A bad 12 seconds of NPR

A couple of days ago the 5yo asked when going home to listen to the news. She wanted to know what I listened to when I was driving.

I turned it on, started to make a turn, and while I was stuck hands on the wheel making a turn into traffic they were talking about the 50 people murdered at a mosque by a whoever that dude was.

I merged into traffic, flipped the radio off, and then got the question as to why someone went and killed 50 people in a church.

I told her because he had fallen victim to the belief that people were aligned against him. He’d taken some pieces of information and decided that his beliefs and fears were worth more than the lives of people who had nothing to do with his psychosis.

We talked a bit on the nature of hate and fear, me trying to whittle it down to as simple as possible. I told her that in the world there were a few people of that religious group he shot at that were jerks, he believed they were all jerks. He dug and conjured to find proof they were all somehow against him.

Anyone looking at a couple of examples of any group can find bad people in it. What he did was take those bad people and hate on uninvolved people because they were in the same group.

I explained there were some truly horrible white people, some truly horrible supposedly Christian people, and probably any group you could find some people in it as a horrible example and then claim that all of them are because they’re associating with that group without condemning them.

We had a talk about how nobody in hate groups ever seems to check on the targets of their wrath condemning the bad people, so they don’t worry about getting facts straight from the people they want to kill.

I believed, at the end of the talk, that that 12 seconds of NPR was properly explained and that she understood a bit about how people find one thing to hate and fear, expand it to all members of that group, and then turn their cowardice into innocent deaths.

When I asked her a little bit later if she remembered what we’d talked about she summarized it as “some muslim people are jerks, but not all of them, and he was afraid of all of them, not just the jerks, because he was stupid.”

I have so much to try and correct. I can almost guarantee she’s going to lead with “some muslim people are jerks” to any adult if she’s ever asked.

Paul King

Paul King lives in Nashville Tennessee with his wife, two daughters and cats. He writes for Pocketables, theITBaby, and is an IT consultant along with doing tech support for a film production company.