scaring the shit out of everyone and telling them how dangerous Europe is; France’s borders are closed and no one can escape.

France’s borders are not closed. As a matter of fact, France issued an announcement earlier this week about border checks in anticipation of the 12-day UN conference Nov. 30th through Dec. 11th in Paris. Yes, people must show ID at the border, but it is a simple check for security.

“France issued a note to EU officials last month, announcing border checks at all international airports, as well as its 131 land crossings with Belgium, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and Luxembourg. The note said that Schengen rules allow controls “when there is a serious threat to public policy.”

During the hour that I watched the French news there was not one splash of carnage or injured or witnesses on the street (this is about 12 hours after it happened). Instead the French news teams were discussing how the people are coming together in support. What safety initiatives are in place to keep everyone safe. They are asking themselves why this happened and what they can do now to not have it happen again. They even had a philosopher on the news explaining what kinds of people do this. One segment was showing a long line of people giving blood. You would never see this in America. In America it is all about bringing fear and blame.



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