This is a cruel world. This is a tough time. Terrorism seems like its overwhelming us, from Westminster to Manchester to Saturday night’s London Bridge/Borough Market attacks. Three major incidents in the UK since March where hundreds have been left injured and too many dead. Countless other attacks across the globe (that we hear less about sadly) but that have the same awful impact. It may seem hopeless and an endless cycle but honestly I have seen way more support, more generosity, more strength in these last weeks than I knew possible. People pull together to help strangers, regardless of race, gender or faith. People love and care and continue to hope. This integrity and generosity and strength means terrorism will never win, however hard they try. WE are strong together. I must say massive big appreciation to the emergency services for everything they’ve done to help everyone affected by these horrible events. Appreciation to civilians that have helped. Appreciation to everyone that’s offered lifts or donated blood. Appreciation all round!

I’m not going to get preachy because that’s the least useful and most annoying thing to do in this situation. But some people still think they’re untouchable and that’s also not useful…..we all need to be alert and prepared. It doesn’t mean we’re not living our lives the way we usually do. It doesn’t mean terrorism wins if we’re always alert. It’s just GOOD PRACTICE. Its just SENSIBLE. It just could save your life. Being calm is great, that’s what you need to be. Being overly chilled out and thinking it won’t affect you is WRONG. That’s just stupid. Again, don’t start telling me that we can’t change the way we live in the wake of terrorism because that’s what they want. No it isn’t what they want actually, they want suffering and destruction. YOU being wary and cautious and just having your eyes peeled and a plan b is clever. You’d be a fool to not take these things seriously enough to consider that. Changing little things that you do or thinking about things a little more deeply isn’t letting the terrorists win because you’ve had to adapt your lifestyle, please don’t adamantly declare you’ll change nothing because we all have to be more on our guard.. (it means we’ll catch the buggers sooner and they’ll not affect us as much…not that they’ve won). We can’t just all ‘go to the Winchester and wait for this all to blow over’. We gotta prepare for the worst, even if it’s just mentally. We have to react and be safe while it’s happening all around us.

We must be careful not to judge extremists and terrorists as a mark of a whole culture or a faith. Whether or not the London Bridge attack was Isis related is yet to be confirmed. Accounts of shouting “for Allah” amid stabbings suggest that there is some influence involved, if the accounts are accurate. This doesn’t mean you have an excuse to be Islamophobic. A sect of radical terrorists does not a religion make. That’s as stupid as being scared of a white Christian male and assuming they’re a member of the KKK. We don’t ever stoop to that level of prejudice with regards to white people (whether they’re from America, New Zealand, France or Britain) so why is okay to stereotype anyone who believes in Islam as a terrorist. Anyone who’s skin is darker than yours. Anyone who has a foreign accent. Anyone who looks a “a bit Middle-Eastern”. Good God do you realise how ridiculous you are if you think like this!? Next you’ll be asking “where are you from” and when they reply “London” you’ll say…”No but where are you really from?”. You cannot justify this as anything but outright racism. Prejudice and stereotyping.

Fear does not help anyone, nor does ignorance. We must ensure these attacks do not make us slip into racist mentalities and attack all foreigners. Don’t make me get all archaeology on your ass and explain how Britain is a nation made of immigrants from all over Europe and beyond. There is no such thing as purely ‘English’ so stop acting the Little Englander and telling everyone to get out who wasn’t born here. Mate, most of your ancestors weren’t either so you can piss off too then and let’s all abandon the country, let alone the world ye? Lunacy. We must ensure we do not neglect to think about humans as humans and not define them by religion or race. We only have an issue with terrorists, don’t overly apply this term to people as hurt and ashamed by terrorism as you are. That way lies wickedness and makes us as bad as our enemy. I don’t know how to fully define or talk about Isis and their aims and desires because I don’t know the whole story so I’m not going to try. Most of us won’t either. Stop shouting about ‘Sharia Law’ and using it as a buzzword because you saw an article in a tabloid newspaper and assume that you sound clever by using it, even though you don’t really know what it entails. Let us research (and not just trust Daily Mail articles) and know our enemy so we can stop isolating and attacking peoples’ beliefs and cultures for no reason, and only attack the terror threat.

In ignorance lies fear and in fear lies danger because you never know how extreme people will take things. Don’t be one of them.

What can we do?

So we’ve established we’re facing increasingly frequent terror threats. It means we do need to consider some sort of plan IN CASE it happens to us/ near us. This does not mean I’m pessimistically assuming the worst. It means I’m cautiously and sensibly planning for a worst case scenario just so I’m prepared if need be. This doesn’t need to stop me living, just means we should all give it a bit of thought so we don’t get caught out (not like we can know if and when an attack might or might not be but you get what I’m saying)….. plus most of these are useful for daily life anyway.

  • Carry a power bar when you’re out for a long time, to make sure your phone battery doesn’t die at the key point when you need to google map a safe way home, tell your loved ones you’re safe or call for help.

 

  • Know key loved one’s phone numbers off by heart in case you lose your phone.

 

  • If you hear of an incident in an area you are e.g. it’s in London Bridge but you’re in Hackney, get out of London the quickest and safest way possible, just to be on the safe side. Last night “lightning struck twice” at London Bridge and Borough Market so don’t think because it’s happened elsewhere you’re fine where you are….. better to err on the side of caution, especially for the sake of everyone who loves you worrying about you helplessly from afar.

 

  • Get the bbc breaking news app on your phone so you’ll know exactly what happens, when it happens.

 

  • Don’t assume all Muslims are terrorists (don’t be a big ass bigot please)

 

  • Don’t assume Islam is evil and that’s the problem Britain is facing

 

  • Try not to get so blind drunk when you’re out in big cities that if anything were to happen you’d not be able to understand or even move to safety…..that’s just kinda good practice anyway but especially now if you could only get black-out drunk in your own home, that would be great.

 

  • Be safe xxxx

 

Peace and Love

 

O x

 

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